The Reds announced on Thursday that right-hander J.J. Hoover has cleared waivers and been sent outright to Triple-A Louisville. That represents a disappointing end to his work this year in Cincinnati, though a late-year return remains possible.
Entering the year, Hoover was positioned as the Reds’ closer after winning his arbitration hearing in his first year of eligibility. That didn’t last long, though, as he blew his first save opportunity and only ended up converting one on the season.
Hoover ended up being optioned in early May after posting disastrous results in the early going. He showed better immediately upon his return, but coughed up five earned runs in consecutive outings before going out on optional assignment once again. A significant decline in average fastball velocity certainly hasn’t helped. Hoover sits with a 13.50 ERA over 18 2/3 frames at the major league level in 2016, with opponents hitting a ridiculous .345/.433/.750 against him.
Ultimately, Cincinnati decided it couldn’t dedicate a 40-man roster spot to the veteran and decided on today’s outright. As things stand, he looks to be a non-tender candidate in the fall. That being said, Hoover ought to receive attention as a bounce-back candidate. Entering the year, he owned a 3.34 ERA over 223 2/3 major league innings with 9.1 K/9 against 4.1 BB/9, and he has been better this season when pitching at the Triple-A level.