De Leon was released by the Reds on Friday. De Leon opened the year on the active roster but was optioned in early May and designated for assignment in mid-July. He'll now leave in search of other opportunities, though he's likely to be stuck looking for a minor-league deal as he owns a career 8.44 ERA in 48 innings at the highest level.
The Reds designated De Leon for assignment Monday. De Leon earned a spot on the Reds' Opening Day roster, but he stuck around with the big club for a little over a month before he was optioned to Triple-A Louisville after posting an 8.35 ERA across his 18.1 innings out of the bullpen. The 28-year-old right-hander was dominant over his last nine relief outings at Louisville (0.96 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 14:3 K:BB in 9.1 innings), and that improved form coupled with his prospect pedigree could be enough for another organization to put in a waiver claim for him now that Cincinnati has dropped him from its 40-man roster.
De Leon was optioned to Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday. De Leon had allowed at least two runs in each of his last three relief outings, and he has an 8.35 ERA and 1.80 ERA in 18.1 innings to begin the season. The right-hander lost out on his rotation spot in early April when Sonny Gray returned to action, and he's now off the big-league roster altogether for the time being. De Leon will attempt to sort things out in the minors after left-hander Cionel Perez was recalled Wednesday.
De Leon will pitch out of the bullpen going forward, C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic reports. De Leon served as a member of the starting rotation for his first two appearances and posted a 7.71 ERA and 18:5 K:BB in 9.1 innings to begin the year. However, manager David Bell confirmed Wednesday that De Leon will move to a relief role since Sonny Gray (back) is slated to make his season debut Saturday. De Leon is unlikely to factor into high-leverage situations in the near future.
De Leon (0-1) allowed six runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out nine over 4.1 innings in a loss to the Diamondbacks on Sunday. The righty threw 61 of his 89 pitches for strikes but was unable to build on his last start. The 28-year-old saw limited action in 2020 and will have a lot of attention on him moving forward as the Reds decide whether to keep him in a starting role or move him to the bullpen upon teammate Sonny Gray's return.
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