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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Reds Recycle Bullpen

The Reds bullpen is like the front lines in battle.  They have taken the casualties of an awful run by its relievers and sent them to the rear to be patched up and returned to the front lines.

Jumbo Diaz and Keyvius Sampson were early casualties, who have returned to replace the latter casualties from the front lines.

"We are out of the designated hitter portion of our schedule.  The need for an eighth reliever has become more prevalent," Bryan Price said.  "They are the most reliable pitchers in Louisville right now.  Sampson has been stretched out to six innings. They did what we asked them to do to become the best options down there."

They needed throw strikes and not just strikes but quality strikes was on the agenda for Louisville pitching coach Ted Power to addtess.

"With Jumbo it was pitch quality," Price said.  "We wanted him to use his slider more.  We have struggled this year to cluster quality pitches together.  Everyone on our staff has the stuff and ability to get big league hitters out but we haven't commanded pitches in the strike zone."

"I went down to talk to Teddy," Diaz said.  "The same thing happened to me last year.  They sent me down and I came back for the second half of the season.  I'm pitching the same way (mechanics) I was throwing the change up too hard. Now, I throw it softer.  I had fun and now I'm throwing the ball where I want to."

With Sampson part of the problem was questioning his ability and pitch selection.

"I went down with a game plan," Sampson said.  "I was mentally getting prepared to stop questioning things.  I would get hit then stop throwing the pitch. I am glad to be back with the guys."

The Reds sent Layne Somsen and Jose Peraza back to Louisville.  They put Homer Bailey on the 60-day disabled list to allow them to put Sampson back on the 40-man roster.

Peraza showed his promise in his brief stay with the Reds.

"He is an athlete," Price said of the prospect obtained from the Dodgers in the three-team trade for Todd Frazier.  "He stayed up the middle with his swing.  He brought speed athleticism and energy.  We want him to play everyday.  He would have to play one position every day or three positions and be ready to play three or four days a week."

Peraza had three singles in 12 at-bats in his four game stint with the Reds.

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