After his cameo start for the Cincinnati Reds in their win over the Philadelphia Phillies, Robert Stephenson was optioned to AAA Louisville with a corresponding move scheduled for today. Well, it turns out the Reds have called up Brandon Allen, which is a bit of a headscratcher.
To replace Stephenson on the roster, the Reds have selected from Louisville the contract of 1B Brandon Allen (#51).— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 8, 2016
Allen, 30, is a lefty swinging 1B/LF by trade, one who has spent time with each of the Chicago White Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, Oakland A's, and Tampa Bay Rays prior to signing on with the Reds as a minor league free agent this past offseason. He's logged 389 career big league PAs since his initial cup of coffee in 2009, in which time he's hit 12 dingers and owns a .203/.290/.375 line. With the Reds in Cactus League play this year, he hit .259/.355/.333 in 16 games, in the process giving the Reds enough of a look to warrant said call-up.
It's sure to be a temporary move, however, what with Anthony DeSclafani set to return to the rotation on April 10th. Still, Allen wasn't on the 40-man roster, and brings a skillset both offensively and defensively that's a somewhat over-the-hill version of what Kyle Waldrop could offer (and Waldrop's on the 40-man roster already). On top of that, he joins instead of a bullpen arm, and considering the early innings already being asked of the shaky pen, there was some thought they'd bring up an additional arm for the first two games against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Welcome to the Reds, Brandon.