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Reds claim LHP Kyle Crockett from Cleveland

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Some immediate bullpen help, perhaps?

Cleveland Indians v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Reds added six youngsters to their 40-man roster just last week in order to protect them from December’s Rule 5 Draft, at the time bringing their total number of rostered players to 39. On Monday, the team filled out that 40-man roster by claiming LHP Kyle Crockett off waivers from the Cleveland Indians, as The Enquirer’s C. Trent Rosecrans reported.

Crockett, 25, was designated for assignment by Cleveland on the 20th.

The lefty had a bit of a rough go as ERA numbers go in 2017, posting a 10.80 mark at the MLB level upon which some of you might fixate. Scoot your eyes over a bit on his player card, though, and you’ll find that came in a measly 1.2 IP, making it wholly meaningless. From 2014-2016, though, he owned a 3.25 ERA in 63.2 big league innings, with a solid 3.09 FIP backing it up as rather non-fluky. Add-in a solid 3.38 ERA and 2.84 FIP in 48.0 innings with Cleveland’s AAA club in 2017, and there’s a chance he can add another lefty presence to the bullpen immediately alongside Wandy Peralta.

The former University of Virginia product (and teammate of 2014 Reds’ 1st round pick Nick Howard), Crockett is far from a fireballer, as his fastball velocity has sat between 89.3 and 87.9 mph in his big league seasons to date. However, he features a slider that he’ll use on upwards of 25% of his pitches, which is his most reliable out pitch. Perhaps of utmost importance, though, is that he once faced Joey Votto and struck him out, which is almost entirely reason enough to go claim the guy.

Crockett isn’t arbitration-eligible until the 2019 season, so if he sticks with the Reds he’ll come as a near league minimum arm, making this claim almost risk free. As I mentioned earlier, that brings the roster to a full 40, though there will surely be more shuffling and punting from that group as the offseason grinds on. For now, though, welcome to the Reds, Kyle.