The Reds announced that they have recalled right-hander Casey Legumina and selected the contract of righty Michael Mariot. In corresponding moves, righty Brett Kennedy was optioned to Triple-A while righty Lyon Richardson was returned to Triple-A. The club already had a vacancy on its 40-man roster.
Mariot, 34, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016. The Reds signed him to a minor league deal in June and selected him to the big league roster in July, though he was designated for assignment a day later without getting into a game. He cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment at that time, which now leads to his contract being selected a second time this year.
The Reds were already dealing with a large number of injuries but a recent COVID outbreak has exacerbated the issue, sending multiple pitchers to the injured list. That has required an almost-daily roster churn as they keep cycling fresh arms into the mix, with Mariot the latest to get the call.
He made 44 appearances in the big leagues back in the 2014 to 2016 period but hasn’t been back since, bouncing around on various minor league deals while also spending time in the Mexican League and Chinese Professional Baseball in Taiwan. He began 2023 with the Cleburne Railroaders of the independent American Association of Professional Baseball, posting a 5.06 ERA there but with 29 strikeouts and just five walks in 26 2/3 innings.
That led to a minor league deal with the Reds and he has since thrown 37 2/3 innings over nine appearances for Louisville with a 6.93 ERA and 14.3% strikeout rate. The Reds are going the opener route today, with reliever Tejay Antone scheduled to start, but Mariot could perhaps log some bulk innings in the middle of the game.
As for Richardson, the fact that he has been “returned” to Triple-A and not optioned is worth noting. He was called up as a COVID replacement player recently and has now been sent back down. Optioned pitchers normally cannot be recalled for another 15 days but that won’t apply in this unique situation. He is listed as Wednesday’s starter and should be added back to the roster in short order.