DENVER – The Cincinnati Reds made a few roster moves with their bullpen before Friday’s game against the Colorado Rockies.
Right-handed reliever Sal Romano was designated for assignment. Right-hander Art Warren, who spent two years at the University of Cincinnati, was promoted from the taxi squad. The Reds filled Romano’s spot on the 40-man roster by claiming right-hander Michael Feliz off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Feliz, 27, is out of minor-league options, so he will be added to the active 26-man roster once he reports to the club. It’s unclear if he will join the Reds for their weekend series in Colorado or meet the team in Cincinnati on Monday because of COVID-19 testing requirements.
He was solid out of the Pirates’ bullpen this year, yielding eight hits, two earned runs and one walk across 7 2/3 innings (2.35 ERA), but the Pirates designated him for assignment after injuries took a toll on their roster. Both of his earned runs and five of the hits he’s allowed came against the Reds when the two teams met at Great American Ball Park in early April.
“We have seen him quite a bit,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He’s definitely been on our radar. We really feel like it was a big pickup and we think he can strengthen our bullpen, which is the goal.”
Feliz missed most of last season with right forearm discomfort and he was sidelined for a couple of weeks last month with a cracked nail on his right middle finger. He made one relief appearance after he was activated from the IL, throwing two scoreless innings on May 7.
Romano was the Reds’ long reliever in low-leverage situations. He allowed 20 hits and 12 earned runs in 20 2/3 innings (5.23 ERA) while striking out 12 and walking nine.
He was designated for assignment prior to spring training in 2020, but he cleared waivers and remained in the organization. He owns a career 5.15 ERA in 83 appearances (41 starts) with the Reds.
Romano can elect free agency if he clears waivers, which seems to be the way he’s leaning. He wrote a farewell message that was shared on the Reds’ social media channels, thanking the organization for giving him a chance to play in the Major Leagues.
“It’s never easy losing a friend and a great teammate,” Bell said. “He’s spent his whole career here and has some of his best friends here, so tough for him. I do know it could lead to a good opportunity. We’ll wish nothing but the best for Sal, but also thank him for all the contributions he’s made here to the Reds on and off the field.”
Warren served as the 27th man for a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Reds completed a suspended game beforehand, but he did not make an appearance. The 28-year-old is a Napoleon, Ohio native.