The newest Reds reliever, Curtis Partch, spent Saturday morning driving up Interstate 71 from Louisville to Cincinnati, imagining what it would be like to walk into a big-league clubhouse for the first time and also pondering whether it was legal to text and drive in Kentucky.
“I was getting text messages constantly,” he said. “In California, it’s illegal to text and drive. I was trying not to run off the road.”
Partch, a Merced, Calif., native who the Reds drafted in the 26th round in 2007, was promoted from Triple-A Louisville on Saturday before the second game of the series against the Cardinals. The Reds shipped reliever Logan Ondrusek down to Louisville.
Ondrusek gave up four earned runs in one inning in Friday’s 9-2 loss to the Cardinals. He was 2-0 with a 5.64 ERA in 21 games. His ERA at home was 8.71 in 10 appearances. On the road, he excelled with a 3.00 ERA in 11 appearances.
“He just needs to figure out why he was struggling at home,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “Hopefully, he’ll go down and get straightened out.”
Partch began the season at Double-A Pensacola and had a 2.16 ERA in eight appearances when he was promoted to Louisville on April 24. In 16 games with the Bats, he was 1-2 with a 3.74 ERA.
Partch said he was sleeping at 10:30 Saturday morning at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville when Bats manager Jim Riggleman called. The call also woke up his roommate, the Reds’ top minor league prospect, Billy Hamilton
“Usually, the cleaning lady calls because we’re sleeping when they come up to clean the hotel,” he said. “That’s what I thought it was. Jim told me to meet him downstairs. I thought I was in trouble or something. I was half asleep when he told me. I felt like I was pitching good, but I wasn’t expecting it.”
Bullpen struggles: The Reds bullpen dropped to eighth in the National League in ERA (3.78) after giving up 14 earned runs in its last 12 1/3 innings. That’s an ERA of 10.22. In the 21 games and 57 innings previous to that stretch, the bullpen had an ERA of 2.05.
“It’ll get strong again,” Baker said. “(Jonathan) Broxton’s going to get better. Manny Parra looks like he’s about to turn the corner.”
Musical Reds: Music and baseball go hand in hand, at least with this Reds team.
Early last week, in the Reds clubhouse, pitcher and amateur musician Bronson Arroyo showed off a video on his laptop of him jamming with Pearl Jam. A kid who got to hit off Arroyo wouldn’t have been more excited than Arroyo was reliving that moment.
Lineup shift: Derrick Robinson started in left field Saturday and hit second behind Shin-Soo Choo and ahead of Joey Votto. Zack Cozart was moved to eighth.
“Mr. Choo’s having trouble getting on right now,” Baker said, “and Cozart’s having trouble getting on, so I hope Derrick can get on. He’s been hot. We need somebody on in front of Joey.”
Double the bobble: Mat Latos autographed about a dozen of his bobblehead dolls before Friday’s game. They were lined up on a table in the clubhouse facing a group of Aroldis Chapman bobbleheads.
Latos loved his bobblehead, which debuted Wednesday, and he was just as excited that he had two bobblehead days in just a few days time. The Fort Wayne TinCaps, a San Diego affiliate in the Midwest League, honored Latos with a bobblehead day on June 1