The Reds announced Friday that they’ve selected the contract of veteran right-hander Heath Hembree from their alternate training site and recalled righty Ryan Hendrix for his big league debut. Infielder Max Schrock and southpaw Cionel Perez were optioned in a pair of corresponding moves (Schrock to the alternate site and Perez to the taxi squad).
Hembree, 32, has spent the vast majority of his career with the Red Sox, for whom he pitched from 2014-20. In parts of seven seasons with Boston, the righty pitched to a 3.70 ERA with a 24.2 percent strikeout rate and an 8.6 percent walk rate. The Red Sox traded him and former teammate Brandon Workman to the Phillies prior to the 2020 trade deadline as part of the deal that sent Nick Pivetta to Boston. Hembree’s time in Philadelphia didn’t go well, however, as was the case for just about every Phillies reliever in 2020. In 9 1/3 innings, he was clobbered for 13 runs on the strength of an alarming seven homers.
That ugly showing notwithstanding, Hembree has a solid track record in the big leagues and enjoyed better results in Spring Training, when he allowed just one run in 7 2/3 frames. The six walks he issued in that time were still an eyesore, but while his control has never been elite, Hembree’s career walk rate has hovered around the league average.
As for the 26-year-old Hendrix, he was Cincinnati’s fifth-round pick back in 2016 and ranked among the organization’s top 30 prospects from 2018-20, per Baseball America. He’s yet to pitch in Triple-A thanks to last year’s lack of a minor league season, but Hendrix has had success at each minor league stop he’s made. Through 172 2/3 frames in the minors, he’s logged a combined 2.55 ERA with an excellent 32.2 percent strikeout rate against a fairly bloated 10.5 percent walk rate. Scouting reports at BA and FanGraphs credit him with a mid-90s heater and a plus slider.
Nick Pavetta had a no-no going until he lost his control. You could see the wheels coming off. But otherwise, he’s been pretty good.
Guys like Pivetta are an underestimated commodity. I don’t think he will ever be better than average, leads the league in walks, but he will put the RS in a position to win better than half his starts. For minimum wage, and a #4/5 slot, that’s all we can ask for.
I lost count of how many times Pivetta (as a Phillie) would look untouchable for four or five innings. Then like clockwork, he’d start the 5th or 6th inning with a bloop single, a full count walk, several extra base hits, then all four wheels would come off and he’d sulk off to the dugout after 100 pitches.
If he never figures it out, the Boston fans will experience the same frustration.
Actually, if Cora is watching, he’ll be pulled most starts by the end of the 5th inning. Better than an opener where the starter goes 2 or 3 innings.
If Cora wants to win when Pivetta’s starts, he’d be wise to make it the end of the 4th…
I remember a game where Mel Stottlemyre retired the first 18 batters. The seventh inning? Walk, single, home run. Perfect game, no hitter, shutout, all three gone in three batters. I felt bad for the guy, he lived about a quarter mile from my house, his two boys rode their bikes past our house all the time.
But yes, I hope Pivetta does figure it out. He’ll never be Mel Stottlemyre, but maybe still be pretty good.
Ha ! Good luck reds fans !
Hendrix just needs Experience.And to avoid that Purple Haze.
vincent k. mcmahon
I see what you did there.
I’m glad you did… if you hadn’t gotten the joke, it would have given me Manic Depression
It’s a shame the Phillies couldn’t get Pivetta working. Fenway isn’t a great for pitchers either, he really seems to doing well so far there.
*isn’t a great place
*to be doing well
it wolnt last. ERA indicators are already frightening.
Fenway since they renovated it is probably in the middle third of parks to pitch in. Right field juts out and the triangle is deep.
Lodolo is the answer. Bring him up in relief and let him earn his way into the closer role. He’s already better than Doolittle or even Garrett for that matter. If you are going to compete – have to have solid pitching late in games !
Then bring up hunter greene too if he’s ready
Why in god’s name would you waste Lodolo in the closers spot? Rotation or high leverage multi-inning roles only
So he earns his spot on this years team. Let him start down the road and still fill a need for this season
Glad to say goodbye to Cionel Perez. He’s got a live arm, but he has no idea where the ball is going when it leaves his hand.
Seems he’s not the only one in that pen with command issues!!
Perez will be back up, kid has talent.
It’s amazing just how badly that turned out for Philly. Hembree was never better than average, but pretty consistent. Workman could be effectively wild at times, but still had a 2.67 from 2014-2020 with the RS. I’d have made the same trade if I were Philly, but it’s incredible just how badly that turned out.
I remember when Hembree was on the Giants, rookie year was a tiny sample size but he had 12ks in 7in. I thought nice we possibly have another bullpen arm, then we traded him for Peavy. Turned out to be a good trade for both as Hembree had good numbers with Bos for 6 yrs and Peavy pitched well for SF and got himself a ring!
How about Alan Embree next?
Hendrixooked really good tonight in his debut…well done young man!
One of the best trades Chaim Bloom has made so far for Boston. Not only did they get Pivetta, they also received Connor Seabold who has been wowing coaches down at the alternate site. His fastball is hitting 97 and he’s close to being called up to the majors.
Maybe the Red Sox can DL Garrett Richards before Tuesday’s start and call up Seabold. (Wishful thinking as Seabold probably is not ready yet……)