Miller, whom the Blue Jays signed to a minor league contract last winter, had been at their alternate training site. The former Tiger, Rockie and National, 33, has recorded a 4.43 ERA/4.35 FIP with 9.15 K/9 and 3.11 BB/9 over 156 1/3 innings in the majors. He most recently tossed 15 2/3 frames as a Nat in 2019 and logged a 4.02 ERA (with a disastrous 7.11 FIP), posted 6.11 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9, and registered a career-worst 19.1 percent groundball rate.
The Reds have selected the contract of right-hander R.J. Alaniz, the team announced. Outfielder Nick Williams was designated for assignment to create a 40-man roster spot for Alaniz, while an active roster spot was opened when righty Jose De Leon was placed on the 10-day injured list due to a right groin strain.
Alaniz was claimed off the Mariners’ roster in May 2019 and hasn’t yet appeared in the big leagues this season. Alaniz made his MLB debut last year, posting a 9.19 ERA over 15 2/3 combined innings for Seattle and Cincinnati. An undrafted free agent who signed with the Astros back in 2009, Alaniz has a 4.26 ERA, 2.19 K/BB rate, and 7.3 K/9 over 712 career innings in the minors, pitching in the farm systems of five different organizations.
De Leon’s IL placement will likely end his season after six innings with the Reds and an 18.00 ERA. De Leon was frequently shuttled between the Reds’ active roster and the taxi squad this year, and while this could explain why the righty never found his rhythm, De Leon exhibited some ungainly control problems, with 11 walks over his six innings of work. Formerly a top prospect during his time in the Dodgers’ and Rays’ organizations, De Leon is still clearly trying to get himself sorted after the Tommy John surgery that sidelined him for all of the 2018 season.
Williams is also a former top prospect, and his appearance on the DFA wire could quite possibly lead to a change of scenery. Cincinnati claimed Williams from the Phillies exactly one month ago, though the outfielder hasn’t yet seen any Major League action in a Reds uniform. Despite a solid .269/.330/.446 slash line over 791 PA with the Phillies in 2017-18, Williams didn’t see much playing time last year and eventually became an expendable part in Philadelphia. It wouldn’t be surprising if a playoff contender tried to claim Williams in order to add outfield depth, or even a team looking ahead to 2021 could put in a claim to give Williams a look on their roster.
Reds right-hander Matt Bowman will undergo Tommy John surgery later this week, manager David Bell announced to reporters Monday afternoon (Twitter link via C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic). Given the timing of the procedure, he’ll likely miss the entirety of the 2021 season.
Bowman, 29, hasn’t pitched this season due to an elbow sprain. The club originally optioned him to the alternate training site in late July, but that move was rescinded when Bowman’s injury was discovered after the fact. He was placed on the Major League injured list instead and has spent the season there, accruing service time along the way.
Bowman has spent his entire big league career in the NL Central, pitching with the Cardinals from 2016-18 and the Reds last season. His lone season in Cincinnati resulted in a 3.66 ERA with 7.0 K/9 against 3.7 BB/9 over the life of 32 innings. That solid showing would likely have put him in position to pitch out of the Reds’ bullpen again in 2020 had he been healthy. Now, his future with the organization is up in the air. Bowman will finish this season with four-plus years of MLB service time, meaning he’ll be arbitration-eligible over the winter. Given that he’s a long shot, at best, to pitch at all in 2021, he’s a virtual lock to be non-tendered. Cincinnati could bring him back on a minor league arrangement, but Bowman may also wait until the 2021-22 offseason to latch on with a new organization.
In 181 2/3 innings at the Major League level, Bowman carries a 4.02 ERA and a 3.67 FIP with averages of 7.5 strikeouts, 3.0 walks and 0.7 homers per nine innings pitched. He’s also turned in a strong 56.6 percent ground-ball rate, picked up two saves and been credited with 41 holds in the big leagues.
The Reds announced Monday that center fielder Nick Senzel has been activated from the injured list, with right-hander Tyler Thornburg moving from the 10-day injured list to the 45-day injured list to open a 40-man roster spot. Senzel, who’ll technically return as the 29th man for today’s doubleheader, has been out since Aug. 19. He’s starting the first game of today’s twin bill in center.
Senzel, 25, was the No. 2 overall pick back in 2016 and was out to a .244/.327/.489 start through 14 games and 53 plate appearances in 2020. He hit .256/.315/.427 with a dozen homers and 14 steals as a rookie last year. He’ll add another option to an outfield mix that has seen seen Jesse Winker break out as one of the league’s more productive hitters. Nick Castellanos, meanwhile, has faded after a blistering start to the season, while rookie Shogo Akiyama has gone the opposite route — heating up in September after a slow start to his big league career.
The 31-year-old Thornburg went on the 10-day injured list late last week due to an elbow sprain — the latest in a mounting series ailments for the talented but oft-injured righty. Thornburg allowed three runs and punched out 10 hitters in seven innings with the Reds this year before the latest issue popped up.
Thornburg looked to be a breakout bullpen piece for the Brewers back in 2016 when he tossed 67 frames of 2.15 ERA ball with a 90-to-25 K/BB ratio, but he’s been derailed by injuries since being traded to the Red Sox in the Travis Shaw deal that winter. He battled shoulder troubles in early 2017 before undergoing thoracic outlet surgery that summer — a procedure that kept him out until July 2018. Thornburg returned to Boston in 2019 but was sidelined by a hip impingement for much of the season as well. Details on his current injury are still sparse, but the move to the 45-day IL formally brings his 2020 season to a close. He crossed six years of big league service in 2020, so he’ll be a free agent this winter.
- Reds’ center fielder Nick Senzel has been on the injured list for undisclosed reasons since August 19. He’s nearing a return, manager David Bell told reporters, including Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter link). Indeed, it’s possible Senzel returns for tomorrow’s doubleheader against the Pirates. The 25-year-old is hitting .244/.327/.489 in 53 plate appearances this year.
- The Reds have signed Dominican righty Kelvin Valdez, according to Baseball America’s Ben Badler (via Twitter). Valdez is only 17 years old, but he is already 6’3″ tall and can throw up to 95mph.
The Reds have outrighted infielder Matt Davidson, the team announced. Davidson accepted the assignment and will remain part of the organization. Meanwhile, the club placed right-hander Tyler Thornburg on the 10-day injured list with a right elbow sprain and recalled righty Jose De Leon.
The Reds designated Davidson for assignment on Sept. 8, which came after the two-time 20-home run hitter batted .163/.234/.295 with three homers in 47 plate appearances. He also saw a bit of time on the mound, throwing 3 1/3 innings of two-earned run ball.
The elbow problem represents yet another troubling injury for Thornburg, who was a premier reliever with the Brewers in 2016 but has fallen off since the Red Sox acquired him entering 2017. Thornburg missed all of that season, during which he underwent thoracic outlet surgery, and has only totaled 49 2/3 innings in the majors since. The 31-year-old has performed decently in his first season with the Reds, though, having struck out 10 and yielded three earned runs on six hits and five walks.
- The Reds have added outfielder Michael Siani, infielder Tyler Callihan and right-hander Lyon Richardson to their player pool, Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. All three players – Siani (No. 7), Callihan (No. 8) and Richardson (No. 11) – rank among the Reds’ best prospects at MLB.com. The 21-year-old Siani was a fourth-round pick of the Reds in 2018 who batted .253/.333/.339 with six home runs and a whopping 45 stolen bases across 531 plate appearances in Single-A ball last season. Callihan, 20, joined the Reds as a third-rounder last year and hit .263/.298/.442 with six homers and 11 steals in 238 rookie ball plate appearances. Richardson, a 2018 fourth-rounder, logged a 4.15 ERA/3.76 FIP in 112 2/3 innings at the Single-A level last season. FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen wrote in May that the hard-throwing Richardson, 20, has the potential to become a top 100 prospect by 2021.
- Reds left-hander Wade Miley “took a step back today” in his recovery from shoulder troubles, manager David Bell announced (Twitter links via C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic). Consequently, the Reds don’t expect Miley back this weekend. He last took the mound Aug. 27. The news is better for outfielder Nick Senzel, who Bell said is “pretty close” to coming back. Senzel hasn’t played since Aug. 14, but the Reds haven’t disclosed a reason for his absence.
The Reds announced that they’ve designated infielder Matt Davidson for assignment.
Davidson, an offseason minor league signing for Cincinnati who previously appeared in the majors as a member of the Diamondbacks and White Sox, totaled 47 plate appearances for the Reds before they designated him. The 29-year-old homered three times during that short span, but he could still only put together a .163/.234/.395 line in 22 games.
Of course, Davidson is one of the rare major leaguers capable of playing a two-way game. He made his debut on the mound as a right-hander with the White Sox in 2018 and has added another 3 1/3 frames as a Red this season. Davidson gave up two earned runs on two walks (one strikeout) and four hits in 2020 prior to his designation.