Louisville Comes Back for Win

After a year of superb relief the Cincinnati bullpen came into this season with unusual depth. That and a limited number of spots ensured that a good pitcher would not be on the opening day roster and many were surprised when said pitcher turned out to be Jose Arredondo. He cleared waivers and started at Louisville after posting a sub-three ERA in 2012.

Louisville came back from two-run deficits twice in their home game against Lehigh Valley to pick up a 9-5 win. They crossed the plate early with a three run rally in the first inning that included three walks, a couple of singles, and a hit batsman. In the sixth inning they regained the lead from a grand slam by Kristopher Negron. Felix Perez added on the next inning with a two-run double to cap off the Bats' scoring. Perez reached safely three times with a couple of hits and a walk while Denis Phipps and Negron stroked two hits each. Josh Fellhauer and Neftali Soto both reached via a walk and single and combined for five runs.

On the mound starter Chad Reineke got no decision after he was lifted in the fifth inning and charged with five runs. Jose Arredondo entered in the sixth and picked up the win by retiring all nine batters he faced including five strikeouts. Jose Diaz threw a scoreless ninth and still has a zero ERA after six appearances.

When Cincinnati announced their opening day roster many were surprised that Arredondo was not on it. He'd been a workhorse out of the Reds pen since coming back from Tommy John surgery that robbed him of his 2010 season. In 2011 manager Dusty Baker didn't trust him often with leads and he finished with a 3.23 ERA in 53 games between mid-May until the end of the season. Preseason injuries in the bullpen last year pushed him into a more prominent role and he responded with a sub-three ernie over 66 games. Competition from a surplus of right-handed relievers this spring sent Arredondo to Louisville to start the season.

His performance Tuesday brought his ERA down to 3.60 this season. The 29 year-old right-hander has shown he can get MLB batters out both before and after his surgery which is why it's even more surprising that he cleared waivers for the assignment given that his contract only calls for $1.2 million this season. He's already missed one call to the minors for a reliever when Logan Ondrusek returned to the Reds after starting his season at AA Pensacola to replace Sean Marshall. Recently Marshall came off the DL to replace injured Manny Parra.

One problem with calling up Arredondo now is that it will require a spot on the 40-man roster where the Reds currently have no openings. Since the beginning of the season they moved Ryan Ludwick and Nick Masset to the 60-day DL to make room for Derrick Robinson and Corky Miller who are replacements for injuries. For Arredondo to get one now it would be at the expense of someone else. Perhaps Miller would be a candidate when Ryan Hanigan is ready to return to action, but then again every team typically needs some action from a third catcher during the season and the Reds would probably want him available again after roster expansion if not sooner. During the offseason they signed MLB veteran Miguel Olivo to possibly take the place of departed Dioner Navarro, but he was released before opening day and is now playing with the Marlins.

Meanwhile Arredondo is keeping in shape at Louisville. The pitcher that likely took his place was J.J. Hoover who had an impressive spring after a strong rookie season. Hoover hit some bumps in the road to start the season and was touched up for runs in three of his first six games with each one pinning a loss on his record. Since then he's made six scoreless appearances and is now throwing more like the Reds expected when they gave him the opening day spot. Alfredo Simon has given up runs in six of eleven outings after coming off an impressive 2012, but there's typically not as much urgency to make a roster move for the pen's long-man. It seems like a waste since it wasn't long ago that Cincinnati bullpens of the past could have used someone with Arredondo's ability. Now they have several spots on the 40-man occupied by young Rule 5 protections. Perhaps they could risk one of them if Arredondo's services are needed later this season. For a reliever with a track record like his one would think he would find a way to get back into MLB action one way or another.

Other Organizational News:

One day after the Reds won their opener in St. Louis the Cardinals returned the favor in the second game by beating the Reds with the same score of 2-1. Bronson Arroyo got the start and didn't allow a run until a two-run homer by Matt Holiday in the sixth, which was enough to pin the loss on him after allowing six hits and a walk in seven innings. Sam LeCure relieved him with one scoreless inning. Brandon Phillips had two of the Reds seven hits on the night.

Pensacola had a day off and will return home to host a five-game series against Montgomery.

Bakersfield came back from a four-run deficit after one inning to get an 8-5 win at San Jose. Juan Perez did his job as a leadoff hitter again, reaching safely with two hits and two walks. Dominic D'Anna had two hits including a three-run double that gave the Blaze the lead in the seventh. Chris Berset also had two hits and drove in three while Juan Silverio hit a solo homer in the sixth. On the mound starter Jacob Johnson allowed five runs in six innings which was good enough to get the win. Carlos Gonzalez and Brian Pearl combined for three scoreless innings of relief with Pearl getting the save.

Dayton was shut out at home in a 4-0 loss to Burlington. The Dragon offense was held to two hits and two walks in the contest. Sal Romano got the start and was lifted after one scoreless inning when he was hit on the leg by a ground ball. Wandy Peralta allowed all four runs (three earned) in five innings for the loss. Alejandro Chacin did not allow a hit or walk in the final three innings to lower his ERA to 2.25.