Bonilla is no longer a candidate for the Reds' rotation, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports. Even with the Reds hemorrhaging starting pitching candidates this spring, Bonilla wasn't able to do nearly enough to remain in the competition. He has a 7.20 ERA while allowing opposing batters to hit .409 against him this spring. He's still in the hunt for a bullpen spot, but even that possibility seems tenuous right now.
Bonilla will be tried out as a starter by the Reds in spring training, though he's also in contention for a bullpen spot if starting doesn't work out. The Reds have many openings this spring, albeit with many young arms competing for those spots. "We're undefined in the four and five spots in the rotation," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We're undefined in at least two bullpen spots, in my opinion. We see him competing for both, a middle relief and potentially a starting spot."
Bonilla was claimed off waivers by the Reds on Monday, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. The 26-year-old spent a little over two months in the Pirates before being DFA'd to make room on the 40-man roster for Pat Light. Bonilla spent 2016 in the Dodgers organization, compiling a 4.28 ERA and a 9.7 K/9 as a starter for Triple-A Oklahoma City. This performance could help him climb up the Reds pecking order, although the plethora of starters in Reds camp this spring could keep him in Triple-A for a while once again.
Bonilla was designated for assignment on Thursday. Bonilla was designated for assignment to make room for newly acquired reliever Pat Light. The 26-year-old originally signed with Pittsburgh this past November after spending all of 2016 in the Dodgers' organization.
Bonilla was signed by the Pirates on Tuesday. In a corresponding move, Jeff Locke was designated for assignment. Bonilla missed all of 2015 while recovering from Tommy John surgery and spent 2016 with the Dodgers' Double-A and Triple-A affiliates. Over 24 games (six of which were starts) at Triple-A Oklahoma City, Bonilla posted a subpar 4.28 ERA and 1.40 WHIP, but struck out 79 batters over 73.2 innings, giving him a 9.65 K/9.