Reds promote Sutton from Minors

Reds promote Sutton from Minors

CINCINNATI -- During a six-hour bus ride home with Triple-A Louisville following Tuesday afternoon's game at Gwinnett County in Georgia, all infielder Drew Sutton wanted to do was get some shut-eye.

That became all but impossible once Sutton got some unexpected news. He learned he was going to the Major Leagues for the first time when the Reds called him up.

"They told me when we got off the bus at 1 a.m., so I didn't get a lot of sleep last night trying to let everybody know and get some people up here," Sutton said. "Usually, they do it before the game or right after the game."

To make room for Sutton on the 25-man roster, the Reds optioned reliever Jared Burton to Louisville.

Sutton, who turned 26 on Tuesday, was needed to bolster an injury-riddled infield that is currently without shortstop Alex Gonzalez (right elbow) and third baseman Edwin Encarnacion (left wrist). Adam Rosales was back to Louisville on Saturday after he struggled offensively.

A switch-hitter with some speed, Sutton was the player to be named later that came over in the March 31 trade that sent infielder Jeff Keppinger to the Astros. Anything that can quicken the route to the big leagues is welcomed by any player, and that's how Sutton viewed the trade.

"When I left big league camp [at Spring Training], the Astros told me they just wanted me to play second base," Sutton said. "When I talked to [Reds GM] Walt [Jocketty] after being traded over here, he said they wanted to move me around -- shortstop, second, third, first and maybe some outfield. I thought that was a lot better of an opportunity to be more versatile, and it gives me more opportunities to play."

Sutton was batting .254 with five home runs and 19 RBIs with Louisville. He played 13 games at shortstop, 10 at second base, 10 at third base and six at first base.

"I talked to [Astros first-base coach] Jose Cruz and Coop [Astros manager Cecil Cooper] and guys over there in Houston," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "They liked what they had in him. I'm going to take a couple of days and have [infield coach] Chris [Speier] look at him at different positions and [first-base coach] Billy Hatcher to work with him in both corners of the outfield, and we'll see. It's his first taste of the big leagues."

Sutton's primary position is second base, but he knew better than to expect to get comfortable there.

"Dusty said we have a Gold Glover here [Brandon Phillips], so I won't be spending much time at second," Sutton said.

Burton was 0-0 with a 4.81 ERA in 29 games this season for the Reds. Of his 18 inherited runners, 10 scored. It marks his second demotion to Louisville; the first lasted just one game, and he was brought back right away when Edinson Volquez went on the disabled list.

However, Burton was much better since that moment and had a 2.19 ERA over the last nine games since his recall.

"We have high hopes and big plans for Burton," Baker said. "We've seen what he can do. Hopefully, this is just a temporary booster shot."

Clearly unhappy after receiving the news, Burton declined to talk with reporters.

"I don't want him to be happy," Baker said. "I don't expect him to be happy. If he's mad at me or [pitching coach] Dick [Pole] or Walt, pitch like it. If he wasn't mad, he doesn't belong here. And he belongs here, big time."

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