Martinez, Heyward, Cardinals beat Reds for fourth win in row
APR 18, 5:20p ET | AP
Rotowire: Apr 18 / 7:26a ET
News: Villarreal has been optioned to Triple-A Louisville.
Impact: The Reds needed to make space on the roster for the return of Homer Bailey for Saturday's start against St. Louis, and Villarreal was simply the odd-man out right now.
Rotowire: Apr 15 / 12:18p ET
News: Villarreal was recalled from Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday. Villarreal tore a nail on the ring finger of his pitching hand in spring training, which caused a number of struggles. That has fully healed now.
Impact: Cincinnati went ahead and swapped out Josh Smith with Villarreal, who struck out two in two scoreless frames in his 2015 debut with Louisville on Saturday. In front of closer Aroldis Chapman, the Reds' late-inning situation is a disaster right now, but Villarreal figures to work exclusively in the middle innings for the time being after posting a 4.30 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 12 appearances with the big club last season.
Rotowire: Mar 30 / 10:41a ET
News: Villarreal was optioned to Triple-A Louisville on Monday.
Impact: The Reds' bullpen is slowly starting to come into focus and Villarreal will not be a part of it to start the season. Last year he had a 4.30 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 14.2 relief innings for the Reds, so if he does make it back up to the big leagues it will likely be in a low-leverage role.