Reds Sign Another Dominican Lefty

The success of the 2012 Reds who won 97 games limited Cincinnati to the second smallest bonus pool this season for signing international free agents. For the second year in a row their biggest signee will be a left-handed pitcher because they used $600,000 of their pool to sign 19 year-old Luis Tejada.

The bonus pools for singing international players are determined based upon the success of the parent team in the prior season, so that meant that Cincinnati and Washington had the smallest budgets to use without subjecting themselves to serious penalties for going over. The Reds made the most use of theirs by inking nineteen year-old southpaw Luis Tejada with a $600,000 deal.

Tejada is a bit old for a Dominican signing, but this is not his first one. The Braves signed him to a deal originally that was voided when discovered he'd falsified his age. This situation was similar to the one where the Reds added outfielder Felix Perez to their system. He'd had a more lucrative contract with the Yankees cancelled for age falsification and had to settle for less after serving a one-year suspension.

Unlike Perez, Tejada will actually make out better financially because after losing his $125,000 deal with Atlanta the velocity on his fastball jumped during his suspension and it now touches mid-90's. He also offers a curve/slider breaking pitch and has just started developing a change-up. The book on him right now is suspect control-same as most any other teenage pitching prospect, and his improvement upon that will likely determine if he's looking at a future in the rotation or bullpen.

Tejada has been working with a couple of trainers who were previously used by lefty Jacob Constante, who signed with the Reds this past January for $730,000. Thus far he's had a solid season in the Dominican League and has a mid-two ERA after seven appearances. He's a little bigger than Tejada who stands at 6'2"/190#.

After a year's suspension he's probably ready to go to work and that will most likely begin with one of the Reds Dominican affiliates. The short seasons end in late August and that would give him time for a handful of starts assuming the Reds want to try him initially in the rotation. Two of the top arms in the Cincinnati organization are Caribbean signees Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman. Daniel Corcino is behind them as one of the top prospects in the organization. Constante has gotten off to a good start and perhaps he and Tejada will be joining that list in the future.

Other Organizational News:

The Reds cruised to a third easy victory in their series at San Francisco by winning 8-3 over the Giants Wednesday. Mike Leake allowed twelve hits in six innings, but most of them were singles and they were scattered enough to limit the Giants to one run, giving him the win which improved his record to 10-4/2.73. Sam LeCure was greeted by a bases-loaded no-out situation when he entered in the seventh and he ended the threat without anyone crossing the plate. Jay Bruce, Devin Mesoraco, Joey Votto, and Brandon Phillips each had two of the thirteen Reds hits. Bruce also had a walk and an RBI while the other three drove in two runs apiece.

Louisville lost the lead when they allowed a run in the eighth and then the game when another one crossed in the ninth in their 3-2 defeat at Syracuse. Seven Bats hitters finished with one hit each including Billy Hamilton and Mike Hessman who both drove in one of their team's RBI. Chad Rogers got no decision from a splendid start, tossing six shutout innings and allowing six hits/one walk while striking out four. Pedro Villarreal entered in the eight and gave up two runs before the game ended for the loss.

Pensacola scored first with two runs in the second inning and cruised to a 5-2 win at Mississippi. Mike Costanzo and Travis Mattair both had three hits and combined for three RBI while Ryan LaMarre added two hits and drove in one. Tucker Barnhart reached safely from a hit plus two walks and scored twice. Daniel Renken got the win from a sparkling outing, allowing only two hits/two walks over six shutout innings while striking out four.

Bakersfield took a four-run lead in the first inning and never looked back as they won 11-2 at Modesto. Kyle Waldrop finished with three hits including a solo homer to cap off the Blaze scoring in the ninth. Juans Arias, Silva, and Duran added two hits apiece, as did Steve Selsky and Ryan Wright. Robert Stephenson got his first AA win by allowing only one run on six hits in six-plus innings while striking out six without a walk.

Dayton was burned for seven runs in the fifth inning in their 7-1 loss at Lansing. Dragon hitters were limited to six hits including a solo homer by Jeff Gelalich. Ismael Guillon started with four scoreless innings and struck out seven, but he couldn't get out of the fifth and was charged with all seven runs for the loss. Jesus Adames threw three-plus scoreless frames of relief.

Billings rallied for five in the eighth, but it was after they found themselves in a nine-run deficit and they lost 11-6 at Helena. Ty Washington, Avain Rachal and Jon Matthews led the Mustangs with three hits each and Washington improved his average to .337 on the season. Matthews added a solo home run in their eighth-inning rally which also included a three-run homer by Jhimmy Lopez. Johnathan Reynoso and Phil Ervin added two hits apiece. Luke Moran took the loss for allowing five runs (four earned) while pitching the first five innings.

The AZL Reds tied their game in the top of the eighth, but allowed the game-winner in the bottom of the inning and lost 6-5 to the AZL Athletics. Kevin Franklin had three hits including his first professional home run. Dalton Carter added two hits, one of which was a solo homer in the fourth. Starter Junior Morillo got no decision from allowing three runs in four innings pitched. Kevin Arico was victimized by an unearned run which cost him the loss.

The DSL Reds were idle and will play the DSL Orioles1 on Thursday.

The DSL Rojos tied their game in the bottom of the ninth only to lose to the DSL Yankees1 by a score of 5-4 after fourteen innings. Four Rojo batters finished with two hits: Luis Gonzalez, Daniel Jimenez, Anthony Rubicondo, and Jose Raga. Israel Cuevas got no decision from allowing two runs over the first four innings. Franklin Montilla tossed three innings of relief including the final one in which he allowed a run for the loss.

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