CINCINNATI -- With only three weeks left in the regular season, the Reds added some bench depth by acquiring utility player Willie Bloomquist from the Royals for a player to be named or cash considerations. Bloomquist was scratched from the Kansas City lineup Monday afternoon about a half-hour before a game against the A's. He wasn't expected to join the Reds until Tuesday. Able to play every position on the field, except pitcher and catcher, Bloomquist was hitting .265 in 72 games for the Royals with three homers, 17 RBIs and eight steals.
"He's a much-needed guy," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He plays all over everywhere. He plays good outfield, which is where we can really use him right now. He's a good pinch-runner and pinch-hitter, especially against left-handed pitching. We need him right now. We've been searching for somebody like him for a couple of weeks." Bloomquist, a right-handed hitter who broke into the Majors with the Mariners in 2002, is a .275 lifetime hitter vs. lefties compared to .256 against right-handers. As a pinch-hitter, he's batting .278. To make room for Bloomquist on the 40-man roster, right-handed reliever Enerio Del Rosario was designated for assignment. Del Rosario spent most of the season at Triple-A Louisville but had a 2.08 ERA in nine big league appearances for the Reds. The Reds had scouted Bloomquist lately and liked what they saw. They decided to go outside of the organization instead of calling up an outfielder like slugger Wladimir Balentien from Triple-A Louisville. "We considered that, but right now, we need somebody that can play more positions," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "This guy is a perfect guy for our situation. He's a perfect National League player because he plays so many different positions." Because the trade was executed after Aug. 31, Bloomquist is ineligible for the Reds' postseason roster. To replace a disabled player in the postseason, a player must have been in that organization prior to Aug. 31. However, the roster has been banged up with injuries lately, and Cincinnati played 12 straight games with only three outfielders until Jay Bruce returned on Monday. Jim Edmonds is still working his way back from an oblique injury and Laynce Nix is on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle. "We'll have to be careful with Jay," Jocketty said. "Edmonds is still not 100 percent when he gets back. Heisey is not 100 percent. We needed to have somebody and give these guys a little break from time to time." And for three weeks at least, that somebody is Bloomquist.