The Reds have optioned struggling starting pitcher Edinson Volquez to Triple-A Louisville, the club announced Monday amidst a flurry of other moves.
Volquez, who took his second defeat of the season in a 12-4 loss to the Indians on Sunday, has seen his ERA inflate to 6.35 less than three seasons after he won 17 games for Cincinnati and was an All-Star in 2008.
As it has been lately, Volquez's control was erratic against the Indians, as he lasted just 2 2/3 innings. He surrendered seven runs (six earned) with seven hits, four walks, one hit batter and three strikeouts.Afterward, he sparked controversy by calling out the team's offense.
"I think everybody has to step up and start getting some runs," Volquez said. "The last five games, we've scored how many runs? Thirteen [actually 12] in five games? It's not the way we were playing last year. We're better than that."
The Reds called up utility player Todd Frazier and pitcher Matt Maloney from Louisville, while also optioning pitcher Jordan Smith with Volquez.
Frazier, who will see his first big league action, was red-hot for Louisville, batting .293 with 11 home runs and 33 RBIs this season. He was hitting .354 with six homers in May.
A supplemental first-round pick in 2007, Frazier's flexibility -- he can play every infield position and both corner outfield spots -- could be useful. He has played 28 games at third base this year, nine in left field and six at first base.
Baseball fans also may know him from the 1998 Little League World Series, when he helped lead the team from Toms River, N.J., to the championship.
Maloney, a left-handed starter, was 2-1 with a 4.45 ERA in five starts for Louisville. He allowed five walks and struck out 19. He'll be in his second stint with the Reds, as he began the season with the club and went 0-1 with a 8.49 ERA in one start and four relief appearances. He was optioned on April 23.
Smith has a 7.20 ERA in 17 appearances this season for Cincinnati, striking out 13 and walking eight in 20 innings of work.
The Reds have lost a season-high five games in a row heading into Monday's series opener against the Phillies.