The Reds were already dealing with a number of significant injuries to their pitching staff this year and that problem has been compounded as COVID-19 has spread around the staff. Each of Hunter Greene, Ben Lively, Brandon Williamson and Fernando Cruz landed on the COVID-related IL in recent days, while pitchers like Nick Lodolo, Justin Dunn and many others were already out of action due to more typical injuries.
That’s led to the club churning pitchers through their roster on an almost daily basis as they try to scramble to cover for those absences. Mariot, 34, was just selected to the roster yesterday and tossed 2 2/3 innings, allowing just one earned run. He was one of seven pitchers the club used as they managed to turn a bullpen day into a 6-3 victory over the Mariners. But as the club continues to require fresh arms, he’s unfortunately been nudged off the roster.
That was Mariot’s first appearance in the big leagues since 2016. He spent most of the intervening time on minor league deals but also spent some time in the Mexican League and Chinese Professional Baseball in Taiwan. He started this year with the Cleburne Railroaders of the independent American Association of Professional Baseball, with a 5.06 ERA for that club but with 29 strikeouts and just five walks in 26 2/3 innings.
That performance got him a minor league deal with the Reds and he threw 37 2/3 Triple-A innings over nine appearances with a 6.93 ERA and 14.3% strikeout rate. He was selected to the roster earlier this year but was designated for assignment without getting into a game. He cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment, which led to yesterday’s return to a big league mound for the first time in seven years. He’ll be placed on waivers again in the coming days.
His roster spot will go to Herget. The 32-year-old signed a minor league deal with the Reds in the offseason and was selected in early April. He served as an up-and-down reliever for the first half of the season, posting a 5.73 ERA in 22 big league innings. He was designated for assignment in June before clearing waivers and accepting an outright assignment. He has an ERA of 5.01 at Triple-A on the whole this year, but has been better since losing his roster spot. He has a 2.51 ERA over his last 28 2/3 innings, with a 25.7% strikeout rate and 7.3% walk rate in that time. He still has a full slate of options and less than a year of service time, meaning the Reds could potentially use him as a depth option for the foreseeable future.