The Reds announced that they have signed left-hander Justin Bruihl to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league camp.
Bruihl, 27 in June, made his major league debut with the Dodgers in 2021 and served as a frequently-optioned depth arm for that club until a few months ago. Through the end of July 2023, he had made 65 appearances for Los Angeles with a solid 3.65 earned run average. His 7.6% walk rate was fairly strong and his 44.7% ground ball rate around average, but his 15.6% strikeout rate in that time was quite low. Some good luck may have kept runs from crossing the plate, as his .263 batting average on balls in play was on the low side, and ERA estimators like his 4.48 FIP and 4.61 SIERA were less impressive than his actual ERA.
He was designated for assignment as the club needed some roster spots after acquiring Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly from the White Sox. He was flipped to the Rockies for cash but then struggled badly with his new club, allowing six earned runs in 3 2/3 innings over seven appearances. He was designated for assignment again in late August and passed through waivers unclaimed, eventually reaching free agency at season’s end.
The Reds have Sam Moll and Alex Young as southpaws slated for work in the big league bullpen but Bruihl will give them some experienced non-roster depth. If Bruihl can earn his way onto the roster at any point, he still has an option year remaining, meaning he could be sent back down to the minors without being exposed to waivers again.