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Here's why a 3-team Kluber deal could happen

Breaking down report of potential trade between Tribe, Reds, Padres
MLB.com

The Reds need a starting pitcher. The Padres are looking for a third baseman. The Indians would like to add outfielders. Could there be a match that would help all three clubs?

The Athletic reported on Monday that the Padres had explored a potential three-team trade between the clubs that would send ace starter Corey Kluber from Cleveland to Cincinnati, with Reds top prospect and infielder Nick Senzel going to San Diego. It was not reported who the Indians might acquire, although the team needs outfielders, which the Padres have to deal.

The Reds need a starting pitcher. The Padres are looking for a third baseman. The Indians would like to add outfielders. Could there be a match that would help all three clubs?

The Athletic reported on Monday that the Padres had explored a potential three-team trade between the clubs that would send ace starter Corey Kluber from Cleveland to Cincinnati, with Reds top prospect and infielder Nick Senzel going to San Diego. It was not reported who the Indians might acquire, although the team needs outfielders, which the Padres have to deal.

The report noted that no deal was close to being finalized.

Why the trade could work
The Reds, who have been trying to overhaul their rotation all offseason, already acquired starters Tanner Roark and Alex Wood in trades. Both are solid middle-of-the-rotation pieces, but Cincinnati could still use someone for the top of the starting five. Enter Kluber, the two-time American League Cy Young Award winner and the kind of frontline starter the Reds haven't had since dealing Johnny Cueto in 2015. The club, which has space with an increased payroll, has been linked to Kluber in various rumors throughout the Hot Stove season.

Kluber, 32, has one guaranteed year left on his contract, with club options for 2020 and '21. If both options are picked up, the total outlay for his services would be $52.5 million. It's a lot of money for a small-market club, but it's also not a risky long-term contract that would hamstring the Reds for the future.

Video: Tribe, Padres, Reds exploring 3-team deal for Kluber?

Senzel, who is ranked as the Reds' No. 1 prospect (No. 6 overall) by MLB Pipeline, is a natural third baseman and can also play second base and the outfield. He is currently blocked from a starting spot in the infield by third baseman Eugenio Suarez and second baseman Scooter Gennett, but he will be competing for the opening in center field.

The Indians and Padres have had a good working relationship, with their last transaction coming in July when Cleveland acquired relievers Brad Hand and Adam Cimber. The Tribe is looking for young outfielders who are cost-controlled and can make an impact in 2019 and beyond. Last month, the Indians were linked to San Diego outfielders Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe, both of whom check the majority of the Indians' boxes.

Margot, 24, is under team control through 2022, while Renfroe, 26, wouldn't be a free agent until after the '23 season. Margot is a right-handed-hitting center fielder who slashed .245/.292/.384 with 26 doubles, eight triples, eight homers and 51 RBIs in 2018. Renfroe, a corner outfielder, could bring some much-needed power to the Indians' lineup after hitting .248 with 26 homers and 68 RBIs last season.

Video: Indians might not trade Kluber or Bauer

The Padres have a glut of outfielders, with Wil Myers, Franmil Reyes, Franchy Cordero and Travis Jankowski also on board. They can afford to lose one or both of Renfroe and Margot -- if it means acquiring a third baseman. Right now, unheralded rookie Ty France is slated to start for the Padres at third, though that's likely to change in the coming weeks.

The Indians could also take a look at the Reds, who have plenty of corner-outfield options. Recently acquired Matt Kemp is coming off an All-Star season, hitting .290 with 21 home runs and 85 RBIs. Although Kemp could give the Tribe another option in both the outfield and as a designated hitter, the Indians may prefer younger, cost-controlled talent. The 34-year-old is owed $21.75 million in 2019, though a portion of the Dodgers' $7 million that was sent to the Reds in last month's blockbuster deal will help pay that salary. But the team already has shed roughly $20 million from the payroll and also would be dealing away Kluber's $17 million, so it could be an option.

Why the trade might not work
Because of Senzel's near Major League-ready skills that include an advanced hitting approach, the Reds would likely be apprehensive about moving him. For the Padres, they will probably take a long look at his medical files as Senzel was limited to 44 games at Triple-A last season because of a bout with vertigo in May and a fractured right index finger in June that required season-ending surgery. During instructional league in the fall, he had to stop playing to have bone chips removed from his left elbow.

The Indians may decide they just don't need to deal Kluber, a rotation anchor for three straight postseason teams. The main reason his name came up in the first place was a perceived need to cut costs, and they've already done that this winter -- shedding about $20 million in dealing Edwin Encarnacion, Yonder Alonso and Yan Gomes. Because of this, the Tribe could simply keep its rotation intact. Cleveland has been listening to potential offers for both Kluber and Trevor Bauer throughout the offseason, but it has a specific return in mind that clearly has yet to be met. In order to part ways with its ace, the club would have to receive enough talent to meet the high bar it has set for Kluber.

Video: Cassavell on the Padres' search for a starter

A trade could still happen, but maybe not with the Reds. Another option for both the Padres and the Indians would be giving the Yankees a call to see where they stand on Miguel Andujar. With the Padres looking for a third baseman, the 23-year-old Andujar, who finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year Award voting, may be another option. The Yankees are still looking to deal Sonny Gray, and with CC Sabathia's recent heart procedure and ongoing troubles with his right knee, it would seem logical that New York would be interested in adding another arm, especially of Kluber's caliber. The Yankees also have outfielders Clint Frazier and Aaron Hicks or reliever Chad Green who could be of interest to the Indians.

Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, San Diego Padres, Corey Kluber, Nick Senzel

Long aims to be ready for life in big leagues

Reds 2B prospect takes part in rookie program for off-field lessons
MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Many times since the inception of the annual Rookie Career Development Program in 1992, participants have gone on to play in the Major Leagues. But it's one thing to get there, and quite another to stay and have a good career.

Reds second-base prospect Shed Long certainly learned some things that he hopes can improve -- and extend -- his career.

CINCINNATI -- Many times since the inception of the annual Rookie Career Development Program in 1992, participants have gone on to play in the Major Leagues. But it's one thing to get there, and quite another to stay and have a good career.

Reds second-base prospect Shed Long certainly learned some things that he hopes can improve -- and extend -- his career.

"You really cover the whole nine yards of what's going to happen or what to expect when you get to the big leagues," Long told MLB Pipeline recently. "But some of that stuff is happening right now in the Minor Leagues."

The RCDP doesn't focus on improving baseball skills on the field. Instead, it benefits players like Long off the field, so they can focus more on their game.

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association combine forces to run the RCDP. This year's program was staged in Miami, and among the topics covered was dealing with the media, how to handle situations in the clubhouse, drugs in baseball, inclusion and financial planning.

"It's been a great program. I've learned a lot. I'm definitely in a better spot now than when I got here," said Long, who is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Reds' No. 7 prospect.

Long, 23, appears to be knocking on the door to get a shot at baseball's highest level. He was added to Cincinnati's 40-man roster following the 2017 season and went to his first big league Spring Training last year.

At Double-A Pensacola, Long batted .261/.353/.412 with 12 home runs and 56 RBIs in 126 games. It seems likely that he will begin 2019 with Triple-A Louisville.

"I had a few inconsistencies with my bat throughout the season," Long said. "It's not always going to be good, but it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. Overall, it was a pretty good year. Defensively I made a lot of improvements, and I'm still working to continue to make improvements. I really want to focus offensively this year just to be more consistent than last year."

Long was tabbed to play in the Arizona Fall League after the season. Even though he didn't post superlative numbers, he was using the time to tinker with his swing and make modifications.

"It was huge. It helped me to figure out myself more too," Long said. "There were a couple of adjustments, hitting-wise, that I made that came from me watching video alone and trying things out.

"Sometimes, you have to be uncomfortable. But you never know what's going to work unless you try it."

Drafted as a catcher on the 12th round in 2013, Long later converted to second base. A left-handed hitter with power, he can also hit to all fields. Defensively over the past two seasons, he's been ranked high by the managers in the Southern League and the Florida State League.

All of this for a player who stands at 5-foot-8 and has drawn comparisons to diminutive comedian Kevin Hart because of his size. That's no worry for Long, who lets his play stand tall for him.

"For sure. There's definitely a chip on my shoulder about that, always being the smaller guy," Long said. "I'm usually the smallest guy on the team anywhere I'm playing at. That doesn't hold me back. It really just makes me go harder."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds, Shed Long

Reds' top 2 prospects among non-roster invites

Senzel to compete for roster spot; Trammell headed to first MLB camp
MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- The Reds will have their top two prospects among the non-roster invitations to big league Spring Training next month.

Infielder/outfielder Nick Senzel and outfielder Taylor Trammell were two of the 18 non-roster invites announced by the club on Wednesday. MLB Pipeline ranks Senzel No. 1 in the organization (No. 6 in baseball) and Trammell No. 2 (No. 17 overall).

CINCINNATI -- The Reds will have their top two prospects among the non-roster invitations to big league Spring Training next month.

Infielder/outfielder Nick Senzel and outfielder Taylor Trammell were two of the 18 non-roster invites announced by the club on Wednesday. MLB Pipeline ranks Senzel No. 1 in the organization (No. 6 in baseball) and Trammell No. 2 (No. 17 overall).

Senzel, who will be in big league camp for the second time, will be competing for a spot on the Opening Day roster. There is an opening in center field that he would like to get, but he could also earn a place in a utility role that allows him to still play regularly.

This will be Trammell's first big league camp.

Video: Reds prospect Taylor Trammell on the Fall League

Also invited to camp were right-handers Anthony Bass, Odrisamer Despaigne, Vladimir Gutierrez, Alex Powers and Tony Santillan, catchers Juan Graterol, Chris Okey and Tyler Stephenson, infielders Christian Colon and Alfredo Rodriguez, and outfielders Aristides Aquino, TJ Friedl, Brian O'Grady, Jordan Patterson, Mason Williams and Kyle Wren.

Bass, Despaigne, Graterol and Colon have big league experience with other clubs and signed Minor League contracts that came with camp invites.

Minor League coaching staffs named
The Reds' Minor League affiliates announced their managers and coaching staffs on Wednesday. At Triple-A Louisville, Jody Davis will manage the team for the first time with pitching coach Jeff Fassero, hitting coach Leon Durham and bench coach Dick Schofield. Davis was manager at Double-A Pensacola last season. Schofield, who was the interim manager last season, returns to his previous role.

Tweet from @LouisvilleBats: BREAKING: Jody Davis Named 2019 Louisville Bats Manager Full Details on Coaching Staff ������ https://t.co/FFaNaQgptt pic.twitter.com/NxczY8HQtU

For Double-A Chattanooga, Pat Kelly will be manager with Danny Darwin at pitching coach, Daryle Ward as hitting coach and Darren Bragg as the bench coach. Last season, Kelly served as the Reds' interim bench coach and Darwin was their pitching coach under interim manager Jim Riggleman. Although most of the big league coaching staff was not retained, both Kelly and Darwin were promised they would have roles back in player development.

Tweet from @ChattLookouts: 🚨BREAKING🚨 Pat Kelly named #Lookouts 2019 Manager. Kelly returns to Chattanooga after managing the Lookouts from 1993 to 1994. 2019 Field Staff (L->R)Manager - Pat KellyP.C. - Danny DarwinH.C. - Daryle WardB.C. - Darren Bragg#RedsCountry Read ������https://t.co/6VYSuILvQm pic.twitter.com/kq9DlNeKWn

Here are the field staffs for the other Reds affiliates:

Class A Advanced Daytona
Manager: Ricky Gutierrez
Pitching coach: Tom Brown
Hitting coach: Alex Pelaez
Bench coach: Lenny Harris

Tweet from @daytonatortugas: ANNOUNCED: Here is your 2019 Daytona Tortugas Coaching Staff headlined by 2018 Florida State League North Division Champion Manager, Ricky Gutierrez! #DefendTheJack #KingsOfTheNorth 🔗: https://t.co/7gjAQkBqPC pic.twitter.com/99SwVJJDhD

Class A Dayton Dragons
Manager: Luis Bolivar
Pitching coach: Seth Etherton
Hitting coach: Mike Devereaux
Bench coach: Kevin Mahar

Tweet from @DragonsBaseball: Here is your 2019 Dayton Dragons coaching staff! Luis Bolivar - ManagerSeth Etherton - Pitching CoachMike Devereaux - Hitting CoachKevin Mahar - Bench CoachGet to know the coaches at https://t.co/9kiAChXGfN pic.twitter.com/1D7YtXsom6

Rookie-level Billings
Manager: Ray Martinez
Pitching coach: Chris Booker
Hitting coach: Darryl Brinkley
Bench coach: Bryan LaHair

Tweet from @Mustangs: The @Reds name 2019 Mustangs Coaching Staff, Martinez returns for his 4th season. https://t.co/XpltfKjt2a via @milb pic.twitter.com/FYdmwJePbG

Rookie-level Greeneville
Manager: Gookie Dawkins
Pitching coach: Derin Ebert
Hitting coach: Luis Terrero
Bench coach: Reggie Williams

Tweet from @greenevillereds: Greeneville Reds fans, Please help us in welcoming our 2019 Field Staff! We are very excited to have Gookie Dawkins and Reggie Williams returning for their second year in Greeneville.https://t.co/k4Au8wYuS4 pic.twitter.com/1BgDO7WRyb

Dominican Summer League Reds
Manager: Luis Saturria
Pitching coach: Luis Montano
Pitching coach: Luis Andujar
Coach: Cristobal Rodriguez
Coach: Jose Castro
Coach: Jefry Sierra
Coach: Edward Bens

Arizona League Reds
Manager/extended spring coordinator: Jose Nieves
Pitching coach: Elmer Dessens
Hitting coach: Todd Takayoshi
Bench coach: Donald Lutz

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds, Nick Senzel, Taylor Trammell

Greene gives back with free Compton clinic

Reds prospect returns to MLB Youth Academy for Baseball Fest
MLB.com

COMPTON, Calif. -- Reds prospect Hunter Greene began playing organized baseball at the MLB Youth Academy in Compton when he was 7 years old. He's been giving back to his community for nearly as long.

According to Henry Brandon, who helped coach Greene's youth travel team, it's always been in Greene's nature to help others. For instance, when Greene was 12 years old, he could often be found helping the 10-year-old ballplayers with their drills, offering whatever insight and guidance he could.

COMPTON, Calif. -- Reds prospect Hunter Greene began playing organized baseball at the MLB Youth Academy in Compton when he was 7 years old. He's been giving back to his community for nearly as long.

According to Henry Brandon, who helped coach Greene's youth travel team, it's always been in Greene's nature to help others. For instance, when Greene was 12 years old, he could often be found helping the 10-year-old ballplayers with their drills, offering whatever insight and guidance he could.

That spirit of giving is what inspired the second annual Hunter Greene Baseball Fest. Nearly 150 campers, from 8 to 14 years old, gathered on Sunday afternoon to take part in a free clinic hosted by Greene at the field of his youth. Participants received catching, pitching, hitting and baserunning instruction from an assortment of coaches and players, including several former and current professionals.

In addition to the drills and instruction, the clinic featured throwing and hitting skills competitions, from which five winners were selected to join Greene on a $500 shopping spree at Adidas. Those winners also received special gloves designed as a collaboration between Greene and Steelo Sports, a company that describes itself as the first and only modern-day, black-owned baseball glove brand.

"I always wanted to give back as soon as I could," Greene said. "Once I got the platform to do that and the experience and the connections with other players and coaches coming out to help me, I jumped on it real fast."

Greene, 19, is ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the Reds' system and the No. 22 prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline.

Darrell Miller, vice president of baseball and softball development for Major League Baseball Youth Programs, was the director of the Compton academy when Greene played there. Miller spoke to the importance of having players like Greene return to the Youth Academy.

"Having Hunter come back and all the other guys that are here instructing with him that have come through the Academy, it means a lot to the kids who'll know and understand that this is the place to be," Miller said. "This is the place where they're going to get great mentorship and great coaching."

Among the Minor Leaguers who showed up to assist Greene was Angels No. 1 prospect Jo Adell, ranked the No. 15 prospect in baseball. Adell, a longtime friend of Greene's, made the trip to Southern California all the way from Louisville just for the clinic. He called the decision to come out "a no-brainer," in part because Greene came out to Louisville last fall to help with Adell's own clinic.

"We come from similar-minded families," Adell said. "They expect the best from us, and they're both big on community. Hunter has always gotten that. He understands that where he came from is the most important thing. He wouldn't be where he was without the people around this area."

Brewers outfield prospect Je'Von Ward and Rays first-base prospect Devin Davis, both of whom got their start playing at the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, were also instructors at the clinic. Ward recognized the significance of their participation.

"You never know when one of these kids will be in the same position as you," said Ward, the No. 25 prospect in Milwaukee's system. "We're closer in age to some of these kids, so they can look ahead, like, 'I could do that in a few years.'"

When addressing the campers, Greene emphasized the importance of listening as a way of learning and growing, both as a person and as a player. He also drove home the equal importance of choices made both on and off the field.

"Yes, you want to be able to perform on the field for the club," Greene said. "But the expectations are just as high off the field. … You represent the team, and they're building a franchise around you, and they're trying to win a World Series, so they're picking the best players -- but most importantly, the best people out there -- to be Major League citizens."

Sarah Wexler is a reporter for MLB.com based in Southern California.

Cincinnati Reds

Reds pick up versatile Joe in Rule 5 Draft

26-year-old utility slugger had .935 OPS in Minors for Dodgers last season
MLB.com

LAS VEGAS -- The Reds selected utility player Connor Joe from the Dodgers' Triple-A roster in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, which marked the conclusion of the annual Winter Meetings.

Joe, 26, batted .299/.408/.527 with 17 home runs and 55 RBIs combined last season with Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City. He can play first base, second base, third base and the outfield.

LAS VEGAS -- The Reds selected utility player Connor Joe from the Dodgers' Triple-A roster in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, which marked the conclusion of the annual Winter Meetings.

Joe, 26, batted .299/.408/.527 with 17 home runs and 55 RBIs combined last season with Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City. He can play first base, second base, third base and the outfield.

"He's going to come in with a chance to compete for a job in Spring Training," Reds general manager Nick Krall said. "Our guys liked him. He made some improvements this year with his swing and approach. He had a really excellent year."

In the 2014 MLB Draft, Joe was a first-round selection (39th overall) by the Pirates.

Cincinnati's 40-man roster is now at 38 players.

Under the rules of this draft, the Reds will pay the Dodgers $100,000 by selecting Joe, who is added to their 25-man roster. He must remain on the club all season or be offered back to Los Angeles for $50,000 after he clears outright waivers. He can be sent outright back to the Minors if the Dodgers or another club does not take him.

In the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft, the Orioles selected pitcher Taylor Grover from Cincinnati. A right-hander, Grover pitched in independent baseball last season and was signed by the Reds in the offseason. The Braves took right-handed pitcher Jose Rafael De Paula from Double-A Chattanooga.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds, Connor Joe

Senzel aims to earn 'any spot' at Reds camp

Top prospect on track for spring after offseason elbow surgery
MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Injuries slowed Reds top prospect Nick Senzel's express route to the Major Leagues in 2018. Senzel wants to prove he will be ready to be in Cincinnati when the 2019 season opens.

Ranked No. 1 in the organization by MLB Pipeline, and No. 6 overall, Senzel endured vertigo in May and a right index finger fracture in June that required season-ending surgery. After he healed from that procedure, the natural infielder tried the outfield during the instructional league in the fall. That ended when he needed surgery in mid-October to remove bone chips from his left elbow.

CINCINNATI -- Injuries slowed Reds top prospect Nick Senzel's express route to the Major Leagues in 2018. Senzel wants to prove he will be ready to be in Cincinnati when the 2019 season opens.

Ranked No. 1 in the organization by MLB Pipeline, and No. 6 overall, Senzel endured vertigo in May and a right index finger fracture in June that required season-ending surgery. After he healed from that procedure, the natural infielder tried the outfield during the instructional league in the fall. That ended when he needed surgery in mid-October to remove bone chips from his left elbow.

"The elbow is good. It was six weeks [last] Tuesday. It was supposed to be a six-week recovery, so it's getting there," Senzel said. "I'd say I'm at about 90 percent. I will start doing baseball activity in the next week or so."

Senzel, 23, has been rehabilitating at the club's Spring Training facility in Goodyear, Ariz. He is expected to be ready to begin swinging a bat by the end of December.

From there, the hopes are that Senzel can have a quasi-normal offseason ahead of camp opening in February. He was cleared to begin lifting weights a couple of weeks ago.

"I'm trying to catch up there. I've had to adjust for sure," Senzel said.

This is a critical juncture for Senzel, who batted .310/.378/.509 with six home runs and 25 RBIs in 44 games last season for Triple-A Louisville. He was at shortstop in big league camp during Spring Training, but he played mostly second base for Louisville and some at his natural spot of third base.

Video: SEA@CIN: Senzel makes a lunging stop up the middle

With center fielder Billy Hamilton being non-tendered a contract on Friday, it's possible that a place in the lineup has opened for Senzel. During instructional league, he was tutored in the outfield by instructor and Reds great Eric Davis.

"I thought it went good. Me and E.D. hit it off great," said Senzel, the No. 2 overall selection in the 2016 MLB Draft. "I've known him since I came to this organization. He makes it as simple as possible. We worked together every day, mainly in center and I worked in left a little bit. It was great practice. Obviously, I didn't get into many games but the more reps out there, the more comfortable I was."

The Reds, led by president of baseball operations Dick Williams and general manager Nick Krall, plan to explore options outside of the organization -- either free agents or via trades. But if the spot is open when camp starts, Senzel has every intention of competing for it.

"I'd like to compete for any spot," Senzel said. "I don't really know the plan. I'm sure we'll sit down and talk, and my agent will talk with Dick, Nick and the new staff about where they think I will be. If it's center field, it's center field. If it's left field, it's left field. If it's kind of all over the place to get some guys days off so I can get in the lineup and some at-bats, it could be that.

"I don't think I will be in a set spot the whole year. Hopefully I can break camp with them and if not, be up soon."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds, Nick Senzel

Prospect Herget added to 40-man roster

Travieso, Beltre go unprotected heading into Rule 5 Draft
MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- In an expected move ahead of the deadline to protect players from exposure to the Rule 5 Draft, the Reds added right-handed reliever Jimmy Herget to their 40-man roster. Tuesday's move leaves Cincinnati with one remaining open roster spot.

Herget, a sixth-round pick by Cincinnati in the 2015 Draft out of the University of South Florida, ranks as the Reds' No. 13 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

CINCINNATI -- In an expected move ahead of the deadline to protect players from exposure to the Rule 5 Draft, the Reds added right-handed reliever Jimmy Herget to their 40-man roster. Tuesday's move leaves Cincinnati with one remaining open roster spot.

Herget, a sixth-round pick by Cincinnati in the 2015 Draft out of the University of South Florida, ranks as the Reds' No. 13 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

Video: CIN@CLE: Herget induces groundout, notches the save

In 50 relief appearances for Triple-A Louisville during the 2018 season, Herget went 1-3 with a 3.47 ERA and 1.34 WHIP over 59 2/3 innings.

Left unprotected ahead of the Dec. 13 Rule 5 Draft that will conclude the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas was Reds 2012 first-round Draft pick Nick Travieso, who has missed the last two seasons because of a shoulder injury. Also unprotected was outfielder and No. 22 prospect Michael Beltre, who played at Class A Dayton and Class A Advanced Daytona last season.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds, Jimmy Herget

Reds Minor Leaguer dies in car accident in DR

19-year-old Capellan passes away; 2 other players hospitalized
MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- The Reds learned that three of their Minor League players were involved in a serious car accident on Saturday in the Dominican Republic, with one losing his life in the tragedy.

Right-handed pitcher Jairo Capellan, who was 19, was killed in the wreck while right-handed pitcher Raul Hernandez and outfielder Emilio Garcia were hospitalized locally. According to an update from the Reds on Sunday, Hernandez is in critical but stable condition. Garcia is still in the hospital receiving treatment for his injuries, but he is alert and conscious.

CINCINNATI -- The Reds learned that three of their Minor League players were involved in a serious car accident on Saturday in the Dominican Republic, with one losing his life in the tragedy.

Right-handed pitcher Jairo Capellan, who was 19, was killed in the wreck while right-handed pitcher Raul Hernandez and outfielder Emilio Garcia were hospitalized locally. According to an update from the Reds on Sunday, Hernandez is in critical but stable condition. Garcia is still in the hospital receiving treatment for his injuries, but he is alert and conscious.

Both players are being monitored by local doctors and Reds medical staff.

Hernandez and Garcia are 19, as was Capellan.

"We will continue communicating with our Dominican Republic medical staff and will provide updates as details become available," Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams said in a statement. "We are thinking of and praying for the players and their families."

Reds players, coaches and staff attended a funeral service for Capellan on Sunday afternoon in Santo Domingo.

"We received this terrible news and send our condolences and support to the families, friends and teammates of Jairo, Raul and Emilio," Reds CEO Bob Castellini said in a statement. "Our Dominican operations are an integral part of the Reds organization, and this tragedy affects us all. We will remain closely involved to help everyone through this difficult time."

Tweet from @MicahOwings: Pretty torn up right now. Just saw two of these young men throw bullpens & had the pleasure of working w/all three this week. PLEASE, pray for them & their families. https://t.co/kzPegHdNfU

The details on the cause of the accident, which occurred in Boca Chica, were not immediately revealed.

Capellan and Garcia just played his first professional season in 2018 with the Reds' Dominican Summer League team while Hernandez finished his second season with the same affiliate.

"Jairo was a talented young pitcher with a bright future who was taken from us much too soon," Reds Latin America field coordinator Joel Noboa said in a statement. "He will be missed by everyone who knew him -- his teammates, coaches and our Dominican Academy staff."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds

Senzel to undergo surgery on left elbow

Reds' No. 1 prospect has bone spurs, will need six weeks to recover
MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- A chance for Nick Senzel to try his newly mined skills as an outfielder in the Arizona Fall League was scrapped when it was learned that the Reds top prospect needs left elbow surgery to remove bone spurs.

Senzel, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the organization's No. 1 prospect and No. 6 overall, will have his operation performed by team medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek on Tuesday and is expected to need six weeks to recover. The 23-year-old had been learning to play left field and center field in Arizona during instructional league.

CINCINNATI -- A chance for Nick Senzel to try his newly mined skills as an outfielder in the Arizona Fall League was scrapped when it was learned that the Reds top prospect needs left elbow surgery to remove bone spurs.

Senzel, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the organization's No. 1 prospect and No. 6 overall, will have his operation performed by team medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek on Tuesday and is expected to need six weeks to recover. The 23-year-old had been learning to play left field and center field in Arizona during instructional league.

"It's just a couple of bone spurs. Now is the time to do it because it won't impact any of his offseason work," Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams said. "It's six weeks of no activity with that elbow and then he'll have a normal offseason progression. We wanted him to go through the instructs to get outfield instruction and get the experience out there. But we didn't want to push it any further than that. It was something that was nagging."

An MRI exam confirmed the bone spurs, and the surgery is considered minor. However, it's the third time this year that a health issue has forced Senzel off of the field. He missed nearly a month in May because of a bout with vertigo -- the second of his pro career. In late June after a ground ball hit him on the hand, he had season-ending surgery to repair a broken index finger.

When asked if there were health concerns regarding the team's top prospect, Williams wasn't concerned.

"They're just unrelated, fluke situations," Williams replied. "It's frustrating that he lost time this year and potentially an opportunity to play in the Fall League. But really in the greater scheme of things, he had a very nice year. He had a chance to perform on the field, a chance to progress and a chance to go to instructional league. Taking a ground ball off your finger and having a bone spur to get cleaned up, guys have that all the time."

In 44 games for Triple-A Louisville, mostly playing second base, Senzel batted .310/.378/.509 with six home runs and 25 RBIs.

"If he can do as well as he did while struggling through with minor things, it just makes us excited to see him at full-go," Williams said.

Drafted No. 2 overall as a third baseman in the 2016 MLB Draft, Senzel was given his first look at shortstop during Spring Training. During the regular season, he was moved to second base for Louisville. With the Reds having Eugenio Suarez locked in at third base and Scooter Gennett at second base, the outfield could be another option for Senzel to reach the big leagues.

This fall, Senzel played mostly in left field but also some center field while getting instruction from Reds coaches at the team's Goodyear, Ariz., complex. He was expected to see some action in the Arizona Fall League.

"He just was getting exposed to both," Williams said. "It was more, at this point, about the concept of stretching your arm out to make a different throw than you're used to and understanding the positioning. We'll see when we get him in live games how the instincts will play out there. We've always been optimistic about that because he's always been a very instinctual ballplayer."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds

Pipeline names Reds' Prospects of the Year

MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- In a relatively short amount of time, a pair of 21-year-old Reds prospects have made good impressions on the field. In addition, how outfielder Taylor Trammell and starting pitcher Tony Santillan handle themselves while not in games has also been noticed.

"Both of these guys have a maturity and contentiousness to what they do with preparation, competitiveness," said Shawn Pender, the Reds' vice president of player development.

CINCINNATI -- In a relatively short amount of time, a pair of 21-year-old Reds prospects have made good impressions on the field. In addition, how outfielder Taylor Trammell and starting pitcher Tony Santillan handle themselves while not in games has also been noticed.

"Both of these guys have a maturity and contentiousness to what they do with preparation, competitiveness," said Shawn Pender, the Reds' vice president of player development.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Trammell and Santillan were named as the Reds' Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year by MLB Pipeline.

Each team's hitting and pitching Prospects of the Year were chosen by the MLB Pipeline staff. To receive consideration, players must have spent at least half the year in the Minors and appeared on the team's Top 30 Prospects list.

In 110 games for Class A Advanced Daytona, Trammell batted .277/.375/.406 with eight home runs, 41 RBIs, 25 steals and 71 runs. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the organization's No. 3 prospect and No. 17 overall.

Trammell also dazzled on a national stage this season when he was the MVP of the Sirius-XM All-Star Futures Game in Washington, D.C. He went 2-for-2 with a home run and a triple for Team USA.

"He just gets it," Pender said. "He knows there are things he needs to work on. He applies himself with the help of others. He keeps marching forward in all aspects of his game. Obviously offensively, the power he continues to show and the bat speed, and the athleticism that plays both offensively and defensively is really important to us. He's developing to be a better defender and a better baserunner."

Video: Trammell discusses his season on the Pipeline Podcast

Trammell was taken 35th overall in the first round by Cincinnati in the 2016 MLB Draft.

Santillan, ranked No. 5 in the organization by MLB Pipeline, was 10-7 with a 3.08 ERA and 1.24 WHIP over 26 games combined for Daytona and Double-A Pensacola in 2018. In 149 innings, the right-hander gave up 146 hits and 38 walks while striking out 134. A big kid that stands at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, Santillan turned the corner last season after struggling his first two professional seasons. The 2015 second round pick has always been considered to have overpowering stuff, and now he's learned how to command it and manage a game.

Video: Top Prospects: Antonio Santillan, RHP, Reds

"What really stood out to me was how aggressive he was in the strike zone and how he worked to get ahead," Pender said. "Usually when guys have good stuff and they're younger, you sometimes have to wait for the other things to happen -- the command and control. He just had increased feel with everything. The was marked improvement with his ability to locate the quality stuff that we all saw from this guy."

If Trammell and Santillan continue to advance at the current trajectory, Reds fans won't have to wait very long to get their first looks at two of the more promising young players in the organization. 

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds

Senzel to learn OF during instructional league

Bailey likely done pitching this season; Mahle won't start Saturday
MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Last weekend against the Cubs, the Reds saw former National League Most Valuable Player Award-winner Kris Bryant start in both left and right field. He's also played a few games this season at first base, although his main position is third base.

Cincinnati's front office envisions similar versatility for its No. 1 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline: Nick Senzel. The former third baseman, who played second base for Triple-A Louisville this season and shortstop in big league Spring Training, is in Arizona this week to learn the outfield during instructional league. Senzel, 23, will play games in left field when the schedule opens on Oct. 1.

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MILWAUKEE -- Last weekend against the Cubs, the Reds saw former National League Most Valuable Player Award-winner Kris Bryant start in both left and right field. He's also played a few games this season at first base, although his main position is third base.

Cincinnati's front office envisions similar versatility for its No. 1 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline: Nick Senzel. The former third baseman, who played second base for Triple-A Louisville this season and shortstop in big league Spring Training, is in Arizona this week to learn the outfield during instructional league. Senzel, 23, will play games in left field when the schedule opens on Oct. 1.

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• Reds' Top 30 prospects

"When you have a guy who can hit and is a really good athlete and play the infield, it's not a huge hurdle to think he can go to the outfield," Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams said on Tuesday. "Whether or not it becomes a primary position for Nick would be [determined] further down the road."

Senzel, who is ranked as the No. 4 prospect in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline, was the No. 2 overall selection in the 2016 Draft. There were hopes he'd reach the big leagues in 2018, but his season was cut short by season-ending surgery on his right index finger. Senzel also missed nearly a month in May due to a bout with vertigo.

"We definitely wanted him to get some playing time on the heels of this abbreviated season because of the injuries," Williams said. "We had talked to him about extending his season and getting back out there and getting at-bats. In the course of discussing that, we asked him to come prepared to show what he can do in the outfield. We're going to have some instructors out there specifically working with him on that. This guy has shown us enough to know that we have what we believe will be an elite hitter at second base and third base and a guy who has shown he can play shortstop. At this point, we want to see what else he can do.

"He's a guy that has risen to the challenges put in front of him in the past. He is eager to tackle this one, as well. It's important to develop players that have positional flexibility. Nick is the kind of athlete we think is very well suited to at least familiarize himself with the different positions to see what the opportunities will be at the big league level."

Watch: MiLB Video

Senzel will first get acquainted with left field because the club feels that is the most difficult of the three outfield spots.

"If he gets good reads there, it's a good indicator that he would be able to play right field," Williams said. "We'd then see if the athleticism carries him to center field."

The Reds' outfield situation could be in flux before 2019. Corner outfielder Jesse Winker is coming off right shoulder surgery, while center fielder Billy Hamilton will be a year away from free agency and a potential trade candidate. Right fielder Scott Schebler twice missed time on the disabled list this season, and Phillip Ervin has been establishing himself in left field lately.

"Anything that gives us the ability to field a competitive team and have more options is something we want to pursue," Williams said.

Bailey likely done in 2018
The Reds have an open spot in the rotation again for Sunday vs. the Marlins, and interim manager Jim Riggleman said the turn would either go to Tuesday's starter, Michael Lorenzen, or someone currently in the bullpen.

One healthy starting pitcher who won't get the assignment is Homer Bailey, whom it appears is done pitching this season.

"As far as starting, yeah," Riggleman said. "Homer has indicated that he can't relieve. Hard to think of something else to use him with."

When Bailey was dropped from the rotation in favor of Tyler Mahle earlier in September, Riggleman noted at the time that the veteran would be the next man up if there was a starting need.

"When we took Homer out of the rotation," Riggleman said. "That was the plan. Since that time, we've just decided to go otherwise. We changed our direction."

Bailey is making $21 million this season and has one year and $28 million left on his six-year contract with a mutual option for 2020.

Mahle, who has been working his way through right shoulder fatigue, is also not a candidate to start at Miami.

"Mahle definitely won't pitch Sunday because we haven't done enough with him to get him ready for Sunday," Riggleman said.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds

Inbox: Senzel to get look in outfield in 2019?

Beat reporter Mark Sheldon answers questions from Reds fans
MLB.com

What position will Nick Senzel play next year?
-- Ronald H. (via Facebook)

If the Reds are not able to reach a deal with Scooter Gennett and decide to trade him this offseason, I could see second base as the first option for Senzel, who is working his way back from season-ending right index finger surgery. But I think Cincinnati's top prospect is athletic enough to give the outfield a try -- either left field or center field. I was a little surprised Senzel didn't get any chances there during Spring Training while he was getting a look at shortstop.

What position will Nick Senzel play next year?
-- Ronald H. (via Facebook)

If the Reds are not able to reach a deal with Scooter Gennett and decide to trade him this offseason, I could see second base as the first option for Senzel, who is working his way back from season-ending right index finger surgery. But I think Cincinnati's top prospect is athletic enough to give the outfield a try -- either left field or center field. I was a little surprised Senzel didn't get any chances there during Spring Training while he was getting a look at shortstop.

:: Submit a question to the Reds Inbox ::

Why have the Reds not ridded themselves of Billy Hamilton, Raisel Iglesias and Gennett? I really like them, but they will make a lot more money this coming year. Not only could you get something, but you would save about $20 million in salary by moving them. Then you could really add some starting pitching. Senzel and Dilson Herrera could easily fill in these spots. Plus, you have others like Shed Long on the way.
-- Terry V. (via Facebook)

Part of the reasoning behind not moving those guys, and Matt Harvey, is the Reds' front office seems intent on finishing 2018 with as many wins as possible to try to carry momentum into '19. If the club was years from contending again and another teardown/rebuild was needed, I would agree that those guys should all go. But Iglesias isn't making too much money for the value he provides and Gennett has already been targeted for an extension.

Hamilton is the tricky one, because like Gennett, he will be third-year arbitration-eligible and a year from free agency. It's harder to place a market value on Hamilton since his on-base ability has been subpar while his defense is continually off the charts. Cincinnati not letting Harvey go -- both at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline and after he was claimed on waivers last week -- was a surprise, especially if he isn't going to be re-signed as a free agent.

Any chance that Jose Peraza gets a look in center field for next year?
-- Luke D. (via Facebook)

I don't think so. Peraza, still only 24, has shown a lot of improvement at the plate and some in the field while getting to play every day at shortstop all season. I think stability is what he needs, and there really are no big league-ready shortstops in the system to take his place.

How is Jonathan India doing? Will we finally see a Reds prospect in the Majors sooner than later?
-- @JoeletPirman

On the plus side, India has already moved up two levels since opening his pro career with Rookie-level Greeneville after he was the fifth overall pick in the 2018 Draft. But not surprisingly, the numbers haven't been exceptional -- .224/.378/.400 with four home runs and 20 RBIs in a combined 38 games entering Monday with Greeneville, Rookie-level Billings and Class A Dayton, where he currently plays. It's been a long year for India, who essentially played for the University of Florida year-round and into the College World Series before missing some time during the signing process and then adjusting to life in pro ball. After a real offseason, I would expect 2019 to be a stronger year.

As for seeing a prospect in the Majors from the Reds, there have been a lot already over the past couple of years -- from Tyler Mahle to Luis Castillo to Jesse Winker.

What do you think would realistically have to happen for the Reds to make the playoffs next year?
-- James T.

A legitimate No. 1 or No. 2 starting pitcher for Cincinnati's starting rotation is sorely needed to bring a level of consistency and dependability. The current rotation ranks at or near the bottom of the National League in ERA, innings and WHIP, and it's at the top in home runs allowed. But what might be overlooked as a need is more offense. Obviously, injuries have really hampered the lineup in the second half, but having more run creators and producers to surround Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez can't hurt. The Reds also rank 11th in home runs in the NL, which you wouldn't expect for a team that calls Great American Ball Park its home.

Why do batters always adjust their batting gloves after every pitch -- even if they don't even swing?
-- Susanne G. (via Facebook)

It can be maddening, right? In the 1970s and '80s, former first baseman Mike Hargrove was known as "The Human Rain Delay" for such things. But even contemporary players like former Red Jay Bruce often made a series of adjustments between pitches -- swing or no swing. Votto is one of the few guys I notice who stands in the box consistently after taking a pitch.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds

Reds prospect Hunter Greene has UCL sprain

Mahle optioned to Triple-A; Reyes called up
MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- Hunter Greene, the No. 2 selection in the 2017 MLB Draft, won't pitch the rest of the season with Class A Advanced Dayton due to an ulnar collateral ligament sprain in his right elbow. Reds general manager Nick Krall said Greene will strengthen his elbow at the Reds' Spring Training facility in Goodyear, Ariz., and try to avoid Tommy John surgery.

Greene, MLB Pipeline's No. 2-ranked Reds prospect, felt discomfort while throwing a bullpen session earlier this week before a team doctor diagnosed his injury. Krall hopes the right-hander will be healthy for next season.

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WASHINGTON -- Hunter Greene, the No. 2 selection in the 2017 MLB Draft, won't pitch the rest of the season with Class A Advanced Dayton due to an ulnar collateral ligament sprain in his right elbow. Reds general manager Nick Krall said Greene will strengthen his elbow at the Reds' Spring Training facility in Goodyear, Ariz., and try to avoid Tommy John surgery.

Greene, MLB Pipeline's No. 2-ranked Reds prospect, felt discomfort while throwing a bullpen session earlier this week before a team doctor diagnosed his injury. Krall hopes the right-hander will be healthy for next season.

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"The positive, if there is any such thing, is that if it happens now when he's 18, he'll still only be 19 and ready to go," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "You almost figure it's going to happen. It happens to so many of them that I'm not in the least bit surprised."

Video: Top Prospects: Hunter Greene, RHP, Reds

Michael Lorenzen and Anthony DeSclafani dealt with similar injuries as Greene in 2016 and '17, respectively, and recovered without surgery.

Nick Senzel, who's rated the top Reds prospect by MLB Pipeline, is also out for the rest of this season with a torn tendon in his right index finger.

Greene was 3-7 with a 4.48 ERA, 89 strikeouts and 23 walks in 18 starts with Dayton this season. The Stevenson Ranch, Calif., native threw 19 pitches over 100 mph in 1 1/3 innings during the All-Star Futures Game on July 15.

Mahle optioned after start
After another poor performance Thursday against the Nationals, Tyler Mahle was optioned to Louisville, cutting the Reds' rotation to five pitchers. Cincinnati recalled Jesus Reyes from Louisville to add an eighth bullpen arm.

Mahle allowed six runs over 1 2/3 innings Thursday, marking the third time in his past four starts the right-hander didn't pitch past the third inning. Mahle has allowed 20 earned runs in 10 2/3 innings over his past four starts. In six June starts, Mahle was 3-0 with a 2.18 ERA.

Riggleman said Mahle is working with his mechanics, and the 23-year-old will have more leeway to do so in Louisville. Riggleman believes Mahle's Minor League stint will be short.

The Reds had been using a six-man rotation since July 22.

"He's an outstanding young pitcher who hit a rut like many do," Riggleman said. "Even position players, guys will come up and they just struggle. They go back, and when they come back to the big leagues, they're fine. I think that's what we're going to find with Tyler."

Reyes hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues but will add bullpen depth after Keury Mella threw 4 1/3 innings Thursday, the longest outing for a Reds reliever this season. Reyes has recorded a 3.86 ERA with 57 strikeouts and 27 walks in 31 games between Louisville and Double-A Pensacola this season. Reyes spent a day with the Reds in May but didn't enter the game.

"I feel proud, and I feel happy the Reds gave me another opportunity to be here," Reyes said through a translator.

Schebler back with club but not activated
Scott Schebler's 20-day rehab limit ended Friday as he returned from his rehab assignment with Louisville. The 27-year-old will work on his throwing program in Cincinnati and possibly rehab again before returning to the Major Leagues.

Schebler landed on the disabled list July 18 with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder.

Video: CIN@STL: Schebler gets injured on a catch at the wall

Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington.

Cincinnati Reds, Tyler Mahle, Jesus Reyes, Scott Schebler

Senzel, Greene rep Reds on new prospect lists

MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- The annual midseason recalibration of Major League Baseball's top 100 prospects has been completed by MLB Pipeline, and the Reds are well represented among the elite young talent in the game.

Only the Reds can claim three players among the top 20 -- Nick Senzel, Hunter Greene and Taylor Trammell -- and they have four players in the top 100.

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CINCINNATI -- The annual midseason recalibration of Major League Baseball's top 100 prospects has been completed by MLB Pipeline, and the Reds are well represented among the elite young talent in the game.

Only the Reds can claim three players among the top 20 -- Nick Senzel, Hunter Greene and Taylor Trammell -- and they have four players in the top 100.

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Senzel, an infielder with Triple-A Louisville, remains the No. 1 prospect in the organization and No. 4 overall despite the fact that he will miss the rest of the season with a right index finger injury that required surgery.

Video: Senzel discusses his season-ending thumb injury

Greene, the right-handed pitcher who just threw a 102-mph fastball on Thursday for Class A Dayton, remains at No. 2 in the organization and No. 18 overall. Greene's teammate in the Sirius-XM All-Star Futures Game, and that contest's MVP, was Trammell, who is the No. 3 prospect for the Reds and No. 19 overall.

Entering the Reds' list of top 30 prospects this week are four players taken in the 2018 MLB Draft. Third baseman Jonathan India is ranked at No. 4 and outfielder Mike Siani at No. 10. India was the fifth overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, and was just promoted from Rookie-level Greeneville to Billings this week. Siani was a fourth-round selection. Pitcher Lyon Richardson, taken in the second round, is ranked 20th and Competitive Balance Round B pick, pitcher Josiah Gray is No. 21.

Video: Top Prospects: Jonathan India, 3B, Reds

Peralta, Mella called up

In need of bullpen help after their relievers pitched eight innings following starter Tyler Mahle in Thursday's loss to the Phillies, the Reds recalled lefty Wandy Peralta and right-hander Keury Mella from Triple-A Louisville on Friday.

To make room on the roster, reliever Austin Brice was optioned to Louisville. Lefty reliever Kyle Crockett was designated for assignment.

"The changes we made aren't really as much based on anybody's pitching performances, as much as how much they've had to pitch," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "A couple of guys threw a lot of pitches, so we need to get some guys here who can give us some innings if we get into a similar situation, either tonight or tomorrow night."

Peralta posted a 6.14 ERA in 37 appearances for the Reds this season before he was optioned to Louisville on June 21. In 13 relief appearances at Triple-A, he had a 3.14 ERA with 13 hits, seven walks and 10 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings. However, his last four appearances, totaling five innings, were perfect.

"Initially when he went down, he didn't seem to be making progress there for a little while," Riggleman said. "In his last couple of weeks, they have been very promising. We're hoping that's what he brings here."

Mella was Louisville's scheduled starter on Friday, but will be available for long relief for Cincinnati. He was a September callup last season and made two relief appearances with a 6.75 ERA over four innings.

The organization's No. 12 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, Mella was 9-4 with a 3.09 ERA in 19 starts for Louisville and Double-A Pensacola this season. He was promoted to Louisville earlier this month.

"He's another young guy who has got a big arm. He's been down there refining his pitches, made a lot of progress this year," Riggleman said. "Just a quality young starter that may have to make his way here initially in the bullpen. Hopefully, he can come here and show he's here to stay."

Votto accepts Lou Gehrig Award

During pregame ceremonies, Joey Votto accepted the 2017 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, sponsored by the Phi Delta Theta international fraternity. Headquartered in Oxford, Ohio, at Miami University, Phi Delta Theta presents the award annually to a Major League Baseball player who best exemplifies the giving character of Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig, who was a member of the fraternity at Columbia University.

"He's someone who playing the same position, just from a professional standpoint, I have a deep admiration for him," said Votto, who was named the award winner in April. "I've read about him and looked at his career. I did my very best to do some research on him as a player and as a person.

"For him to have the grace to handle it, such an intimidating disease [ALS], I couldn't imagine what it would be like to lose your life by something that people had almost never heard of [at the time]. It in all likelihood it would be completely terrifying. That, to me, is another amazing, amazing thing that he withstood."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds

Reds recall Peralta, Mella to boost bullpen

Brice optioned to Triple-A; Crockett designated for assignment
MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- In need of bullpen help after their relievers pitched eight innings in Thursday's loss to the Phillies, the Reds recalled lefty Wandy Peralta and right-hander Keury Mella from Triple-A Louisville on Friday.

To make room on the roster, reliever Austin Brice was optioned to Louisville. Lefty reliever Kyle Crockett was designated for assignment.

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