Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price sent Dayton Dragons manager Luis Bolivar a text message last week, congratulating him on becoming a United States citizen.
Bolivar took the oath at the federal courthouse in Dayton on Thursday. His entire team and coaching staff attended.
“That really speaks really highly about the type of connectivity Luis has with his players,” said Price on Sunday before an 8-7 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Great American Ball Park. “That bodes well for all of us.”
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The Dragons clinched their first Midwest League playoff berth since 2011 on Friday. They are 41-29 and have clinched a second-place finish in the first half in the Eastern Division.
“It’s been fun to watch,” Price said. “They’ve performed well. They’ve pitched very well. The game reports constantly talk about the effort, the ability to come back, the ability to fight and stay in games. That’s a tribute to the players, and it’s a tribute to the staff who gets the most of out of their players. They’re highly motivated.”
Familiar name: Dodgers reliever Grant Dayton, who gave up a home run to Adam Duvall in sixth inning Sunday, isn’t from Dayton, but he is the first player with the same name as the Gem City to pitch in the big leagues.
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Roster moves: Reds pitcher Asher Wojciechowski was designated for assignment Sunday one day after he allowed five earned runs in 2 1/3 innings in a 10-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Wojciechowski had started four games and made two relief appearances since being promoted to the Reds on May 20. His ERA climbed to 6.75 Saturday.
“We don’t want to lose Wojo, but he has no options,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “He can either be claimed or he can accept his assignment to Triple-A or become a free agent. We’d like him to stay. He gives us that depth we like to have. I think he’d do a nice job in the bullpen.”
The Reds also sent reliever Jake Buchanan, who had a 8.16 ERA in five appearances to Louisville.
Replacing Wojciechowski and Buchanan on the roster were catcher Stuart Turner, who had been on the disabled list since May 20 with a hamstring injury, and pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla.
Starting rotation: Losing Wojciechowski means the Reds have a decision to make about their starting rotation. His next start would have been Friday against the Nationals in Washington.
All eyes will be on Homer Bailey on Monday when continues his rehab assignment by starting for Louisville, though the earliest he could start for the Reds would be Saturday.
Turner’s return: Turner hit .237 in 15 games in a rehab appearance with Louisville. He hit .138 in 13 games with the Reds before going on the disabled list. The Reds have three catchers on the roster for now, but Stuart said he can’t worry about how long he’ll stay in the big leagues.
“You’ve got to make the most of it,” Turner said. “Whatever happens happens.”