Three former Dayton Dragons players recently made their major-league debuts for the Cincinnati Reds.
Outfielder Jesse Winker made his MLB debut Friday, striking out as a pinch-hitter in the 9th inning of Cincinnati’s 10-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. On Saturday he collected his first MLB hit, a game-winning double that drove in the go-ahead runs in the Reds’ 7-5 win over the Brewers.
Winker played for the Dragons in 2013, batting .281 with 16 HR and 76 RBI in 112 games.
Winker was sent down to Triple-A on Sunday to make room for RHP Sal Romano, who made his MLB debut in a spot start for the Reds. He lasted only three innings and took the loss after giving up three runs (two earned), three hits and four walks. All three runs scored on back-to-back homers by Ryan Braun and Travis Shaw in the 3rd inning. Romano struck out two and hit one batter.
Romano spent the entire 2013 and 2014 seasons with the Dragons. In 2013, he went 7-11 with a 4.86 ERA, 89 strikeouts and 57 walks in 120.1 innings (25 starts). In 2014, he went 8-11 with a 4.13 ERA, 128 strikeouts and 42 walks in 148.1 innings (28 starts).
Romano is the third starting pitcher to make his MLB debut for the Reds this season. One of the others, LHP Amir Garrett, also is a former Dragon who pitched for the team in 2013 and 2014. In 2013, Garrett went 1-3 with a 6.88 ERA, 15 strikeouts and 16 walks in 34 innings (eight starts). In 2014, he went 7-8 with a 3.64 ERA, 127 strikeouts and 51 walks in 133.1 innings (27 starts).
Garrett has made two starts for the Reds at the major-league level, earning two wins while posting a 1.47 ERA and nine strikeouts while walking two batters in 12.2 innings.