The Reds sent Cody Reed to Triple A Louisville on Thursday and recalled Austin Brice to replace Reed in the Reds’ bullpen.
Reed pitched two innings against the Pirates on Wednesday, allowing two runs on a home run by Andrew McCutchen but it was four walks that was the catalyst for his demotion.
“We needed to get Cody some steady work at Triple A and we had to get a fresh arm up here,” Bryan Price said. “They (Reed and Robert Stephenson) can’t be here and average 10 innings a month. The obvious move is to keep them working in Louisville unless they’re getting regular time here on our roster.”
The other component is performance and Reed hasn’t shown the type of command he needs to stay.
“We talked to Cody yesterday before the game,” Price said. “We talked about how to get him in more frequently. One thing there has to be reliability in your command. Everybody comes up here (Major League) gets hit from time to time. The message we want to send to everybody in our organization, you have to be able to throw strikes. He can’t he;s struggled I don’t know if it’s pitching out of the bullpen. I don’t know what it is specifically. He hasn’t shown the command he showed a year ago and this spring.”
Brice came to the Reds in the trade for Dan Straily with the Marlins. Brice, 24, was a ninth round pick in the 2010 draft for the Marlins and broke in last season pitching in 15 games with an 0-1 record and 7.07 ERA He had a 3.50 ERA through 13 appearances but in his last two outings he gave up six runs in 1 1/3 innings.
This spring Brice was never able to show what he could do. He had a problem with a nerve in his elbow.
“I was topping out at 90. It was bad,” Brice said. “I’m usually in mid 90‘s. I was getting some numbness from a nerve flare up.”
Brice wanted to make the team so he tried to pitch through it.
“Eventually, when you’re not doing so hot, all you’re doing is tearing your body up,” Brice said. “I went ahead and told Bryan and told the training staff. It was just tough. I had to accept it for what it was. I had to go down to the minors and get innings. I’m hoping I can help the team out.”
Rest and rehab work in Arizona allowed Brice to come back.
“The rehab in Arizona was beyond fantastic,” Brice said. “Those guys went over board in helping me out.’
Brice worked with former Major League pitcher James Baldwin in Arizona, who is the Reds rehabilitation pitching coach.
“Crazy enough I played with James’ son in North Carolina. (Brice is from Pittsboro, NC but was actually born in Hong Kong). It’s a small world. He was like an AAU coach. James was playing when I was knee high. He was an All-Star. He knows his stuff. He was fun to work with. I got to see his son in spring training. It was pretty cool.”