Cincinnati Reds notes: Rookie reliever enjoys perfect debut

Reds relief pitcher Barrett Astin throws in the fifth inning against the Phillies on Monday, April 3, 2017, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
Reds relief pitcher Barrett Astin throws in the fifth inning against the Phillies on Monday, April 3, 2017, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Manager Bryan Price would have preferred Barrett Astin make his big-league debut in easier circumstances. Astin, one of seven rookies on the Cincinnati Reds roster, entered the game on Opening Day with runners at first and second and one out in the fifth.

“That was not the premium spot, but he’s a groundball pitcher who throws strikes,” Price said. “That’s his background. We needed an out. It was a situation where I felt it didn’t matter if they were left- or right-handed. If he came in throwing strikes like he did in spring training, chances are he would get a groundball, and he got a groundball and a fly out to center. I was proud he handled it as well as he did.”

Astin, 25, handled the situation like a veteran, not someone who had never even pitched in Triple-A.

“Everyone always hopes to pitch on Opening Day,” Astin said Wednesday, “and everyone wants to make the Opening Day roster, so to be able to make it and to pitch, it was a cool experience. I thought I’d get nervous. When I stepped on the mound and saw the hitter in there, I thought, ‘OK, it’s just another day on the mound. I have a job to do. I’ll do the best I can.’”

Astin, an Arkansas native and former University of Arkansas pitcher, was 9-3 with a 2.26 ERA at Double-A Pensacola last season. The Reds acquired him from the Milwaukee Brewers in 2014 in the Jonathan Broxton trade.

Astin said his parents and sister watched his debut from the stands.

“I think they were able to enjoy it and just live in the moment,” Astin said. “I was out there for two batters. It was good to get in there and get out and get it over with.”

Waiver claim: The Reds claimed Phillies outfielder Tyler Goeddel off waivers and optioned him to Triple-A Louisville. Goeddel, 24, hit .192 in 92 games with Philadelphia last season.

“We knew he was a multi-positional guy,” Price said. “We saw him more in left field than any place if I remember correctly. He’s an athletic kid who did everything very well. He ran well and defended in several different positions, but when we played them, he was nver playing regularly.”

Mesoraco update: Catcher Devin Mesoraco will begin a rehab assignment with Pensacola on Thursday. He's scheduled to catch six innings.

“We have a loose schedule that will end up going day to day based on how he responds to it,” Price said. “We’ll get him to where he’s catching back-to-back nine-inning games before we activate him.”

DeSclafani update: The Reds transferred starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani (elbow) to the 60-day disabled list. He's eligible to return June 1.

Thursday's game: Rookie Davis will make his big-league debut at 12:35 p.m. Thursday in the series finale against the Phillies. Clay Buccholz will start for Philadelphia.

The Reds then go on the road for three games against the St. Louis Cardinals and three against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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