The Reds made some roster moves today, with Mark Sheldon of MLB.com relaying them on Twitter. Right-hander Justin Dunn, who was sick yesterday, has been placed on the injured list without a designation, implying he is on the COVID-related injured list. Right-hander Raynel Espinal has been called up from Triple-A to take his place on the roster. Additionally, outfielder Albert Almora Jr., who was designated for assignment last week, has been released.
Espinal, 30, has MLB experience, though his résumé is quite short. He made one appearance for the Red Sox last year, throwing two innings, his only appearance in the big leagues so far. As he was a COVID substitute player, he was removed from Boston’s roster without being exposed to waivers, reaching free agency at season’s end. He signed a minor league deal with the Giants but went to the Cubs in the Dixon Machado trade. Espinal was released a couple of weeks later, landing with the Reds on a minors deal.
Between the three organizations, he’s thrown 102 1/3 Triple-A innings on the year over 25 appearances, 21 starts. He has a 5.63 ERA in that time, though with a strong 27.2% strikeout rate. It’s possible that he might be designated a COVID substitute again, just like with Boston last year. If that is indeed the case, he would be able to be removed from the roster without being exposed to waivers.