Notes: Sorting out the shuffled 'pen

Notes: Sorting out the shuffled 'pen

CINCINNATI -- "Closer by committee" is the Reds' official take on the bullpen situation in the wake of Danny Graves' ousting.

"Right now, until somebody steps forward, it'll be [based on] matchups and things like that," manager Dave Miley said. "Hopefully somebody will run with it."

In the first game of the post-Graves era, right-hander David Weathers ran from the pole position and was successful in pitching a scoreless ninth in Monday's 5-3 win over the Nationals.

But that's no indication Weathers will hold the job permanently. Miley and his staff will look at the charts to see how the relievers have fared against the opponent in the past.

"We've also got to look at days off and things like that," Miley said.

Expect the Reds to give Ryan Wagner a few looks at the job, regardless of his youth. The Reds have made no secret about the fact that they see Wagner as their closer of the future, given his propensity for getting quick outs with a fastball in the low 90s and a nasty slider.

Despite the occasional hiccup, Wagner has been the team's most consistent reliever this season, compiling a 1-1 record with a 3.91 ERA in 22 appearances.

Take away two appearances against the Brewers on April 30 and the Padres on May 9, in which he gave up eight total runs, and Wagner has put up a 0.82 ERA in 20 outings.

In the past, Wagner has made no secret about wanting to occupy the closer's job someday. But on Monday, still shocked at the dismissal of Graves, a close friend and mentor, Wagner didn't want to talk much about the possibility.

"It hasn't been discussed," he said. "But no matter what happens, I don't do my job any differently. I go right at guys."

Weathers was the one going after the Nationals, making it official that the Reds aren't ready to officially hand the keys to the closer's role over to the 22-year-old Wagner, who was the team's first-round pick (14th overall) in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft.

Still, the only other reliever who's put up quality performances as consistently as Wagner this season is Kent Mercker, and he's been used as more of a left-handed specialist.

In designating Graves for assignment, the team brought up left-hander Randy Keisler from Triple-A Louisville. But Keisler, along with right-hander Todd Coffey, isn't likely to be used in save opportunities simply because of his lack of experience.

   Paul Wilson  /   P
Born: 03/28/73
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 215 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R

Wilson hurting: The Reds finally made official what had long been suspected: Right-hander Paul Wilson hasn't been pitching at full strength.

Wilson (1-5, 7.77 ERA) has denied for several weeks that he's been fighting through an injury, but his stats said otherwise. In three starts this month, he's gone 0-3 with a 16.55 ERA.

On Monday, the team finally announced that Wilson is battling tendinitis in his throwing shoulder. The Reds skipped his start in the rotation this week, giving him some extra rest and some extra time to work with pitching coach Don Gullett.

When asked if he feels that extra time will help him sort out the problem, Wilson shrugged.

"We're gonna find out," he said. "This is the next step. I'm just trying to get something right."

Reds report: On Monday, Miley said the swelling on right-hander Ramon Ortiz's left eye had gone down a bit. The team still hadn't announced if Ortiz, who turned 32 on Monday, will make his next start. ... Third baseman Joe Randa was a late scratch from Monday's lineup, as he's battling a sore left foot. Ryan Freel, who had been enduring lower back stiffness, replaced him in the field and batted leadoff, and rookie William Bergolla got his fourth straight start at second base. ... The Reds still haven't announced their rotation beyond the three-game set with the Nationals. Wilson and right-hander Elizardo Ramirez are among the candidates to start Thursday's game with the Pirates. ... The team will give away Ken Griffey Jr. bobblehead dolls to the first 40,000 fans in attendance for Tuesday's game. ... Reds pitchers haven't issued an unintentional walk in their last 19 innings.

On deck: The Reds and Nationals continue their three-game set with a 7:10 p.m. ET game on Tuesday. Left-hander Brandon Claussen (1-3, 4.71 ERA) will go against right-hander Livan Hernandez (7-2, 3.69 ERA). The game will mark the 70th anniversary of Major League Baseball's first night game between the Reds and Phillies at Crosley Field.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.