The Cincinnati Reds completed a very difficult stretch of games against some very formidable opponents and came out of it with a 9-8 record. With an off-day on Thursday, the Redlegs sit a half-game back of the Miami Marlins for the final NL Wild Card spot.
While the schedule is markedly easier for the Reds over the final few weeks than it is for the Marlins, that's no reason for Cincinnati to take their foot off the gas. The St. Louis Cardinals, Detroit Tigers, and Pittsburgh Pirates would love to play spoiler in the coming weeks.
The Reds have been crushed by injuries and illness the past few weeks, but it appears as though reinforcements will soon be on the way. What are three roster moves Reds fans should expect to see in the coming days.
1. Reds activate Fernando Cruz and return Connor Phillips to Triple-A.
Fernando Cruz has been on the COVID-19 IL for the better part of a week. The Cincinnati Reds has survived without him, but since the All-Star break, Cruz has been one of manager David Bell's most reliable relievers.
The 33-year-old was a September call-up at this time last year. After many years in the independent league, Cruz finally made it to The Show in 2022. The right-hander had been a crucial part of the Reds bullpen, oftentimes getting the call late in games when Cincinnati was clinging to a slim lead.
Since August 1st, Fernando Cruz owns a 2.25 ERA and is striking out 14.25 batters per nine innings. The right-hander has a strikeout-rate of nearly 40-percent during that time and a FIP of just 2.18.
Since Connor Phillips was not techincally added to the 40-man roster, the right-hander will not need to be optioned back to Triple-A. Rather, Phillips can simply return to the Louisville Bats starting rotation and await his next opportunity in the big leagues.
The opportunity also exists, if the Reds deem it necessary, that Phillips could have his contract selected by the club and reliever Kevin Herget could be designated for assignment. A lot of this will depend on the health of Hunter Greene, Ben Lively, and Brandon Williamson.