Price praises Davis' handling of demotion

Price praises Davis' handling of demotion

SAN FRANCISCO -- Reds manager Bryan Price didn't have to say much to Rookie Davis about his demotion. The rookie right-hander was prepared for the news and told Price what he needed to work on with Triple-A Louisville before his manager could.

"I think it might have been the most unique demotion meeting I've ever been a part of, because he knew exactly what he needed to do," Price said Thursday. "He could have told us verbatim what we were going to tell him. He actually did."

In his first big league stint, the 24-year-old Davis compiled a 7.58 ERA in five starts, allowing 29 hits in 19 innings, including a five-run outing in a loss to the Yankees earlier this week before he was sent down Wednesday.

In the meeting with Price, Davis said he wasn't throwing his breaking pitches for strikes often enough. Davis was able to hit the zone with his fastball, but he couldn't hit the corners as he wanted, Price said.

"I think he embraces the challenge," said Price. "I think he understands what we're trying to do here by introducing a lot of our younger pitchers here to the big leagues -- with no guarantees that they'll be here for the duration of the season.

"I hate to say he anticipated at some point going down, but I think he was a realist when he didn't get off to a great start, that he was going to need some seasoning, he was going to need to improve his game."

Reds starters entered the four-game series with the struggling Giants with the National League's worst ERA at 5.29. Davis was the third pitcher to get sent down over the last week, joining southpaws Cody Reed and Amir Garrett.

Cincinnati still managed to win six of its last seven thanks to an offense that averaged more than seven runs per game. Reds hitters have a combined .336 average the last week and slugged nine home runs.

Cincinnati promoted Lisalverto Bonilla, who will start Saturday, to take Davis' spot in the rotation. Bonilla will be the club's ninth starting pitcher this season.

Bonilla, a right-hander, made one big league appearance after beginning the year with Louisville, allowing four runs in five innings of relief against the Cubs in April. He went 2-0 with a 5.56 ERA in two starts with the Bats. He'll oppose Giants lefty Matt Moore.

Christopher Biderman is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Reds on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.