Christian Colon has appeared in 150 big-league games over five seasons but did not reach the majors at all in 2018 and appeared in only eight games last season for the Cincinnati Reds.
That’s why Colon, 31, got emotional when manager David Bell informed him Friday he would join the 30-man roster for Opening Day.
“I was very excited, happy,” Colon said. “I started crying. I’ve put a lot of work into getting back to the big leagues, and being able to be part of a team like this ... there are special people around here. I called my family: my mom and dad; my wife and kids. Everybody was crying. It was a special moment and one that I’ll always remember.”
Colon was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the fourth round in 2010 and debuted for the Royals in 2014. He hit .263 in four seasons in Kansas City and was on the postseason roster when the Royals lost the World Series in 2014 and won it a year later.
The Reds signed Colon as a free agent in December 2018. He spent most of last season with the Triple-A Louisville Bats and went 3-for-6 with the Reds after being promoted in September. He said he got off to a slow start in spring training this year and decided to play with more urgency when Summer Camp began.
“I came back with a totally different mindset of trying to compete every single at-bat, every single rep I got,” Colon said. “In the situation I’m in, I can’t take one at-bat off. That’s what I want to bring to this club, the perserverance, the never-give-up attitude.”
Other addition: The Reds also added infielder Matt Davidson to the 30-man roster Friday and put him in the starting lineup at designated hitter for the season opener.
Davidson, 29, hasn’t played in the big leagues since 2018 when he hit .228 in 123 games for the Chicago White Sox. He hit a home run in a 2-1 exhibition game victory against the Tigers on Wednesday.
Prospect update: A day after the Reds added him to the 60-man player pool, Hunter Greene talked to reporters Thursday, describing his comeback from Tommy John surgery, which he underwent in the spring of 2019.
Greene, the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2017, had the surgery in Los Angeles and also rehabbed there. He progressed from small things, such as working on his grip strength two months after the surgery, to later lifting weights and finally to throwing again. His velocity has returned, and he hit 102 miles per hour in a workout this month.
“It’s great to see those numbers,” Greene said. ‘I had no doubt I was going to be able to get back up there. I’ve kind of had my own expectations of getting back. i’ve never been a guy who’s tried to throw 100 plus every fastball. It’s just kind of been natural. I have thrown 100 percent and really let some go, but one of the biggest focuses for me coming back is making sure i’ve really pitching and getting back to establishing my secondary pitches. Mastering those has been really important for me. It’s really what I’ve been focusing on more than my fastball.”
Roster move: The Reds traded outfielder Scott Schebler, who did not make the Opening Day roster, to the Atlanta Braves on Friday for cash. Schebler appeared in 360 games for the Reds over the last four seasons.
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