Bray activated after two-month DL stint

Bray activated after two-month DL stint

Bray activated after two-month DL stint
CINCINNATI -- Following a two-month stint on the disabled list, Reds left-handed reliever Bill Bray was activated before Friday's series opener against the Twins.

Bray was initially put on the DL due to a strained left groin, but back trouble extended his time away.

"It's been a long couple of months now. It's nice to be back," Bray said. "It's not a good feeling not being here, but it's awesome watching teammates and your friends play well and be in first place. It's a great feeling. The only thing you want to change is you want to be here. I'm looking forward to helping out."

To make room for Bray on the 25-man roster, the Reds optioned right-handed reliever J.J. Hoover to Triple-A Louisville. Hoover, a rookie who debuted after Bray was injured, performed well with a 3.00 ERA in 17 appearances with eight walks and 19 strikeouts over 18 innings.

"It was a very tough decision because J.J. did a good job for us," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He got ready a lot quicker than we anticipated he'd be ready. We thought it would be sometime in the middle of the season, but he got pressed into action because of injuries and he performed well. It's not anything he did. It was just a matter of numbers. We told him he'd be back."

Bray was called upon in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and one out to face left-handed batter Denard Span. Bray fell behind, 3-0, in the count and came back to force a full count before walking Span to allow the Twins to tie the game and then allowing a sacrifice fly to Ben Revere.

Bray returned following a six-game rehab assignment with Class A Dayton and Louisville. In his four outings for Louisville, he gave up two runs and three hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

The root of Bray's groin stemmed from a hitch in his delivery during a Spring Training injury. The adjustments led to the back injury.

"It was more where I was landing toward home plate," Bray said. "I closed off four or five inches toward first base. All of a sudden, I was jerking baseballs home and not throwing strikes. Once I figured that out, things got back to normal. Because of that, I was dealing with back problems all of a sudden. It just took a while to get those out of there."

With Bray back, Baker has a second lefty setup man besides Sean Marshall leading up to lefty closer Aroldis Chapman.

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"There were times you wished you had more than one because you could have two left-handed situations instead of picking a primetime one," Baker said. "We're glad to have Billy back. Slowly, but surely, we're getting back to where our regular plan was."