The Cincinnati Reds have called up RHP Carlos Contreras for additional bullpen help. To make room on the 25-man roster they designated Roger Bernadina for assignment, which will also open up a spot on the 40-man roster. Contreras began the season in the Double-A Pensacola rotation, but suffered some back problems that put him on the disabled list for a little over a month. When he returned he was moved to the bullpen, where most believed he would eventually wind up anyways. Here are his numbers on the season:

Lev W L ERA IP H HR BB K WHIP
AA 2 1 2.70 20.0 15 0 11 27 1.30

The walk rate is a bit higher than you would like to see, and it’s been higher than you would like for a few years. With that said, since returning from the disabled list and heading to the bullpen he has walked just two batters in 6.1 innings to go with 10 strikeouts. The numbers have been good as a reliever, but of course the small sample size alert is ringing loudly too. What does the stuff look like though? How does it translate?

Scouting Report

Fastball | Contreras throws a cutter and a 2-seamer. Both pitches show good movement and as a starter were sitting in the 92-95 MPH range. He has hit 98 MPH out of the bullpen in the past.

Curveball | What used to be a below-average pitch for him is now a weapon. While it is his third best pitch it is one that he can use with confidence these days. It’s mostly an average offering, but it can be a little better than that at times.

Change Up | Some scouts will tell you that his change up is easily his best pitch and I would agree with that assessment completely. He throws it in the low-to-mid 80’s and it has good horizontal movement and a lot of tumbling action, giving it that “fall off the table” kind of sink.

Other | Control can be an issue for Contreras at times. While he isn’t exactly wild, typically around the zone enough, he can struggle to get the ball in the zone at times. He pitched out of the stretch in the rotation even when guys were not on base, so doing so as a reliever won’t be anything strange to him. He has closer quality stuff to work with, but how his control plays out of the bullpen, where he last pitched exclusively in 2012, will be key. In that season his walk rate was the lowest of his career.

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