The Reds placed right-hander Fernando Cruz on the 15-day injured list due to a right shoulder strain, with a retroactive placement date of April 29. Graham Ashcraft was reinstated from the bereavement list and will take Cruz’s spot on the active roster.
Cruz allowed two runs in an inning of work on Friday, which was his first appearance since he tossed 1 2/3 innings (allowing one run) against the Pirates on April 23. As Cruz told MLB.com and other media, his shoulder began to bother him following the Pittsburgh game, and even after a few days off, the discomfort returned after his outing on Friday. An IL stint will hopefully correct the issue, as manager David Bell said the team’s training staff believes the strain is minor.
It’s been a tough stretch overall for Cruz, who had a 2.84 ERA through his first 6 1/3 innings of the season but has since allowed at least one run in each of his last five appearances (for a 9.82 ERA over 7 1/3 IP). While Cruz is missing plenty of bats with his 30.8% strikeout rate, he also has an unimpressive 12.3% walk rate.
The 33-year-old is in his second MLB season, after making his debut with 14 games for Cincinnati in 2022. Originally a sixth-round pick for the Royals back in the 2007 draft, Cruz’s long journey to the big leagues included a move from infield work to pitching, and stints in the Mexican League and independent ball before he finally broke in with the Reds last year.
Antone, Santillan, Dunn, Gutierrez, now Cruz. Reds usually have at least half of their bullpen on the IL.
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