The Cincinnati Reds have announced the promotion of former Pensacola Blue Wahoos infielders Didi Gregorius and Henry Rodriguez, and are expected to add starting pitcher Pedro Villarreal later in the week, to their Major League roster as part of September call-ups. The trio becomes the third, fourth and fifth Blue Wahoos alums to make it to "The Show" in the team's short history.
All three began the season on the Blue Wahoos' Opening Day roster and started the first contest in team history on April 4, 2012. It will mark the first time all three players have made it to the Major Leagues in their professional careers. Additionally, the trio is responsible distinct milestones in the club's inaugural season.
Gregorius recorded the first hit in Pensacola Blue Wahoos history with his first inning single on Opening Day, and quickly became a fan favorite thanks to his dazzling glove work at shortstop. At the time of his promotion to Triple-A Louisville on July 10, Gregorius had compiled a .278 average, adding 45 runs scored and 31 RBI in his 81 games. In 48 games with the Louisville Bats, the Curacao resident has hit .243 with six homers and 23 RBI in 48 contests.
Rodriguez blasted the first home run in the team's history on Opening Night, which turned out to be the game-winning hit after breaking a 1-1 tie in the eighth inning. In 33 games for Pensacola, Rodriguez hit at a .348 clip with two homers and 15 RBI and at one point recorded a hit in a team-record 16 straight contests in April and May. The switch-hitting infielder was promoted to Triple-A Louisville on July 4, where he has hit .244 with three home runs and 20 RBI.
According to the Reds official Twitter account, Villarreal is expected to be called-up on Tuesday. He officially began the Pensacola Blue Wahoos' history by taking the ball as the Opening Day starter on April 4, 2012, with his first pitch just after 7:00 p.m. fouled back to the screen behind home plate. The right-hander was promoted to the Bats on May 5 after recording a 1-2 mark and 3.57 ERA in six starts for Pensacola. Since moving up to Louisville, he has accrued a 3-12 record and 4.61 ERA in 20 outings for the Bats.
The trio will join former infielder Mike Costanzo and former catcher Koyie Hill to hold the distinction of Blue Wahoos alums who have been promoted to the Major Leagues. Costanzo became the first Pensacola player on May 12 and made his Major League debut the next day, driving home a run with a sacrifice fly. Hill was acquired by the Chicago Cubs from the Blue Wahoos on May 19 and started at catcher for the Cubs later that night at Wrigley Field. On that same day, Costanzo made his first MLB start against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium and recorded his first hit in the Big Leagues with a single to left.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.