Phillip Diehl spent a road trip on the Cincinnati Reds’ taxi squad last season, but now he should finally have an opportunity to pitch for his hometown team.
Diehl, a Moeller grad who still lives in Cincinnati, was called up from Triple-A Louisville before Wednesday’s game against the San Diego Padres. The Reds placed Justin Wilson on the 10-day Injured List with left elbow soreness, so Diehl will be the only lefty in the Reds’ bullpen. The Reds had an open slot on their 40-man roster for Diehl after they assigned infielder JT Riddle for assignment on Tuesday.
“It’s a literal dream come true,” Diehl said. “You could write a book about this. It’s awesome.”
Diehl learned about his promotion to the big leagues when he was called into his Columbus hotel lobby, where the Triple-A team was playing this week, to meet with manager Pat Kelly around midnight Tuesday.
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After hearing the news, Diehl called his family and drove to his mom’s house in Cincinnati.
“I teared up last night, for sure, realizing what I accomplished,” Diehl said. “I didn’t get to play in the big leagues last year. They say it’s a lot harder to get back than it is to get in or whatever. A lot of hard work, a lot of determination went into this.”
The 27-year-old Diehl last pitched in the Majors in 2020 with the Colorado Rockies. He had a 4.50 ERA at Louisville through eight relief appearances, permitting five hits and four earned runs across eight innings. He struck out 11 and walked one.
Reds Manager David Bell, another Moeller grad, said Diehl was upset when he didn’t make the club out of spring training. Diehl was confident he could have success at the big-league level.
“The only thing he can do at that point was to go to Triple-A and continue to show that. That’s exactly what he did,” Bell said. “He’s earned this. He’s been in the Major Leagues before. He had to re-earn this opportunity and he did everything right to make that happen.”
The Reds have operated all season with only one lefty in the bullpen. Wilson has been sharp this year, striking out seven of the 13 batters he’s faced. Wilson permitted three hits and one run in 3 2/3 innings.
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Wilson felt something in his elbow when playing catch Tuesday and immediately went to the training staff afterward.
“The good news is no surgery or anything like that,” Bell said. “I haven’t talked to him yet today, but I heard he was pretty relieved about what was found. It’s at least going to be a couple of weeks.”
GREEN PUSHED BACK: The Reds are pushing back Hunter Greene’s next start by at least one day after he experienced a drop in velocity in his last outing.
Greene averaged 95.8 mph on his fastball in a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals last Friday. It was a major drop in velocity after he threw a record 39 pitches above 100 mph, including 13 pitches above 101 mph, in his previous start in Los Angeles.
The Reds haven’t announced their weekend rotation in Colorado, but Bell said Greene will likely start Friday or Saturday.
CASTILLO UPDATE: Luis Castillo is scheduled to make at least two more rehab starts before returning from the IL, Bell said Tuesday.
Castillo, who didn’t pitch in any spring training games because of a right shoulder strain, made his first game appearance at High-A Dayton on Sunday. He struck out four in 2 1/3 innings, giving up two hits, one earned run and three walks in 48 pitches.
“It was a good day,” Bell said. “Typical Luis, had some strikeouts, got his pitch count up to where we needed it to be. Successful.”
Castillo will start Friday for Triple-A Louisville in Columbus and he’s scheduled to throw four innings or 60-65 pitches.
NEW GUY: The Reds claimed Matt Reynolds off waivers from the New York Mets on Sunday and he was in the lineup to make his Reds debut on Wednesday.
Reynolds, 31, has played in 131 games from 2016-22 with the Mets, Washington Nationals and Kansas City Royals. He hit .118 for the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate in 17 at-bats with one home run.
“Good defender,” Bell said. “He’s going to get playing time. He can play shortstop. (Kyle Farmer) is playing every day, which is great. The ability to have somebody who can really play that position in the course of a long season will likely come into play and We’ve heard great things about him as a person and as a teammate, so that’ll be nice to add him into our clubhouse.”
Brandon Drury, the Reds’ backup shortstop, hasn’t played in the field since April 17.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Cincinnati Reds add Phillip Diehl to bullpen; Justin Wilson to IL