The Cincinnati Reds optioned Josh VanMeter back to Triple-A Louisville over the All-Star break on Wednesday.The team however, didn’t announce what move was going to be made to replace him on the 25-man roster at the time, instead saying they would do so on Friday. Well, it’s Friday and that move is that they are adding left-handed reliever Wandy Peralta. He’s coming back from the injured list.
It’s been nearly a month since Wandy Peralta last pitched for the Reds. He struggled against the Texas Rangers on June 14th, allowing 3 runs in 0.2 innings on 2 hits, 2 walks, and a homer. The next day he was placed on the injured list. He was then sent to Louisville for a rehab assignment in early July. The lefty only pitched in one game, though. On July 7th he threw a perfect inning with 11 pitches and 7 strikes. He struck out one batter along the way. The Triple-A All-Star break coincided with the Major League All-Star break, so there weren’t many games to get him into. But it’s surprising that he didn’t go to Chattanooga to get some work in beyond one game on his rehab.
The Reds will now have a left-handed reliever back in their bullpen. But Wandy Peralta isn’t exactly a lefty specialist. Like-handed hitters are hitting .256/.300/.488 against him this season. In 2018 they hit .298/.392/.417 against him. This season his strikeout rate against lefties is significantly higher, though. Last year he managed just 13 strikeouts (and 11 walks) against them in 97 plate appearances. This year he’s walked just 3 lefties and struck out 11 in 50 plate appearances.
The bullpen is back to eight pitchers with the addition of Peralta. Amir Garrett is eligible to come off of the injured list over the weekend, so the bullpen may see some more changes if he’s ready. For now, though, Wandy Peralta will be the only lefty in the bullpen for the Reds in their opener tonight against the Colorado Rockies.