The Reds announced Monday that right-hander Joel Kuhnel has cleared waivers been assigned outright to Triple-A Louisville. Between Kuhnel’s outright and the Mets’ claim of Robel Garcia, the Reds have opened a pair of spots on the 40-man roster.
Kuhnel, 25, has pitched 12 2/3 innings with Cincinnati over the past two seasons, working to a combined 4.97 ERA with a 12-to-5 K/BB ratio and a 47.4 percent ground-ball rate in that limited sample. He averaged better than 96 mph on his heater in 2019 with a swinging-strike of 14.5 percent, though both those marks were down in 2020 — albeit in a minuscule sample of three innings (95.4 mph; 3.5 percent).
Kuhnel, an 11th-round pick by the Reds in 2016, obviously didn’t pitch much in a game setting this year thanks to the absence of a minor league season. His last extended minor league work came in 2019, when he notched a tidy 2.18 ERA with a 50-to-16 K/BB ratio in 53 2/3 frames between Double-A and Triple-A.