NEW YORK -- The Reds placed starting pitcher Aaron Harang on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday because of lower back spasms. Matt Maloney was recalled from Triple-A Louisville to take his place and pitch against the Mets. Harang was originally scheduled to start on Monday, but was scratched after he felt a pop in his back while sitting down. There was hope he could get better enough to pitch on Tuesday. The Reds hedged their bets however, and had Maloney fly to New York on Tuesday morning just in case. Maloney was notified late Tuesday afternoon that he would be starting, after a meeting in manager Dusty Baker's office with Harang, general manager Walt Jocketty and trainer Paul Lessard.
"We waited. The chiropractor came in again, and he's a little bit better -- not good enough to pitch," Baker said of Harang. "We anticipated this. We didn't think that he would be, judging from [Monday]. That's why we have Maloney here." The club was fortunate that Maloney can make his start on his normal amount of rest. He was scheduled to pitch for Louisville on Tuesday. In 15 starts for the Bats, he was 6-5 with a 3.50 ERA. Harang, who was put on the DL retroactive to July 1, is eligible to be activated on July 16, right after the All-Star break. He is 6-7 with 5.02 ERA in 18 starts, but 4-2 with a 3.94 ERA over his last eight starts. Maloney was 2-4 with a 4.87 ERA in seven starts for the Reds last season. He was an early candidate for the fifth-starter's spot in Spring Training, but did not pitch well. The rise of Mike Leake and Travis Wood prolonged Maloney's stay in the Minors. "He's a young man that was next in line quite a few times, but a couple of guys jumped over him by performance -- in Spring Training especially," Baker said.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.