Reds Select Joel Kuhnel, Designate Robert Dugger

The Reds announced that they have selected the contract of right-hander Joel Kuhnel. Fellow righty Robert Dugger has been designated for assignment in a corresponding move.

Kuhnel got small bits of action with the Reds in 2019 and 2020, logging 12 2/3 MLB innings in total. In that small sample, he has a career ERA of 4.97 with a 21.8% strikeout rate and 9.1% walk rate. After the 2020 campaign, he was designated for assignment and outrighted to the minors. Last year, injuries limited him to just eight innings on the year.

This year, however, he appears to be healthy and off to a good start. Now 27 years old, he’s thrown 10 1/3 innings in Triple-A so far this season, with a 2.61 ERA. His 16.7% strikeout rate is a dip from previous seasons, but he’s got a tiny 2.4% walk rate and hefty 57.6% ground ball rate in that small sample.

As for Dugger, it will prove to be a very short stay on the Reds roster, as he was just claimed off waivers from the Rays on Wednesday. The Rays had selected his contract just before active rosters were about to shrink from 28 to 26. They threw him out out on the mound for 87 pitches of mop-up duty over 5 1/3 innings before designating him for assignment. The Reds put in a claim and treated him similarly, giving him a three-inning, 59-pitch appearance in the second game of yesterday’s doubleheader before cutting him from the roster. He’ll now likely head back onto the waiver wire and see if another team in need of arms will give him a chance.

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