Reds: 4 difficult transactions Cincinnati must make in the coming days

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 10: Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds walks back to the dugout. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 10: Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds walks back to the dugout. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds up to bat.
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JULY 11: Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds up to bat. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

4. Reds reinstate Nick Castellanos and designate Brad Brach for assignment.

This is a hard one for me, and I believe it’ll be a difficult decision for the Cincinnati Reds front office as well. Obviously, when Nick Castellanos is ready to return, he’ll need to be reinstated from the 10-day IL as soon as possible. But a corresponding move must be made, and I fear that reliever Brad Brach may be a casualty.

Now, there’s always the chance that Brach or any other member of the Reds’ relief corps might have “arm fatigue” or some other type of feigned injury that lands them on the 10-day IL. In fact, I think that’s more likely than Brach being designated for assignment. But given the constraints of these predictions, we’ll choose the more appropriate route.

The other reliever who’s job may be on the line when Castellanos returns to the Cincinnati lineup is fellow veteran Sean Doolittle. That said, over his last 15 appearances, Doolittle has a 2.92 ERA, six walks, and six punch outs over 12.1 innings of work. In Brach’s last 15 appearances, the right-hander has more strikeouts (12) but has five walks and an ERA of 5.68.

The Reds currently employ nine relievers, and you have to assume that number will eventually be whittled down to eight. Kyle Farmer has one minor-league option remaining and Tyler Naquin has two, but it’s hard to see Cincinnati sending either of those two down to Triple-A Louisville.

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There’s also the matter of Tejay Antone’s impending return, so both Brach and Doolittle’s spots on the roster may be in jeopardy over the coming days and weeks. While it’s a toss up, we’ll ride the hot hand and assume that Doolittle survives and Brach is sent packing.