PHILADELPHIA -- Seeking an extra bat for the bench, the Reds called up infielder Neftali Soto from Triple-A Louisville on Saturday and optioned lefty starter Tony Cingrani to Louisville.
It's the first big league promotion for the 24-year-old Soto, a third-round Draft pick in 2007 and the Reds' 14th-ranked prospect, according to MLB.com.
"I'm real excited. I can't even explain it," Soto said. "I'm going to enjoy it, do a lot of work and do my best."
After Cingrani started on Friday in a 5-3 loss to the Phillies, he was not expected to pitch again with Johnny Cueto due to be activated from the disabled list on Monday. It enabled Cincinnati to pad its 25-man roster with a position player.
In 33 games for Louisville, Soto is batting .269 with three home runs and 16 RBIs.
Soto is primarily a first baseman -- which is, of course, blocked by mainstay Joey Votto. He has been back playing at his original spot of third base. This season, he's played 18 games at first base and 16 at third base.
But defense had little to do with Soto's callup.
"Until Cueto is available, we need a right-handed bat here. I don't know how long he'll be here," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He's here mainly for his bat. He's worked hard. He's quite an accomplished first baseman. He's here mainly to give us some quality at-bats from the right side. Maybe he'll win a game or two, because as tight as this race is going to be, a game or two might be all you need."