Reds notes: Miley ready for return to mound

Reds start two-game series for Royals on Tuesday

The Cincinnati Reds have the best starting rotation in the National League, ranking first in ERA (2.58). The staff has excelled without Wade Miley, the team’s most important offseason pitching acquisition.

Miley allowed six earned runs in 1 2/3 innings in his first start July 27 against the Chicago Cubs and then went on the injured list with a left groin injury. He returns to the mound at 6:40 p.m. Wednesday when the Reds play the Kansas City Royals in the final game of a two-game series at Great American Ball Park.

“I feel a lot better now,” Miley said. “It’s something that jumped on me toward the end of Summer Camp, and I thought I was going to be able to push through it. My body wasn’t cooperating. I think I needed a couple extra days to get it completely healed up instead of keep reaggravating it. I feel great right now. I’m moving in the right direction.”

With Miley’s return, Tyler Mahle will go to the bullpen. He had a 1.80 ERA in two starts. Sonny Gray is 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in four starts. Luis Castillo is 0-2 with a 4.76 ERA in four starts. Trevor Bauer is 2-0 with a 0.93 ERA in three starts.

“It’s been impressive,” Miley said. “From day one, they’ve set the bar pretty high, and they’ve continued that run. It’s been fun to watch.”

Roster move: The Reds placed relief pitcher Pedro Strop on the 10-day injured list Tuesday. The move is retroactive to Saturday. They recalled infielder Josh VanMeter from the alternate site at Prasco Park in Mason.

VanMeter was sent to the alternate site when the Reds reduced their 30-man roster to 28 Thursday. He’s 0-for-14 in seven appearances.

“When I had to deliver the message to him about going to Prasco, I definitely didn’t want to guarantee him anything,” Reds manager David Bell said. “That wouldn’t be right or fair or honest, but I did say there was a chance it would be very temporary and to make the absolute most of the time at Prasco: get as many at-bats, get as much work in as you can. It always happens for a reason, and there is always something to be gained. I’m confident he did that. I really believe it was just a matter of time before he got back here. He’s part of our best team. We know he can hit.”

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