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Dodgers call up Jake Reed, designate Steven Souza Jr. for assignment

28-year-old RHP joins taxed LA bullpen

RHP Jake Reed pitching for the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers on June 12, 2021
Eddie Kelly / ProLook Photos

In the midst of a finishing stretch of 11 straight game days, including two bullpen games, heading into the All-Star break, the Dodgers called up an extra pitcher to help fortify an especially busy relief corps of late.

Jake Reed got the call-up on Tuesday, a 28-year-old right-hander who signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers on June 4 and posted a 2.61 ERA with 11 strikeouts and one walk in 10⅓ innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Reed has pitched in 233 minor league games, all but two of them in relief, in seven minor league seasons, including five years in Triple-A. But to date he has never pitched in the majors. The right-hander will wear number 57 with the Dodgers.

He joins a bullpen that includes three members — Blake Treinen, Victor Gonzalez, Joe Kelly — that have pitched twice in the last three days, and another (Phil Bickford) who has thrown three times in the last five days.

Because of a rain delay of nearly two hours on Saturday in Washington D.C., followed by a planned bullpen game on Sunday, then Walker Buehler’s shortest outing of the season (five innings) on Monday, Dodgers relievers have pitched 17 innings in the last three days. They’ve only allowed two runs during that span, but they are taxed, with another planned bullpen game coming Wednesday.

Tony Gonsolin, the starting pitcher for the Dodgers on Tuesday, has yet to pitch longer than four innings in a start this season.

Edwin Uceta was called up Sunday after Brusdar Graterol pitched two games in a row, then on Monday Scott Alexander was activated off the injured list to replace Garrett Cleavinger, who pitched three times in the last four days.

To make room for Reed on the roster, the Dodgers jettisoned a position player. Outfielder Steven Souza Jr. was designated for assignment. The 32-year-old was 4-for-25 (.160/.250/.360) with a home run and a triple in 13 games with the Dodgers, including five starts.

Souza homered in his second game as a Dodger, on June 18 in Arizona, giving the Dodgers the go-ahead run in the eighth inning in his first game back at Chase Field since injuring his leg in spring training in 2019, a devastating injury that wiped out his season.

The move gives the Dodgers 14 pitchers and 12 position players on the roster.