The Cincinnati Reds have called up right handed pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla and optioned Sal Romano to Triple-A Louisville.

With the team’s starting pitchers struggling to go deep into games, this may be a move that buys them another long man for the time being. Lisalverto Bonilla has started two games for the Louisville Bats this year, going 2-0 with a 5.56 ERA. In 11.1 innings he’s allowed 12 hits and five walks along with three home runs. The 27-year-old right hander has struck out 12 batters. He’s got experience both as a starter and a reliever in the minor leagues, and if I had to guess he will be seeing time as a reliever with the big league club at least in the short term.

He’ll be taking the roster spot of Sal Romano, in a surprise (to me, at least) move. Romano struggled in his big league debut on Sunday, but it would seem that the team needs someone to fill that rotation spot the next time through. It won’t be Romano at this point as he will have to remain in the minors more than five days by rule unless he’s replacing someone that heads to the disabled list. Rookie Davis could be back soon, and the team could always give a start to Tim Adleman (who pitched in long relief for Romano on Sunday), Robert Stephenson or Cody Reed to fill things out. Still, the move to send Romano back to Triple-A after one start, given the way that the rotation looks, is an interesting one.

21 Responses

  1. Pat

    This is mystifying…my only guess is that big club wants to see more arms. But perhaps with such short innings starters he’s saving Reed, Stephenson and Adleman for those 3 inning relief stints. And what if Arroyo continues to struggle? This is looking messy. Or waiting out until Bailey and Disco make it back?

  2. CP

    I hope this means that Cody Reed or Robert Stephenson are going to be given a chance to get back into the rotation. Ultimately, if they do that and succeed, that is the best case scenario for the Reds. They can always call the like of Astin or others up to fill bullpen holes that their departures will leave.

    Eventually I would think Arroyo will need to be let go/retire, and Romano/Stephenson/Reed will get their chance too. With the way injuries have gone, there should be opportunities for all these guys to prove themselves.

    • Ochoa30

      Arroyo will most likely get destroyed tonight by the orioles. Hopefully that will be it for him. Really sucks knowing you have no chance to win before the game starts. Imagine the players feel the same. Romano won’t be down long is my guess. Would like to see reed in Finnegans spot.

      • CP

        Rosecrans just tweeted that Adleman will start Friday, Saturday is TBA, and Sunday is Arroyo…

  3. Redstown

    Everyone saying give reed a chance to be in the rotation, he had 10-11 games to figure it out last year and he couldn’t. Now he’s having success in the bullpen why change now? What if he struggles again like last year and his confidence is messed up again? He had his chance and rob doesn’t throw strikes at all.

    • CP

      I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure the same things could have been said about Cueto and/or Bailey if we only looked at their first 10-11 games as well. It might have been even worse! But I must admit I am only going off of memory and haven’t looked it up. So someone else please correct me if I’m wrong.

      There has to be patience with these young pitchers, and give them a chance to achieve their potential before limiting them to the bullpen where their value will always be limited compared to being a starter.

      • Rick in Va

        Not sure about Homer, but my recollection is that Cueto’s first MLB game he looked like Cy Young. Struck out about 12 or so. He fell off after that though.

      • The Rage

        Cueto’s first 2 games were pretty good to fair. Then he fell off a cliff, though he was only 22 and needed quite a bit of seasoning.

      • Hinglemccringleberry

        Please don’t compare Bailey to Cueto. Please don’t don’t that.

    • citizen54

      I hope you realize 10-11 games is nowhere near a large enough sample to evaluate a pitcher. Reed and Stephenson are eventually going to be in the rotation. Reed has 9 k/9 and Stephenson 17.55 k/9 but I guess that means they don’t throw any strikes.

      • davidmac84

        cody should get another shot. I would commit to Stephenson permanently in the BP. His walk rate doesnt play as a starter- he hasnt been under 4.5 BB per 9 since 2012. But he can be very effective as a Relief Pitcher even with a BB rate around 4-5 because his K rate will be well over 10. I think he is very similar to Andrew Miller- and it would be a shame if they didn’t give Robert a clear role where he can have success.

      • Doug Gray

        Sounds like the argument some would have made for Homer Bailey in his first few seasons.

      • citizen54

        If it were up to me I’d have Reed and Stephenson in the rotation over Davis and Arroyo. I think Price did the right thing by starting Reed in the pen but now that he has regained his confidence he needs to move back to the rotation.

        Same thing goes for Stephenson. Stephenson had problems in that first game, probably due to nerves. After that game he hasn’t walked many people. Outside of that one home run, he fared pretty well against a Brewer team that beat up on Reds pitching. Both of these guys have better pure stuff than Davis and Garrett and they should be given more than one chance to make the rotation.

        I have no idea why Arroyo is even taking starts away from the young guys in a year the Reds are not expected to be competitive. Heck even in a year where the Reds are competitive Arroyo shouldn’t be in the rotation. I hope that the promotion of Bonilla means that one of Reed or Stephenson will be making a move to the rotation.

      • The Rage

        I would put Garrets pure stuff over Reed. He has generally taken a few games to power up all the way. His velocity generally has been on the par with Reed and with better stamina.

        Reed has bigger issues with stamina and a lack of pitching ability.

      • Wes

        Reed and Stephenson are going to get there chance. And when they do they will have tons opportunities to earn a long term spot. Both can easily get 20 starts and a 150 innings. So let em ride the bench and work in slowly. That is clearly Dick Williams strategy- to bring rookies along very slowly.

        I’ll buy into Dick’s philosophy. It’s new and different and worth noting.

      • chris

        i was gonna say i thought homer was up/down yo-yo like early on.. I’m looking at it like this… they send sal down for week or two that buys service time for later.. get a taste learn from it then see what happens.. no big deal really..

  4. The Rage

    I think the most interesting pitcher and his future is Finnegan. I suspect, his shoulder injury was caused by him throwing with higher velocity than capable in a starting role. His motion is to high effort to throw that hard. Last year, he was around 91-92 most of the time.

    That was part of the reason why the Reds forced Reed into the Cueto deal because of this issue. They needed another chance.

  5. Michael B. Green

    Sal will be back. We could see Stephens get a chance sometime too. If you’re on the Reds 40MR and you pitch, you’ll get your chance this year.

  6. CP

    Nick Kirby? just tweeted this….
    @Nicholaspkirby

    Bryan Price just said “our intentions are to start (Cody) Reed on Saturday.”

    • Moses

      so that’s why he only pitched one inning tonight. I had expected him to finish out the game with three full innings, but alas…

  7. Philer Up

    Both Robert and Cody have better stuff then Amir , but being mentally prepared , Amir is way ahead of them. Throwing hard just means sooner or later you will have problems with your shoulder and how do you mentally handle it is the key.