Yesterday the news broke that the Cincinnati Reds claimed right-handed pitcher Kevin Gasuman off of waivers from the Atlanta Braves. The Reds didn’t have to immediately make a 25-man roster move because Gausman had not yet reported to the team. But he’s in Cincinnati today and that means it’s time to make some roster moves. In order to clear the spot on the 25-man roster, the Reds optioned left-handed reliever Wandy Peralta to Triple-A Louisville.

For Kevin Gausman, he’ll be joining the bullpen for the Reds. He pitched out of the rotation in Atlanta, but there’s no room for him in Cincinnati’s starting five. He’ll look to work with pitching coach Derek Johnson and find some improvements in his new role with the team.

With Wandy Peralta, he’s currently sitting with an ERA of 5.06 on the season. He’s thrown 32.0 innings across 37 games, allowed seven home runs, walked 14 batters, and he’s struck out 26 batters. His walk rate is higher than you’d like it to be. His strikeout rate is lower than you want it to be. And his home run rate is a lot higher than you’d like for it to be.

The left-handed Peralta has improved some over where he was in 2018. Last season he had as many walks as strikeouts. The walks have come down significantly, but still could use some improvement. And his strikeout rate is up, but still much lower than even an average relievers. Heading back to Louisville to work on improving in these areas would seem to be a good place to focus.

This set of moves does leave Amir Garrett as the only left-handed pitcher in the bullpen for the Reds. And he’s going to serve his suspension soon enough. He’s appealing now, but even if he does win his appeal, it’ll just be a reduction in the number of games he has to miss. With that said, Peralta doesn’t really do much against left-handed hitters. This season they are hitting him better than righties are.

With Amir Garrett still active, this may not be an immediate issue. But where the Reds will turn against strong left-handed hitters when he’s serving his suspension will be interesting to see. The team recently picked up Tim Collins on a minor league contract. The lefty is in Triple-A, but he’s not on the 40-man roster and would needed to be added if that’s the kind of move they chose to make. Between Triple-A and the Majors this season he’s held lefties to a .157/.254/.314 line with 7 walks and 15 strikeouts in 59 plate appearances.

Another option, though less traditional, if they are going to bring up someone not on the 40-man roster, would be Joel Kuhnel. He’s a big right-hander, listed at 6′ 5″ and 260 lbs. He’s dominated in both Double-A and Triple-A this season, posting a 2.10 ERA in 51.1 innings with 15 walks and 49 strikeouts. While he’s not a lefty, he’s dominated them this season. They are hitting .173/.233/.272 against him with 7 walks (3 are intentional) and 18 strikeouts in 90 plate appearances. And he’s a guy that should be viewed as a viable bullpen option moving forward, too. He’s throwing in the 95-98 MPH range, touching triple-digits, and has a very good secondary offering.

20 Responses

  1. FreeHouse

    Brandon Finnegan has been pitching well how about turning to him? Any word on his velocity?

    Reply
    • Doug Gray

      I’m working on something on Finnegan for later this week.

      Reply
    • jbonireland

      He isn’t on the 40 man I don’t believe, and he’s pitched well in 5 games since he came back from the IL. I’d rather have Collins added to the 40man. Notice the starting lineup for tonight and again no Josh Van Meter in the lineup. Oh well for Josh getting his chance and he is going to play 2nd base.

      Reply
      • Roger Garrett

        Already got him unable to hit lefties after an OPS of over 1.000 at AAA against them.Reds have made great strides starting in the off season of moving forward to become a legit major league franchise.Just have some more to do it seems when it comes to evaluating their players as to what they can do or can’t.

      • greenmtred

        We’ve mostly given up on Peraza, but the Reds probably haven’t. They might be giving him an extended chance at second to make it or break it?

  2. CI3J

    Nice to see the Reds bullpen trimming the fat. If the Reds are going to sneak into the playoffs, they HAVE to improve the bullpen. Well, with these shrewd moves, I’d like to see this bullpen going forward:

    Iglesias
    Garrett
    Lorenzen
    Gausman
    Stephenson
    Hughes
    Collins
    Kuhnel

    I think Gausman is going to be very, very good in the bullpen. He’s already striking out a lot of people, hopefully in the bullpen he can throw even harder since he knows he doesn’t have to pace himself. His pitches profile more as a bullpen pitcher than starter anyway.

    I really want Sims to go back to AAA and keep working as a starter. Then if the Reds don’t resign Wood, he could be a viable option there (along with Mahle, of course).

    Either way, it’s time to get the best pitchers into the bullpen. Henandez and Peralta can take a hike.

    Reply
    • CI3J

      Oh, and Finnegan and Reed could also be options.

      The Reds’ pitching is suddenly looking solid. As long as the offense keeps on keeping on, they might yet go on that long-awaited run.

      Reply
      • JB

        I like it but Sims needs to stay in the bullpen this year. He is doing well and they need him. I do agree looking at him as a starter next year. I would cut Schebler and Stephens off the 40 man. They are no longer needed and taking up space.

      • Red Yoda

        I haven’t seen anything on Cody Reed in a while. Does anyone know how close he is to returning?

      • JB

        I would agree because they dont use him enough. His arm needs to be tired for his sinker to work and using him once a week isnt doung it. Last year they used him constantly and he did quite well. Quite honestly I would get him up in the bullpen every day and throw even if they dont use him.

      • ToBeDetermined

        JB

        Totally agree that the reason Hughes has not had a particularly good year is because he hasn’t been used enough.
        I really like your idea that he should constantly be getting up in the bullpen even if he is not used. I had never thought of that before.
        Way to think outside the box.

  3. Bill J

    Doug, I see according to Jim Call is of MLB.com the Reds minor league system is not in the top 15, do you know where they are ranked.

    Reply
    • Jefferson Green

      I recommend that you subscribe to Doug’s site: redsminorleagues.com

      It is how he makes a living, and it is very good.

      Reply
  4. Pete

    There is not a great place to put this today but it’s so interesting and revealing. Linked is a 2-minute interview with Reds assistant hitting instructor Donnie Ecker talking about his work with Aristides Aquino. It’s not the work he’s done with AA necessarily, I’m already impressed, but his philosophy on teaching hitting He speaks how it may have impacted Josh VanMeter as well and probably applies to guys like O’Grady, Crook and Tromp. Worth listening to and highly recommended. Reds are in a good place in many areas of their franchise. This team has a chance to be a force for many years to come.

    https://700wlw.iheart.com/featured/lance-mcalister/content/2019-08-06-reds-a-fascinating-listen-inside-swing-and-approach-of-aristides-aquino/

    https://700wlw.iheart.com/featured/lance-mcalister/content/2019-08-06-reds-a-fascinating-listen-inside-swing-and-approach-of-aristides-aquino/

    Reply
  5. RojoBenjy

    And now they’ve signed Boxberger to AAA. Getting some bulllpen horses. Finally starting to make some moves we can understand.

    Still don’t understand not playing VanMeter daily though.

    Reply
    • Tom Mitsoff

      They certainly are not standing pat, are they? Not sure Boxberger has anything left after two pretty poor seasons back to back. Maybe Derek Johnson will make a trip to Louisville during the off day and spend some time with Boxberger.

      Reply

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