The move might come off like a shake-up of struggling team, but Reds manager Dusty Baker made it sound as if the team were forced to make the move.
"(Lewis') rehab expired yesterday," Baker said. "He's healthy. He was looking pretty good. It's a combination of a baseball decision and a business decision. Being on the roster, being on rehab, if you don't call them up, the rule says they become a free agent and you've got to pay them anyway. So, like I said, it was a baseball decision and a business decision. Hermida had options, and Fred had no options."
Lewis, who had been on the DL all season due to a strained right oblique muscle, pinch-hit Wednesday and struck out in the eighth inning of the Reds' 3-2 win over Houston. He becomes the team's fifth outfielder.
Lewis hit .261 with three doubles and one RBI in seven games for Class AA Carolina and .300 with a home run and three RBI in eight games for Louisville on his rehab assignment. He walked 12 times in his 15 rehab games.
Lewis' on-base percentage was .500 in his stay at Louisville.
"A lot of guys were asking if I have 20-20 vision," he said. "I told them maybe, maybe not. I'm just seeing the ball very well right now. I was in one of those zones. On that level, you have some good pitching. Some guys can really get it up there. Guys on my team at Louisville were asking me what I was looking for at the plate. I said I was looking for a pitch in my zone. From the past, I'd take a walk here and there. I'm not a free swinger."
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