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Cincinnati Reds claim lefty Jairo Labourt from Detroit Tigers

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Another talented lefty joins the pitching staff.

MLB: Detroit Tigers-Media Day Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds have claimed LHP Jairo Labourt off waivers from the Detroit Tigers, it appears. At least, that’s what Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press was told by a source earlier today, and if so, that’s a fairly interesting pickup by the Reds.

Labourt, who just turned 23 years old in March, made his big league debut with Detroit last season, tossing 6 innings in his initial cup of coffee. In 66.1 IP across three levels of the minors aside from that in 2017, he posted an impressive 2.17 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 10.7 K/9, all of which came in relief despite the fact that he’d spent the bulk of his minors career prior to 2017 as a starter.

The only real disturbing trend he’s shown is the inability to throw strikes, as his career 5.1 BB/9 in the minors is rather alarming. Of course, that’s not been something that the Reds have feared too much in the arms they target, and that Labourt flashes a fastball that can touch 97 mph and, at times, an electric slider was enough for them to make the claim despite their 40-man roster being full. As it turns out, the Reds will transfer Rookie Davis to the 60-day DL to make room for Labourt.

Labourt checked in at #18 on MLB Pipeline’s latest list of the Top 30 prospects in the Tigers system, for the record. That’s probably why our Tiger friends had this reaction to the news:

Welcome to the Reds, Jairo. Throw more strikes than Oliver Perez and you just might make the bullpen out of camp.