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04/24/12 5:56 PM ET

Reds place Bray on DL with strained groin

Club calls up righty Hoover for first Major League experience

CINCINNATI -- The Reds on Tuesday placed left-handed reliever Bill Bray on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left groin and recalled right-handed reliever J.J. Hoover from Triple-A Louisville.

For Bray, whose DL stint is retroactive to April 19, this is the same injury that set him back for most of Spring Training. Reds manager Dusty Baker said Bray hurt himself again pitching against the Cardinals on April 18.

"We were hoping he'd be OK," Baker said. "It was better, but he's still not Billy Bray. I was told years ago that if you start the season hurt, it makes for a long year. It makes it tough, especially for a pitcher to have the groin [injury] and not get all his innings of work in."

Injured early in camp, Bray was limited to 3 2/3 innings over four games during spring. In five regular-season games, totaling 2 2/3 innings, he had a 13.50 ERA, with five hits, three walks, three strikeouts and two home runs.

Hoover, who was acquired in the April 1 trade that sent third baseman Juan Francisco to the Braves, had a 2.00 ERA with four saves in eight games totaling nine innings. He walked six and struck out 17.

"He was pitching well down there," Baker said of Hoover, who is ranked No. 13 by MLB.com on the Reds' Top 20 Prospects list. "We wanted to call up who was doing the best, and he was it. He looked good in that one game we saw here, the Futures Game against us."

Standing in front of his new locker with a No. 60 Reds jersey hanging on the hook, the 24-year-old Hoover was excited for his Major League debut, which will come once he appears for Cincinnati.

"It's a dream come true. That's all I can really say," Hoover said.

Used as a closer with Louisville, Hoover was particularly nasty against left-handed hitters. They were 0-for-14, with one walk and seven strikeouts. Hitters overall were batting .103 against him.

"I just wanted to come and make a good first impression [after the trade] and show I could pitch a little bit," Hoover said. "I'm just excited to be with a new organization that kind of wanted me."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.