The Cincinnati Reds are in desperate need of more left-handed relievers. Of the 270 innings covered by Reds relievers, only 40 have come from Alex Young and Revier Sanmartin, both of whom are left-handers.
But with Sanmartin on the 60-day IL since early-May, Young is the only southpaw available to David Bell out of the bullpen. Young isn't a bad option, but he actually has reverse splits and fares much better against right-handed hitters than he does against lefties.
But, the Los Angeles Dodgers may have tossed the Cincinnati Reds a life preserver. The Dodgers recently designated Adam Kolarek for assignment to make room for fellow hurler Shelby Miller. The Reds should waste no time and submit a waiver claim for Kolarek.
The Reds should sign this recently DFA'd left-handed reliever.
When a player is designated for assignment, he's removed the 40-man roster. The team who DFA'd said player then has a seven-day window to trade him or place him irrevocable waivers. If the player is not traded or goes unclaimed, the team can then outright him to the minor leagues.
Unlike Alex Young, Adam Kolarek performs much better against left-handed hitters. Young has allowed a batting average nearly 100 points higher against lefties compared to righties. On the other hand, Kolarek has allowed a batting average below .200 against lefties during his career.
Kolarek has appeared in just one game this season and didn't allow a run in 1.1 innings pitched while striking out two. For his career, Kolarek owns 3.73 ERA and four saves in parts of seven major league seasons. With the lack of lefty depth in the bullpen in Cincinnati and at Triple-A, Kolarek would be a satisfactory option for the Reds, at least until Sanmartin returns from the IL.
Kolarek would provide a veteran presence among a relatively young group of relief pitchers. Kolarek delivers his pitch from a low-angle sidearm arm-slot, which is very different than any pitcher's delivery on the Cincinnati Reds roster.
The Reds would need to make room on the 40-man roster should they choose to add Adam Kolarek. That could be as simple as DFA'ing one of their struggling relievers or placing another player on the 60-day IL.