Reds make flurry of moves, seek 5th starter

Reds make flurry of moves, seek 5th starter

CINCINNATI -- There's an opening in the Reds' rotation, at least for the time being.

In a string of roster moves made Sunday morning, Cincinnati activated catcher Stuart Turner from the 10-day disabled list, recalled right-hander Lisalverto Bonilla, optioned reliever Jake Buchanan to Triple-A Louisville and designated for assignment pitcher Asher Wojciechowski.

Wojciechowski started Saturday against the Dodgers, allowing six runs (five earned) and two homers over 2 1/3 innings. In four starts this season, the righty was 0-1 with a 7.79 ERA. He can now be claimed by another Major League team, but if no one bites he will either have to accept an assignment to Louisville or become a free agent. Reds manager Bryan Price hopes the Reds can hold on to him.

"We'd like him to stay," Price said. "He gives us that depth that we like to have. I think he'd do a nice job in our bullpen, but after pitching yesterday we needed some fresh arms."

Price on Wojciechowski in loss

Cincinnati will likely get its fifth full-time starter when Homer Bailey is activated from the DL, which could be as early as the end of the month. But that still leaves one start on the table -- June 23 against the Nationals.

Price said Sunday he's still considering options for the spot, but said it wouldn't be Bonilla, who is 0-3 with a 7.84 ERA in four big league starts this season. Likely candidates for the start are Cody Reed and Robert Stephenson, both of whom have pitched well for Louisville and have big league starting experience.

Reed threw five innings of one-run ball in his last Minor League start on Wednesday, while Stephenson allowed one hit and one run over four innings on Thursday. That said, both have struggled with walking batters at points this season, as each has a five-walk game in their last few starts. Reed has walked three or more batters in a game six times with Louisville this season.

Reed strikes out Russell

Another option would be Sal Romano, who is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in seven starts with the Bats. Double-A starter Luis Castillo, who is 4-3 with a 2.68 ERA in 13 starts in 2017, could also be in the conversation, but he would be a longshot.

Whoever it is, the Reds hope they'll help turn things around for the rotation. In 2017, Cincinnati starters rank last in MLB in ERA, strikeouts, home runs, opponent slugging percentage and OPS.

"We're going to find a way to make it work," Price said. "We'll have somebody ready to fill in for Wojo until Homer is ready and [Brandon Finnegan]. Who that is, I don't know yet. But we do have a few plausible options."

Jeremy Vernon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.