Christiani Makes MLB Debut

Christiani in 4th Pro Season After Vanderbilt

After 200 minor league relief appearances former Vanderbilt pitcher Nick Christiani made his MLB debut Friday with a scoreless outing for the Reds. He's been very effective since July and should get an extended stay through the remainder of the season.

Cincinnati fell a game in the standings by opening a home series against the Brewers with a 6-4 loss. Zack Cozart gave his team a lead with a two-run single in the fourth before Brandon Phillips tied it later by leading off the sixth with a home run. They fell behind when the Brewers plated three in the eighth and another RBI single by Cozart in the bottom of the inning was not enough for the comeback. Cozart, Phillips, Todd Frazier, and Ryan Ludwick each had two of the Reds nine hits.

On the mound Homer Bailey got no decision for a quality start, allowing three runs on six hits/two walks in six innings with five strikeouts. Alfredo Simon entered in the eighth but did not finish it and took the loss for allowing a couple of home runs.

It will be a game long remembered for Reds reliever Nick Christiani. After two hundred relief appearances in the Reds minor league system he made his major league debut at the age of 26. He didn't exactly start off on the right foot with a four-pitch walk but after that he retired the next four batters faced to end the game.

Christiani came into the Reds organization when they drafted him out of Vanderbilt in the thirteenth round in 2009. He completed a senior season with the Commodores after the Indians picked him in the 34th round the previous year. After skipping the rookie leagues he began pitching professionally at Dayton the next season and has been ascending up their system the next four years. He stubbed his toe a bit when he reached AAA in 2011 but he came back last season to post a low-three ERA.

This year that went up to 4.05 over 47 appearances. What probably earned him the call was effectiveness he's had since the beginning of July, allowing six earned runs over nineteen innings in seventeen appearances. He's shown great command this season with a K/BB ratio of 48/15 over 53 innings.

Christiani is a 6'0"/190# right-hander out of Seton Hall Prep in West Orange, NJ. He throws a low-90's fastball with a solid slider. This season he's been especially effective against right-handed hitters, holding them to a .198 average and .548 OPS. He's taken the spot of Jonathan Broxton who will undergo a season-ending surgery on his forearm and posted a scoreless appearance in his debut. Rosters will be expanding soon so he'll have more opportunities to establish his spot in the Reds' pecking order for relievers as they make future plans.

Other Organizational News:

Louisville scored a run in the seventh to give them a 3-2 home win over Toledo. Henry Rodriguez and Mike Hessman both had two of the Bats' eight hits. Yohan Pino turned in another solid start, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits while striking out seven with only one walk to lower his ERA to 3.12. Jose Diaz retired the side in order in the ninth for the save.

Pensacola scored two runs in three different innings in their 6-2 win over visiting Birmingham. Ray Chang led the Wahoos with three hits with two RBI. Ryan LaMarre had two hits and drove in two while Travis Mattair also finished with two hits and one ribbie. Carlos Contreras got the win for allowing two runs on six hits/one walk while striking out six in five innings. Three Pensacola relievers combined for four scoreless frames to end the game.

Bakersfield fell behind early and allowed more runs late in their 10-2 home loss to San Jose. Junior Arias had a couple of hits for the Blaze. Fabian Williamson took the loss for allowing five runs over the first three innings. Carlos Gonzalez and Ben Klimesh both tossed two scoreless innings of relief.

Dayton allowed two runs in the sixth inning and two more in the eighth in their 8-5 loss at Lake County. Zach Vincej, Sammy Diaz, and Daniel Piggott had two hits each for the Dragons. Sal Romano took the loss for allowing six runs (five earned) in five-plus innings.

Billings lost a three-run lead in their 4-3 loss to visiting Idaho Falls. Avain Rachal had two hits and a walk for the Mustangs and Aristides Aquino added a solo homer. Junior Morillo got no decision from allowing three runs on four hits in five innings. Larry Somsen allowed only one run in three innings of relief but that was enough to pin the loss on him.

The AZL Reds allowed three runs in the tenth inning in their 10-7 loss to the AZL Diamondbacks. Kevin Franklin had three hits for the Reds while Aldi Guzman added two. Jeremy Kivel allowed three runs over the first five innings. Ibrahin Redan took the loss for allowing three runs in one and two-thirds innings.

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