The Cincinnati Reds have called up right-handed pitcher Sal Romano from Triple-A Louisville. He’ll be taking the place of right-handed pitcher David Hernandez on the roster, who was designated for assignment.

Whether it was health related – he was recently on the injured list for a shoulder fatigue issue – or mechanical – he had cited he noticed some things on video – David Hernandez simply was struggling to get outs for most of the season. Over the last five weeks he’s made 12 appearances and allowed 23 hits, 22 earned runs, 5 home runs, walked 9 batters, and struck out 9 batters in just 8.0 innings pitched. Last night culminated things as he allowed 5 runs to the Cubs in just 1.2 innings pitched.

For now it would seem that the Reds will be replacing him in the bullpen with Sal Romano. For the 25-year-old right-handed pitcher he’ll be looking to keep going with what he’s been doing in Triple-A over the last six weeks since moving into the rotation. Dating back to June 26th he’s thrown 24.0 innings for Louisville, allowed 5 runs (1.88 ERA), walked 5 batters, and he’s struck out 32 of the 71 batters he’s faced. Mixed in there was a 1-game appearance with the Reds against the Brewers where he allowed a run in 3.0 innings of relief that resulted in his first career save in the Majors.

The Reds couldn’t send David Hernandez to the minor leagues because of his big league service time. The only option to take him off of the roster was to designated him for assignment, which also removes him from the 40-man roster. That does open up a spot for the Reds if they do want to make a move to add someone this season. Just me, the author here, talking out loud – but don’t be surprised if that spot eventually goes to a guy like Joel Kuhnel. He’s a big right-handed reliever who has dominated in Double-A and Triple-A this season. He’s the organizations top relief prospect, and he’s about as ready as you’ll get.

26 Responses


    Finally! It’s a move that’s about 5 weeks, 8 innings and 22 earned runs too late!

  2. RojoBenjy

    I think DH is a class individual and I wish him well. I’m glad for the sake of the Reds trying to win, that they didn’t let emotion get in the way of doing what was best for the team.

    In my opinion, though, they waited one appearance too many to make the move. But at least they made it.

    • Klugo

      I agree wholeheartedly with this. I hate to see it because DHernandez was one of my favorite Reds. He’s a true pro who is always prepared and never whined, complained or made excuses. But it became painfully obvious that this was a move that had to be made. The organization tried as long as they possibly could.
      Sal is ready.

    • RedsMonk65

      Agree with what’s said above. Good guy, and I wish him well. But it was past time to do this, and best for the team. Hope Sal makes the most of it.

      Now, the Reds need to make some decisions regarding their SS situation ….

  3. burtgummer

    As bad as Romano is he’s still better than Hernandez

      • burtgummer

        ERA almost 5 in the majors and well over 4 in the minors yeah thats pretty bad but again better than Hernandez

      • CI3J

        He has improved a lot, though, as this post also states. He’s 25 years old, so it’s a little early to attach a label to him just yet.

    • burtgummer

      I’m not insulting the guy I have zero issues with him being brought up (especially knowing Hernandez is gone) but there were better options

  4. Centerfield

    DH seemed to be a class act, but unfortunately his skill has eroded. Jared Hughes, a terrific human being by most accounts, should be next – maybe when a LHP is ready to be promoted. Aquino reminds me of Jay Bruce’s hot start with the Reds. Let’s hope he is a more consistent hitter. If Jose Peraza is in the starting lineup tonight, I’m going to some church festival. Last night was about as brutal as I have ever seen. Errors, metal errors, lack of fundamentals. Just send him to the minors to improve.

      • RojoBenjy

        At least he’s starting at SS and Van Meter gets to play 2B. I’d be ok with that. It’s the taking at bats away from Josh that sticks in my craw.

      • RedsMonk65

        Yes, sorry to say, he is in the starting lineup. He needs to work on things at AAA. Bring up Blandino.

    • Big Ed

      I’d suggest finding a Catholic festival of some sort, because you would at least have a chance to get a beer.

    • LWblogger2

      Man Bruce was overrated by some fans and drastically underrated by others. I think if Aquino hits like Jay Bruce, streaky or not, the Reds management team would be ecstatic. I know I would be because as fun as this has been, I’m doubtful that he’s an All Star MLB starter.

      • Pete

        LW as a former player, you may appreciate these numbers from Statcast, xBA and xSLG by pitch type, these are expected batting average and slugging percentage based on exit velocity and launch angle of batted balls:

        Fastballs: .301 & .861
        Breaking Balls: .377 & .437
        Offspeed Pitches: .571 & .911

        SSS but this is a sign of a well rounded hitter. You were a catcher, what pitches do you call for behind the plate?

  5. Scott C

    Feel bad for Hernandez, but glad that the Reds made this move. As I have watched him struggle, I too think it was a little late coming but I still have to give kudos to Reds FO and management. They gave him every opportunity to get it right and he couldn’t do. The right mixture of loyalty to the individual and to the organization.


    Sad but inevitable. Hope he finds new life next season.

  7. JB

    Wish David Hernandez best of luck (Class Act ) , I hope he can physically get to where his career is not over. The blame for Hernandez falls on David Bell , earlier this year he pitched three days in a row and Bell had him warming up on the fourth day . Jared Hughes ( Class Act also ) has also been misused this year, sinker ball pitcher getting used about once a week. The Bullpen is a great example of the rookie manager having some growing pains . I hope David Bell can learn from these mistakes.

  8. Curt

    Fortunately, the FO seems to be finding the courage to make bold, decisive moves which ultimately force’s Bell’s hand. You can’t keep using under-achievers when they’re no longer around. Forward Redlegs….

    • Roger Garrett

      Well said Curt but it is sad we have to keep proving guys can’t over and over.At this point in the season it should be evaluation time only.The Reds will win some and maybe more then we think but if we know already about a player and his status for next year then he should not play more then a player we need to see.All of us can guess who will return or who is under contract and even some that will be offered a contract.Hernandez along with others we can name will not be back so why are they playing?The 25 man roster should only have guys we know will be here or are evaluating period.The Reds are slowly getting there but there are others that need to go or there playing time reduced to look at some young guys.Nothing wrong for Suarez or Joey to set more then usual to let these young guys play.Senzel will be here next year but he appears tired.Give him a couple and see what Ervin can do against righties or what Winker and JVM do against lefties.I love the way we are headed we just need to speed up and continue with the process.

      • Curt

        Right there with ya Roger. Beginning to see a bigger picture, now let’s color it in!