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“Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of allowing him to work on it up here,” Riggleman said. “He’ll go down and work on that and hopefully come back and help us up here.
“If you talk to the hitters around the league, they say he’s really tough. We want to get him back to that.”
Crockett was claimed off waivers from Cleveland last Nov. 27. The Reds didn’t tender him a contract before re-signing him to a minor league deal on Dec. 4 and inviting him to spring training as a non-roster player. He went 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA, four walks and four strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings over six games.
The 26-year-old dramatically improved his walk-to-strikeout ration in 23 games with Louisville, piling up 23 strikeouts while walking just five in 27 innings.
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“It was just getting more confidence,” said Crockett, who was the Indians’ fourth-round pick in the June 2013 draft and became in 2014 the first player from the 2013 draft to reach the majors. “I wasn’t thinking too much. I was just using my stuff. I knew I had to do that.”
Crockett went 4-1 with a 180 ERA in 43 games as a Cleveland rookie in 2014, but the Indians placed him on waivers after he was 0-0 with a 10.80 ERA in four games last season. He was 1-0 with a 4.00 ERA this season with the Bats. Opposing batters were hitting .278 against him.
“He was doing OK,” Riggleman said. “There are so many stats these days, and some of the periphery ones were favorable to him. The main reason we made the move is we wanted to have another left-hander in the bullpen. He’s been up here before, so he’s not going to be intimidated by the situations he sees here.”
Schebler out: Trading Peralta for Crockett wasn't Cincinnati's only Thursday roster move. Outfielder Scott Schebler was placed on the bereavement list and outfielder Phillip Ervin was recalled from Louisville for his second stint with the Reds this season. Ervin opened the season with Cincinnati before being optioned to the Bats on April 26 after hitting .211.
Catcher Tony Cruz, who appeared in nine games with the Reds this season, was released from Louisville.
Warming up: Great American Ball Park probably was a welcome sight for Cubs left fielder and Middletown native Kyle Schwarber. The former Middie was 6-for-40 in his last 13 games going into Thursday's game, but he'd homered in each of the Cubs' last two games, and he went into the series against the Reds hitting .281 with four homers and 11 RBIs in Cincinnati for his career.
Game two: Right-hander Luis Castillo (4-8) is scheduled to face left-hander Jose Quintana (6-5) in Friday's second game of the series. Quintana is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in three career starts against the Reds, including his May 19 outing when he allowed one hit and struck out seven in seven scoreless innings. Castillo has allowed a league-high 17 home runs.