Braves option Reyes to Triple-A
Left-hander's departure leaves rotation with four starters
ATLANTA -- Struggling left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes was optioned to Triple-A Richmond on Monday, leaving the Braves with four pitchers in their starting rotation.
Right-handed reliever Jeff Bennett was recalled from Class A-Advanced Myrtle Beach and reinstated from the 15-day disabled list to fill the roster spot. He had been on the disabled list since July 6 with a partially dislocated pitching shoulder. During a four-game rehab stint with Myrtle Beach, Bennett allowed three hits and struck out three in four scoreless innings.
Reyes was expected to start Monday's series opener against the Cardinals but was instead used on Sunday after a one-hour, 57-minute rain delay knocked out Jorge Campillo, who will now start Tuesday.
Reyes was charged with four hits, five runs and four walks in 2 2/3 innings on Sunday. He is 0-5 with an 8.74 ERA in his past six games (five starts).
"I'm not mad about it," Reyes said of being demoted. "I think I've shown that I need to do something. ... I've got to work down there."
Reyes said his problems aren't mechanical, but more a product of "thinking too much out there."
Reyes' struggles have certainly perplexed Braves manager Bobby Cox. The 23-year-old lefty showed signs of turning the corner in June, when he posted a 3.22 ERA in seven starts. But lately, Reyes has struggled with the command on all of his pitches, particularly his fastball.
Asked about Reyes' recent woes, Cox sighed and said: "He's got to control that heater."
Reyes was 1-1 with a 1.17 ERA in five starts with Richmond in April.
After placing ace Tim Hudson on the DL on Monday, the Braves have only four starters in their rotation. They could promote left-hander Chuck James from Richmond or move a long reliever -- such as Bennett -- into the rotation.
Ryan Lavner is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.