Bill Bray, who was bothered by a groin injury during spring training, has been placed on the disabled list with a strained left groin.
Cincinnati called up right-hander J.J. Hoover to replace the left-handed Bray on the roster and in the bullpen.
Hooper was acquired from the Braves in the Juan Francisco trade and had been serving as the closer at Triple-A. He’ll be making his MLB debut at age 24 after posting very impressive strikeout numbers in the minors.
Bray was a key part of the Reds’ bullpen last season, but injuries have repeatedly sidetracked his career and the 29-year-old southpaw hasn’t thrown 50 innings in a season since he was a rookie in 2006.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.