MILWAUKEE –– Before the Cincinnati Reds series opener on Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Reds placed starting pitcher Sonny Gray on the 10-day injured list with a rib cage strain.
Gray is eligible to return off the injured list on July 18 for the final game in the series immediately following the All-Star break. also against the Brewers. Gray said he doesn’t expect to miss a start.
“Where I sit right now, when my turn comes available, I feel like I’ll be able to play,” Gray said
On Wednesday, Gray allowed just two runs in seven standout innings against the Kansas City Royals. In the seventh inning, he struck out the side and lowered his ERA to 3.19.
“It was something I was managing yesterday throughout the game,” said Gray, who is heading back to Cincinnati for rehab. “It’s just a little spot, I don’t think it’s too big of a deal."
"I do know I’ll fly back to Cincinnati and then tomorrow mid-day I will go to Beacon (Orthopedics) and get poked and prodded on a little bit and work out probably at some point tomorrow. Probably play catch on Saturday and Sunday, go home for the break and then I don’t know what I’ll do."
TONY'S TURN: In a corresponding roster move on Thursday, the Reds called up right-handed pitcher Tony Santillan from Triple-A. Santillan, the Reds No. 9 prospect, has transitioned from being a starting pitcher to a reliever over the last two weeks. When he joins the Reds in Milwaukee, Santillan will be a part of the bullpen.
Santillan had a 3.78 ERA in four starts with the Reds while Gray was on the injured list in June and July. He was sent down to Triple-A on June 30. In a meeting with GM Nick Krall, manager David Bell and pitching coach Derek Johnson, Santillan was told he'd be a reliever for the foreseeable future.
Santillan spent the first few days in Louisville observing the rest of the relievers. Then on July 4, Santillan made his only relief appearance with the Bats and threw a scoreless inning.
“My first appearance felt a little weird,” Santillan said in Louisville on Monday. “Throwing one inning, going back in the dugout and knowing I wasn’t going back out for more. It was weird in a good way I guess. It’s the same stuff, nothing different except the volume.”
ALMOST THERE: Reds pitcher Jeff Hoffman (right shoulder impingement) made another rehab start with the Louisville Bats on Wednesday. He allowed three runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings, and his ERA across his four rehab assignment starts is 1.76.
Earlier this week, Bell said Hoffman would be fully built up to join the Reds rotation after this rehab start. It’s also possible that Hoffman comes back as a part of the Reds bullpen due to rookie starter Vladimir Gutierrez’s recent stretch of success.
Hoffman isn’t scheduled to make another start before the All-Star break, and a decision on what’s next could be made during the break. On Sunday, Hoffman said, “I’m ready to go in whatever capacity they decide to use me in.”