Pirates sign recently released Reds minor-league pitcher

You hate seeing any former player sign with a division rival.
Cincinnati Reds non-roster invitee pitcher Justin Bruihl (67)
Cincinnati Reds non-roster invitee pitcher Justin Bruihl (67) / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The Cincinnati Reds lost one of their minor league pitchers to an NL Central rival this week after the Pittsburgh Pirates signed reliever Justin Bruihl. Alex Stumpf, the Pirates' beat writer for MLB.com, is reporting that Bruihl's deal is a major-league contract and that he'll be added to the 26-man roster.

Bruihl was signed to a minor-league contract by the Reds ahead of the team's arrival to Goodyear, Arizona earlier this spring. The left-hander was in a heated competition with a number of southpaws during spring training.

Though he did not break camp with the Reds, Bruihl proved to be good enough to warrant inclusion the Louisville Bats roster and was assigned to Cincinnati's Triple-A affiliate to begin the 2024 season.

Pirates sign recently released Reds minor-league pitcher Justin Bruihl

Before being released by the Reds earlier this week, Bruihl was 4-0 with a 2.31 ERA and 1.114 WHIP. Bruihl recorded 24 punch outs in just under 24 innings pitched, but didn't see much of a difference in splits when facing either left-handed or right-handed hitters. Bruihl allowed lefties to hit .212/.357/.212 in 33 at-bats at Triple-A this season. Against right-handed hitters, Bruihl saw the opposition hit just .192 with a .589 OPS against.

This will shorten the number of lefties the Reds now have in the organization. After optioning Graham Ashcraft to the minor leagues earlier this week, Cincinnati still has three left-handed relievers in the bullpen. Sam Moll, Brent Suter, and Justin Wilson will all be part of the major league bullpen. The Reds also have Alex Young down in Triple-A.

Reiver Sanmartin is down in Triple-A as well, but the southpaw is recovering from Tommy John surgery and currently on the 60-day IL. Both Brandon Williamson and Brandon Leibrandt are lefties, but they're also starting pitchers. Evan Kravetz, who has a 2.41 ERA in 15 appearances out of the Bats' bullpen, is the only other left-handed reliever in addition to Young down at Triple-A Louisville.

The Reds may see Bruihl on the upcoming road trip. After a six-game homestand against the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Guardians, the Redlegs head on the road to play both the Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers.

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