CINCINNATI -- The Reds announced on Thursday that outfielder Fred Lewis cleared waivers and was sent outright to Triple-A Louisville.Lewis, who was signed to a one-year, $900,000 contract as a free agent during the offseason, batted .230 with three home runs and 19 RBIs in 81 games this season. He particularly struggled after the All-Star break. After batting .271 in the first half, he batted only .154. He was 4-for-42 (.095) in August. "We needed the roster spot," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "It's never easy to do or tell anybody. Things didn't work out for him in the second half as well as we thought it possibly would. We've got [Chris] Heisey back." With Jeremy Hermida being claimed off waivers by the Padres on Wednesday, the Lewis transaction left the Reds' 40-man roster at 39 players. Although catcher Devin Mesoraco was added on Thursday, the club did not appear to be immediately filling the remaining spot.
Injuries kept Francisco from arriving sooner
CINCINNATI -- Third base prospect Juan Francisco was among the September callups from Triple-A Louisville who joined the Reds on Thursday. Francisco knew if he had better luck, he would have been up a lot sooner.Regular third baseman Scott Rolen has had two stints on the disabled list because of shoulder issues, the second time has been since July 22. The slack would normally be Francisco's to pick up, but he was also hurt. He was on the DL with the Reds with a strained left calf in April. And in July, he missed a month at Louisville with a torn meniscus in his right knee that required surgery. "I missed my opportunity, but I am here now, and I'm happy," said Francisco, who went 0-for-3 in a 6-4 loss to the Phillies. "I'm ready to play now." Francisco has been hitting well since coming off of Louisville's DL and was batting .307 with 15 home runs and 50 RBIs overall for the Bats. It's unclear how much playing time Francisco will get the final month of the season. Rolen is working to come back from left shoulder surgery and has been getting close to a return. The Reds also have Todd Frazier, Miguel Cairo and Yonder Alonso as third basemen.
"After the game [Wednesday], he was a little sore," Reds manager Dusty Baker said of Rolen. "Perhaps he had been trying to do too much. He had been hitting a lot and other things. Today he had to back up a little bit. It's more him possibly wanting him to play than us pushing him."
Reds call up eight players as rosters expand
CINCINNATI -- The Reds' clubhouse was a lot more crowded Thursday, and a previously empty section of lockers were occupied. That can only mean that September callups had arrived.Eight players, or reinforcements, arrived from Triple-A Louisville in catcher Devin Mesoraco, third baseman Juan Francisco, infielder Chris Valaika, and pitchers Carlos Fisher, Jared Burton, Matt Maloney and Jeremy Horst. Outfielder Chris Heisey, who had been on a rehab assignment at Louisville, was activated from the disabled list. Pitchers Edinson Volquez and Travis Wood are expected to come up next week. Heisey made an immediate impact in the Reds' 6-4 loss to the Phillies, hitting a three-run shot to prime Cincinnati's comeback.
Reds manager Dusty Baker planned to find ways to sprinkle the extra players into lineups and games when he can."We'll do as needed, as matchups," Baker said. "We'll get them in there. You can't play everybody, it's impossible. I was a September callup three times, so I have a pretty good idea. If we're blowing somebody out or if we're getting blown out -- hopefully not -- or whatever you need. Pinch-run, pinch-hit, pinch-play, just use them when necessary."
Nuxhall, Hoyt nominated for Frick Award
Online voting for fans to nominate a broadcaster for the Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award began on Thursday. Fans can go to the Hall's Facebook page to vote. The late Joe Nuxhall and Waite Hoyt are former Reds broadcasters who are up for nomination.
Voting on the Hall of Fame's Facebook site will conclude at 5 p.m. ET on Sept. 30. The top three fan selections will appear on the final 10-name ballot for the award, which is selected by a 20-member electorate.
The winner will be announced at baseball's Winter Meetings in December.