CINCINNATI -- Outfielder Xavier Paul took a calculated risk when he exercised an out in his contract to be released by the Nationals' Triple-A affiliate in early July.
Paul was hoping for a better chance to re-enter the Majors and it came Wednesday when the Reds called him up from Triple-A Louisville. He will give Cincinnati a left-handed bat off of the bench, which the club has lacked most of the season.
"The Nationals were great to me," Paul explained. "I had fun playing there. They've been winning this year too. I just felt like I needed a little change. It worked out for me here."
Once given his release, Paul said he was in contact with quite a few teams. He liked his chances with the Reds most.
"First of all they were winning," Paul said. "I knew they didn't have that many lefties on the bench. I've had that role before with Pittsburgh and the Dodgers. I wanted to show them I could do it here."
In six games with Louisville, the 27-year-old Paul was batting .480 (12-for-25), and he was batting batting .332 with nine homers and 48 RBIs in 66 Triple-A games overall. He broke into the Majors in 2009 with the Dodgers and spent most of last season with the Pirates, batting .255 with two homers, 20 RBIs and 16 steals.
"I liked him when he was with the Pirates," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He was one of the best pinch-hitters around, especially against right-handers. He can play all three outfield positions and gives us that much needed left-handed bat. He has speed, which we also need."
Paul batted .279 vs. right-handers last season, and .262 for his career. Against lefties, he hit only .071 in 2011 and .148 lifetime. He batted only .093 as a pinch-hitter last year.
With Joey Votto on the disabled list after having knee surgery, Jay Bruce was the lone left-handed bat on Cincinnati's roster. With Willie Harris and Mike Costanzo getting looks in the first half and both struggling, the Reds have had little luck with lefties on their bench this season.
"I was praying that hopefully they call my name," Paul said. "Fortunately that happened. Unfortunately, it was Joey that got injured. It feels good to be here. Hopefully he recovers real soon and he's back continuing what he does best."
Paul made his Reds debut pinch-hitting in the seventh inning of Wednesday's 7-1 loss to the D-backs. On the first pitch, he flied out to center field.
To make room, pitcher Todd Redmond was optioned back to Louisville. Redmond was called up on Tuesday and did not appear in the game vs. Arizona.
Reds finding success when Stubbs reaches base
CINCINNATI -- The Reds employed some small ball in Tuesday's 4-0 win over the D-backs. It began when Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs, who walked for the second game in a row after not drawing a walk previously all month.
"He stayed off some tough pitches and fouled off some other pitches," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "It's not that easy to walk. I know we've tried him a number of times [at leadoff], but he's where I need him on this team. When he scores, our record is remarkable. Right now we have to change our game a little bit because we don't have the power in the middle of the lineup with Joey [Votto] out."
The Reds came in 31-2 this season in games when Stubbs scores a run.
Following Stubbs' first-inning walk Tuesday, he and Zack Cozart also executed a successful double steal. Cincinnati entered the night 15th in stolen bases out of 16 National League clubs, but that may not change soon.
"Everybody wants to know why we don't run more, but we can't run into outs either," Baker said. "It's about stolen-base percentage, not getting thrown out trying to steal. We've been a little limited on hitting and running because we have some swing and miss guys. Especially in our ballpark, you don't want to run into outs. In this ballpark, we're more dependent on guys that can hit the ball out of the ballpark too."
Rolen off to hot second-half start
CINCINNATI -- Injuries and offensive struggles limited Scott Rolen's production in the first half, but his second half has started well. Through the first four games, all with at least one hit, Rolen was 6-for-14 (.429). He came in batting .203 for the season.
The 37-year-old Rolen is in the final year of his contract and hasn't said if he plans to continue playing next season. The Reds haven't made any overtures, yet, about whether Rolen is in their future plans.
"A lot of that decision depends on how Scott finishes and how Scott stays healthy and if he still wants to play and enjoys playing," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "I've had talks with him [and said] 'Finish strong and enjoy every day and every moment because when indeed it's over, it's over.' I know right now he has a lot of mileage left in him."
Bengals and Reds partner up for August promotion
CINCINNATI -- Fans in Cincinnati will have a unique sports opportunity this summer. While the Reds will continue to play, their neighbors, the NFL's Bengals will be holding training camp for the first time at their regular-season home, Paul Brown Stadium.
Called the "Ultimate Cincinnati Sports Doubleheader," the two teams have joined forces in a promotion and marketing blitz for August Reds games, combined with Bengals camp and preseason games.
Bengals players Rey Maualauga, Geno Atkins, Taylor Mays and Bernard Scott joined Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips and Aroldis Chapman on the field to celebrate the new promotion.
Reds earn fifth pick in Competitive Balance Lottery
CINCINNATI -- The first Competitive Balance Lottery, which establishes the order for Compensation rounds A and B in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, was held on Wednesday in Secaucus, N.J. The Reds received the fifth selection in the A round.
The teams participating in the lottery were a combination of the 10 lowest revenue clubs and 10 lowest market teams. The Royals, Pirates, D-Backs and Orioles all won slots ahead of Cincinnati.