The Reds activated pitcher Mike Leake on Friday, but the 2009 first-rounder won't be a pitcher down the stretch. Instead, he'll be a pincher.
"Leake will fit in to pinch-hit, pinch-run, pinch-bunt. Pinch everything," Reds manager Dusty Baker told reporters, including MLB.com's Mark Sheldon . "He told me two months ago if I needed an emergency outfielder, he could do that too. That's a real emergency. He's not ready to pitch. He wasn't supposed to pick up a a ball for two weeks."
As impressive as Leake was on the mound as a rookie (8-4, 4.23 ERA), he impressed as many people for his all-around athleticism. In 59 plate appearances, Leake hit .340/.415/.362 with six sacrifice bunts. He's pinch-hit five times, walking once with no hits (or sacrifices).
The team will only have "emergency" outfielders on the bench -- as the team activated Jim Edmonds on Friday, surprising not only Baker, but Edmonds too.
"I'm here if it's needed," Edmonds said.
The Reds have been playing with just three healthy outfielders for 10 days since Jay Bruce went down with a "sore right side." Laynce Nix is also out with a sprained ankle.
With Bruce down, the Reds have used Jonny Gomes in left, Drew Stubbs in center and Chris Heisey in right. The Reds have gone 3-6 in those games, losing their last five.
In Bruce's absence, Heisey has struggled, hitting .194/.194/.306 in 36 plate appearances. Gomes has hit .250/.351/.500 and Stubbs is thriving, hitting .303/.395/.455 with a homer and four RBI.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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