Villarreal got sent down to Triple-A Louisville despite posting a 2.25 ERA in eight spring training appearances. Villarreal was stymied by not being on the Reds' 40-man roster. "That poses part of the challenge," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "A lot of factors went into the decision. That No. 1, was a consideration -- creating roster spots for guys and having some flexibility with the guys we have on the roster. The other part is as we shrink this down, there are guys we really wanted to see first."
Villareal signed a minor league contract with the Reds on Saturday that includes an invite to major league spring training, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports. Villarreal posted a 3.42 ERA with a 1.38 WHIP over 50.0 innings as a reliever with the Reds last season. He was non-tendered at the beginning of the offseason but he'll be brought back on a minor league deal that does include an invite to big league spring training. Given the Reds' bullpen overhaul, Villarreal could have an outside shot at landing a low-leverage role in the bullpen.
Villarreal will not be tendered a contract by the Reds, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. His 3.42 ERA in 2015 was more than 50 points below the Reds' collective bullpen mark, but the peripherals suggest he overachieved. While he improved his control, Villareal had a 5.2 K/9 and a below-average groundball rate, with his FIP coming in a full run higher than his ERA.
Reds reliever Pedro Villarreal gave up three unearned runs to take the loss against Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Villarreal lost for the second time in three outings to drop to 0-2 on the year. He gave up two hits, including a home run, in one inning.
The Reds have announced that they have placed left-hander Tony Cingrani on the 15-day disabled list with a left shoulder strain. The move is retroactive to Sunday. "I do imagine it's going to take some time to get the inflammation out, get the strength back up in the shoulder and then reinitiate throwing," manager Bryan Price said, per MLB.com. "He's got 15 days, and we'll see where he is at that point." His roster spot has been asssumed by righty reliever Pedro Villarreal. Cingrani has struggled lately with three runs allowed on seven hits in his last three innings pitched. He is 0-3 with a respectable 3.47 ERA on the year.