‘Stretched out’ Bonilla added to Reds bullpen

The Reds’ daily pitching roster move Tuesday involved a pitcher who had been starting for Triple-A Louisville but will be used in relief by manager Bryan Price — at least for now.

The Reds recalled right-hander Lisalverto Bonilla from the Bats, creating space by optioning Sunday’s starter, Sal Romano, to Louisville.

The Reds claimed the 6-foot, 200-pound Bonilla, 26, from Pittsburgh on Feb. 13. He went 0-1 with a 7.20 earned-run average in five innings over four games, including one start, during spring training before being optioned to Louisville, where he was 2-0 with a 5.56 ERA in two starts.

“He’s a length relief pitcher,” Price said. “He’s been stretched out. He’s pitched in relief in the big leagues. It’s a benefit for him and a benefit for us. You’ve seen we’ve been flipping pitchers. We’re trying to get into a groove where we’re consistently getting six innings from our starters.

“He gained arm strength late in spring training and gained command. His breaking pitch has improved.”

Bonilla, a Dominican Republic native who was 3-0 with a 3.05 ERA in five games, including three starts, with Texas in 2014, doesn’t care how he’s used, as long as it’s in the major leagues.

“For me, it’s pretty much the same thing,” said Bonilla, who missed the 2015 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, through translator Julio Morillo. “If they want to use me as a starter, I’ll be a starter. If they want to use me out of the bullpen, I’ll be a relief pitcher. I’m just here to help the team. Right now, I’m focused. My arm feels good. I just hope I can stay up here all season.”

Adleman to start Friday: The Reds' media notes for Tuesday's game listed the starting pitchers for Friday's and Saturday's games against the defending World Series-champion Cubs as "TBA vs. TBA."

“TBA” stands for To Be Announced, and Price did some announcing during his daily pregame media session. Right-hander Tim Adleman, who was recalled from Triple-A Louisville before Sunday’s game and turned in a bullpen-saving four innings of relief after Romano lasted just three frames, will start Friday.

“It wasn’t hard to do,” Price said about choosing Adleman. “He threw the ball well. We all knew he was going to be pitching up here sometime this year.”

Adleman, 29, went 4-4 with a 4.00 ERA in 13 starts for the Reds last season.

Price couldn’t commit to any starts for Adleman beyond Friday.

“He’s in the rotation for the first game with the Cubs,” Price said. “As you’ve seen, our rotation is as fluid as any position on the team. We’ll have a better idea in the next day or two who we’re going to slot into that second game against the Cubs. It’ll probably be someone who’s already here.”

It won’t be Rookie Davis, who is eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list Saturday after being sidelined April 12 with a bruised forearm, the result of being hit by a pitch. The rookie right-hander will throw a bullpen later this week, Price said.

Suarez scratched: Third baseman Eugenio Suarez was scratched from Cincinnati's original starting lineup with a stiff neck. Scooter Gennett started at third.

At the top: The Orioles went into Tuesday's game tied with the Yankees for first place in the American League East Division, while the Reds owned a half-game lead over Milwaukee in the National League Central. Price recognized the increased interest in a series between two first-place teams, but he was trying not to get caught up in the fervor, in part because the season is two weeks old.

“Every series is important,” he said. “You don’t want to overlook a team that isn’t playing well, and you don’t want to overrespect a team that is.”

Next: Electrifying left-hander Amir Garrett (2-0, 1.42 ERA) is projected to make his Great American Ball Park debut as the Reds starting pitcher when they meet the Orioles in the second of their three-game series at 7:10 tonight. Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (0-0, 10.38) is Baltimore's projected starter.

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