CINCINNATI -- Following a two-month stint on the disabled list, Reds left-handed reliever Bill Bray was activated before Friday's series opener against the Twins.
Bray was initially put on the DL due to a strained left groin, but back trouble extended his time away.
"It's been a long couple of months now. It's nice to be back," Bray said. "It's not a good feeling not being here, but it's awesome watching teammates and your friends play well and be in first place. It's a great feeling. The only thing you want to change is you want to be here. I'm looking forward to helping out."
To make room for Bray on the 25-man roster, the Reds optioned right-handed reliever J.J. Hoover to Triple-A Louisville. Hoover, a rookie who debuted after Bray was injured, performed well with a 3.00 ERA in 17 appearances with eight walks and 19 strikeouts over 18 innings.
"It was a very tough decision because J.J. did a good job for us," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He got ready a lot quicker than we anticipated he'd be ready. We thought it would be sometime in the middle of the season, but he got pressed into action because of injuries and he performed well. It's not anything he did. It was just a matter of numbers. We told him he'd be back."
Bray was called upon in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and one out to face left-handed batter Denard Span. Bray fell behind, 3-0, in the count and came back to force a full count before walking Span to allow the Twins to tie the game and then allowing a sacrifice fly to Ben Revere.
Bray returned following a six-game rehab assignment with Class A Dayton and Louisville. In his four outings for Louisville, he gave up two runs and three hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
The root of Bray's groin stemmed from a hitch in his delivery during a Spring Training injury. The adjustments led to the back injury.
"It was more where I was landing toward home plate," Bray said. "I closed off four or five inches toward first base. All of a sudden, I was jerking baseballs home and not throwing strikes. Once I figured that out, things got back to normal. Because of that, I was dealing with back problems all of a sudden. It just took a while to get those out of there."
With Bray back, Baker has a second lefty setup man besides Sean Marshall leading up to lefty closer Aroldis Chapman.
- 142 wins
- 110 wins
"There were times you wished you had more than one because you could have two left-handed situations instead of picking a primetime one," Baker said. "We're glad to have Billy back. Slowly, but surely, we're getting back to where our regular plan was."
First-rounder Travieso tweets his signing with Reds
CINCINNATI -- The Reds' first-round Draft pick, right-handed pitcher Nick Travieso, revealed Friday that he has signed his contract with the club.
"Officially signed and now a part of the @Reds #blessed" said Travieso in a pair of Twitter posts. "Wish I could stay for the game tonight in Cincy but I'm heading back to AZ to get it all started!"
That likely means Travieso will play for the organization's Arizona League, rookie-level club, based at the team complex in Goodyear.
There was no official word from the Reds about signing Travieso, who was in Cincinnati for a physical. Reds general manager Walt Jocketty was not available for comment.
The 14th overall selection out of Archbishop McCarthy High School near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Travieso will receive a bonus of $2 million, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo said in a report last week. According to Major League Baseball guidelines, the recommended bonus slot for that pick is $2.375 million.
An 18-year-old Travieso, who is 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, was 8-1 with a 0.76 ERA this year. He struck out 100 and walked 17 in 65 innings. His velocity generally is in the 92-95 mph range, but he has reached 99 mph in more recent outings.
Stubbs begins rehab assignment on Friday
CINCINNATI -- Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs, out since June 5 due to a strained left oblique, was slated to begin a rehab assignment Friday with Class A Dayton.
Stubbs, who took batting practice on Wednesday with the Reds without issue, was expected to spend three games with Dayton and could be activated on Monday.
"A lot of it depends on how he feels. Hopefully there are no setbacks," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
Leake, Latos swap starting assignments
CINCINNATI -- The Reds announced on Friday that they have switched pitching assignments for starters Mike Leake and Mat Latos. Leake will now start on Sunday against the Twins and Latos will take Monday's series opener against the Brewers.
Leake and Latos originally became flip-flopped recently when Latos had to move up a day to replace Leake, who was out with a stomach virus. The move was made to split up Leake from Tuesday starter Bronson Arroyo.
"Leake and Arroyo are very similar," manager Dusty Baker said. "Plus the extra day with the off-day, too, gave us the liberty to do something."
• The Reds and Twins are meeting for the first time since 2001 at the Metrodome and the Twins hadn't been to Cincinnati since 2000 at Cinergy Field. The two clubs met in Interleague Play for five straight seasons from 1997-2001.
• Fox Sports Ohio announced that as of Thursday, Reds games aired in the Cincinnati market have the highest regular-season average household rating in the Majors at 8.56.