Earlier today the Cincinnati Reds called up reliever Drew Hayes to pitch out of the bullpen. Hayes was not on the 40-man roster and to create room for him on the roster the Reds designated right handed pitcher Keyvius Sampson for assignment.
Sampson started for the Louisville Bats yesterday in place of Robert Stephenson and tossed 3.1 innings with only one unearned run allowed. It was his first minor league appearance of the year. He began the season with the big league club, allowing four runs in 3.0 innings with four walks and three strikeouts.
The right handed pitcher joined the Cincinnati Reds in 2015 after being picked up on waivers from the San Diego Padres. He spent time with the Reds and the Triple-A Bats throughout the season, struggling at times in both stops. After the season he would have loose bodies removed from his throwing elbow and returned this spring throwing harder than he had during the past season.
With his old velocity back and a larger group of starting pitchers to work with, the Reds decided to make the move and put Sampson in the bullpen. With more velocity and perhaps allowing him to focus on just two pitches and help eliminate some of his control problems, the move made a ton of sense.
Unfortunately with how things have played out for the big league club this season, with so many injuries to the pitching staff, the team may not get to see if that works out for Keyvius Sampson. The team designated him for assignment and with his kind of arm, even with some of his struggles, another team may swoop in and be willing to pick up the righty. Toss in that he’s got options remaining and it makes it even more likely as a team will be able to pick him up and place him in the minor leagues without worry that he has to figure everything out at the big league level.