MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers picked up another bullpen arm on Wednesday when they claimed right-hander Todd Coffey off waivers from the Reds.
Coffey will wear No. 60 when he joins the Brewers on Thursday in Philadelphia and could represent some insurance against David Riske's lingering arm injury. Riske revealed Tuesday that he has a bone spur in his right elbow and received a cortisone shot Monday that will keep him sidelined a few more days.
Coffey also could be as a long-term flier for the Brewers, who have had success in the past with such claims (Derrick Turnbow, Scott Podsednik, Brady Clark). Coffey entered the season with two years, 135 days of big league service, so he is at least three seasons shy of free agency.
To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the Brewers designated seldom-used outfielder Laynce Nix for assignment. Nix had not played since Aug. 30.
Coffey, who turned 28 on Tuesday, led the Reds staff with 81 appearances and had a 3.82 ERA in 2006. He was signed to a $925,000 one-year contract extension for 2008. But he posted a 5.82 ERA in 2007, then ran up a 6.05 ERA in 17 games in 2008 before a demotion to Triple-A Louisville.
He has not pitched in the Majors since July 27. At Louisville, Coffey was 3-3 with a 4.35 ERA in 34 games.
Riske was not available to pitch Wednesday, Brewers manager Ned Yost confirmed. If he needs to go on the disabled list, Milwaukee could replace him on the postseason roster with a player who wasn't on the 25-man team Aug. 31, like Coffey, Tim Dillard, Mark DiFelice or Mitch Stetter.
Nix came to the Brewers in the July 2006 trade that sent Carlos Lee to the Rangers, but has never gained traction in Milwaukee. Nix played 103 games this season for Triple-A Nashville and batted .284 with 23 home runs and 60 RBIs.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.