Puig joins Reds' Play Ball Takeover event

Reed optioned to Triple-A; Ervin recalled

May 18th, 2019

CINCINNATI -- Outfielder led the way for the Reds' Play Ball Community Takeover event on Saturday morning in Cincinnati’s Madisonville neighborhood.

Puig joined members of the Reds Community Fund department led by director Charley Frank, club mascot Mr. Redlegs, organist John Schutte and the Reds Rally Pack in a surprise visit to the Madisonville Recreation Center to help kick off a doubleheader. The Madisonville Braves’ 10-and-under team and Indian Hill’s fourth-grade team met in a baseball game, before the Cincinnati Diamonds and West End Reds squared off in a softball game.

Puig took photos with the teams and threw a ceremonial first pitch.

“I just said ‘Hi,’ asked them what position they play, asked them why they like that position and gave them some high fives,” said Puig, who sponsors his own local youth squad, Team 66. “I like to support the kids on the street. There’s a lot of talent out there, and it’s important for people like me and other players to go out there and support the city and the community. This is my town, and I want to give back to them and show my love for the sport.”

MLB launched Play Ball in 2015 as the sport’s largest effort to encourage widespread participation in both formal and casual baseball and softball activities. The visit by the Reds to the youth games was one of several activities scheduled this weekend to celebrate the event.

Déjà vu for Reed

Left-hander was optioned to Triple-A Louisville before Saturday’s game against the Dodgers, one day after he was recalled to bolster Cincinnati’s bullpen against Los Angeles’ lefty-oriented lineup.

Reed also was recalled from the Bats on May 4, only to be optioned on May 5 after allowing one hit and striking out four in 2 1/3 shutout innings against San Francisco.

Reed pitched two innings against the Dodgers on Friday, allowing two hits and one run, with one walk and three strikeouts. Over 4 1/3 innings in two games with Cincinnati this season, the 26-year-old has a 2.08 ERA with seven strikeouts and one walk. Opposing batters are hitting .188 against him.

“We brought him up because of how he’s been doing, and because we needed him against that lineup,” Reds manager David Bell said. “We didn’t want to overuse other pitchers. Once Cody pitched, that left us being able to use everybody, and we didn’t want to have a disadvantage on the bench.

“If he keeps doing what he’s been doing, nothing can hold him back. It’s a matter of time for him. We want him here. There just isn’t a spot here.”

Replacing Reed on the roster is outfielder Phillip Ervin. The 26-year-old outfielder is hitting .200 in seven games over two stints with Cincinnati this season.

Full closet

Rookie claims that not too much has caught him by surprise in his first two weeks in the Major Leagues, but he has been impressed by the wide variety of uniforms available from game to game.

Senzel and the Reds wore different uniforms in each of his first five games -- the Reds’ usual home outfits, throwbacks from 1902 and 1911, a red jersey during a May 6 day game against San Francisco and then the usual road uniforms for the series opener in Oakland on May 7.

“That’s got to be a record, doesn’t it?” Senzel said.

He will add to the collection on Sunday when the Reds don replicas of the team’s 1912 home uniforms.

His favorite so far? The 1911 road uniform replicas -- blue jerseys and pants, red socks and blue cap with a red bill.

Blandino update

Infielder ’s comeback from season-ending knee surgery last July has progressed to the point where he’s played in “three or four” games in extended spring in Arizona, Bell said.

“We’re getting nearer to sending him out on a rehab assignment,” Bell said.

Blandino, 26, tore the anterior cruciate ligament and the medial collateral ligament in his right knee while turning a double play on July 20 against the Pirates on a muddy Great American Ball Park infield.