Miley (foot), Senzel (knee) placed on IL

Heineman recalled as Brach, Goudeau join relief corps; Fulmer DFA'd

May 21st, 2021

CINCINNATI -- A flurry of Reds roster moves made Friday will affect every section of the club -- the rotation, bullpen, lineup and bench.

Center fielder/infielder Nick Senzel was placed on the 10-day injured list with left knee inflammation. Joining Senzel on the 10-day IL was left-handed starting pitcher Wade Miley because of a sprained left foot.

Infielder/outfielder Scott Heineman and right-handed pitcher Ashton Goudeau were recalled from Triple-A Louisville and veteran right-handed reliever Brad Brach had his contract selected from Louisville. To clear space, righty reliever Carson Fulmer was designated for assignment.

Senzel, who had also been dealing with a left heel contusion, missed each of the last three games vs. the Giants.

“A few different things going on. He went on the IL for his knee, but maybe it’s just an opportunity for him to reset his body as well,” Reds manager David Bell said. “Hopefully it’s no more than 10 days there.”

During Wednesday’s game vs. San Francisco, Miley was hurt while batting in the third inning. He felt soreness as he ran out of the batter’s box on a ground ball.

“I think in the long run … this could be a positive thing. It’s a long season,” Bell said. “It was a shortened season last year for him, especially. Maybe it turns out to be something that just gives him a little slight break, skip a start and he’s back in there next time around.”

What this means for the rotation

Because Miley’s next turn in the rotation falls on Monday’s off-day, the Reds can effectively skip his spot and keep their other starters on regular rest. They will likely need a spot starter for next weekend’s series vs. the Cubs.

Possible contenders could potentially be Vladimir Gutierrez, José De León or Reds No. 9 prospect per MLB Pipeline, Tony Santillan. From the bullpen, Tejay Antone could also get an opportunity, but Bell continues to like him in a relief role.

“We don’t know what day that will be or who that will be yet,” Bell said of the start.

What this means for the bullpen

Reds relievers have been used heavily over the past several days and multiple arms were hit hard during Thursday’s 19-4 beating by the Giants, in which they gave up 11 earned runs over five innings.

Cincinnati is hoping to get a hot hand in Brach. In six appearances for Louisville, he has delivered 6 2/3 innings with just one unearned run allowed. He has recorded 12 strikeouts in that span, while retiring 20 out of 25 batters.

“It was just kind of getting back to what I had done in years past, pre-probably 2018,” Brach said. “I just kind of worked on that stuff since Spring Training -- being back in the strike zone, going right after the hitters. It’s not any mystery. But for me, walks are really where my ERA goes up. I know if I keep that down, I have more than enough weapons to get Major League hitters out. I just got really aggressive in the zone down there and attacked the hitters.”

Brach, 35, has a 3.39 career ERA in 496 big league games since 2011 with the Padres, Orioles, Braves, Cubs and Mets. He signed a Minor League contract with the Reds' organization on May 1 after he was outrighted by the Royals.

“It almost feels as good as the first time. Any time that you have to go and spend time in the Minors after being up here for so long, it’s definitely really exciting,” Brach said of returning to the big leagues.

A waiver claim from the Rockies on May 2, Goudeau was a starter for Louisville and went 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA in two starts. He last pitched Sunday and can provide long relief, if needed.

Fulmer had a 6.66 ERA in 20 appearances this season after he made the team out of Spring Training. Following an optimistic beginning, he was hit hard lately with a 10.80 ERA and 17 hits over his last 11 2/3 innings in eight games. He was out of Minor League options and the Reds hope that he can clear waivers and remain in the organization.

“He has a lot of people here in our clubhouse, in our coaching staff, that believe in him and believe he’s going to just keep getting better. Unfortunately, we were in a situation where we had to make this move,” Bell said.

What this means for the lineup and bench

The Reds have already been using Shogo Akiyama and Tyler Naquin in center field to fill in for Senzel. Adding Heineman gives the club versatility.

“He’ll be a right-handed bat off the bench with the ability to play all three outfield positions and first base,” Bell said.

Moustakas hopes to return soon

Placed on the 10-day IL with a right heel contusion on Thursday, third/first baseman Mike Moustakas hopes to be back as soon as he’s eligible on May 29. Moustakas had an MRI exam reveal a small tear in the plantar fascia area of the heel.

“Obviously, I want to be out there competing and playing with my teammates,” Moustakas said Friday. “It’s hard to just sit there and watch and not be a part of it. I would love to even just be out there in those games like last night, just be a part of it and be on the field and things like that. But right now, my game is to get ready to go whenever I come off the IL.”