A day after the Cincinnati Reds called up Jumbo Diaz and added a 100 MPH arm to their bullpen, they called up from Double-A Pensacola another hard throwing right hander to add to the bullpen. Carlos Contreras made his debut in the ninth inning of the game on Saturday afternoon for the Reds as he closed down a blowout win. The right hander needed just nine pitches to get through the perfect inning with a strikeout of Colby Rasmus to end the game.
While Contreras doesn’t throw quite as hard as Diaz does, he topped out at 96.2 MPH in his debut with a cut fastball, while sitting 94-96 MPH on the day. He mixed in two curveballs in the low 80’s. We didn’t see him bring out what most say is his best pitch, his change up. In the past he has been able to touch 98 MPH out of the bullpen. His fastball, much like that of Diaz, has good movement.
Over the last two days the Reds have added two arms to the mix that can really bring the heat. Time will tell if they can use it effectively, but right now the bullpen is stocked with Aroldis Chapman and Jumbo Diaz that can both throw 100 MPH (or higher in the case of Chapman) and then adding in a guy like Contreras who sits in the mid 90’s and can touch the upper 90’s, the Reds have gone to more of a power bullpen look seemingly overnight. There are currently eight pitchers in the bullpen, so Diaz and Contreras may be temporary depending on how things play out, but for now the Reds have taken steps to add power to the relief staff that prior to Friday night only had one reliever in it that averaged over 94 MPH (that would be Arodis Chapman and his insane 101.1 MPH average).