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Cincinnati Reds place Connor Overton on 15-day IL with elbow strain, activate Casey Legumina

Luke Weaver’s return to the rotation looms, too.

Philadelphia Phillies v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Connor Overton has not been able to replicate the small-sample brilliance he displayed during the 2022 season with the Cincinnati Reds. In a trio of outings so far in 2023, he’s allowed 14 ER in just 11.0 IP, and if the news of the day is to be believed, it’s an elbow strain that’s behind his foibles thusfar.

The Reds placed Overton on the 15-day IL today after his abbreviated outing last night, said elbow sprain the culprit. Casey Legumina, meanwhile, has been called up for his first trip to the big leagues and will serve as immediate depth within the bullpen.

Legumina, you’ll recall, was the return from the Minnesota Twins in the deal that sent them Kyle Farmer earlier in the offseason.

In what’s perhaps just as interesting a revelation, it seems that Luke Weaver is just about ready to rejoin the Reds, too. After firing 5.0 IP for AAA Louisville last night while on rehab assignment, Weaver is in the Reds locker room today, presumably ready to assume a spot in the starting rotation when Overton’s turn comes up again in four days. The Enquirer’s Charlie Goldsmith pointed out this detail just prior to the Reds activating Legumina.

It certainly appears that the Reds pitching staff is going to get a ‘freshen up’ with these moves, even if it getting a legitimate ‘improvement’ is still in question. Legumina has looked quite fine in 5.2 IP of relief with AAA Louisville so far in early action, but that’s the lone action the 25 year old has seen above AA so far in his career. Weaver, meanwhile, has battled injuries for consecutive years and has struggled to a 5.58 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 153.1 IP at the big league level dating back to the start of the 2020 season.

The hope is that the Reds can catch lightning in a bottle with these two, as they’ll be eyeing roles in the current weak points of the Reds roster. The back-end of the rotation has been tough with Overton unable to weather the storm, while the bullpen’s collective -1.52 WPA ranks second worst to only Oakland among relief groups league-wide to date.