Reds minor league star Bruce to get call-up on Tuesday

Updated: May 27, 2008, 7:03 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

With Corey Patterson batting .201, Ken Griffey Jr. .251 and Adam Dunn .252, the Cincinnati Reds are looking for some outfield help. They'll start in their own backyard.

The team announced on Monday that it is planning to call up highly touted prospect Jay Bruce before Tuesday night's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"He was ready for some time but we wanted to give him more time and give more opportunities to the guys we have here," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said Tuesday.

"When Jay comes up he will play a lot. We wouldn't bring him up and not play him," Jocketty said.

Bruce was hitting .364 with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs in 49 games at Triple-A Louisville. He also had stolen eight bases.

The Reds chose Bruce, 21, with the 12th overall pick in the 2005 draft. Last season, he was named the Reds' minor league player of the year after hitting a combined .319 with 26 homers and 89 RBIs between Class A Sarasota, Double-A Chattanooga and Louisville.

Bruce had hoped to win the center-field job in spring training, but the Reds held him back.

Last week Jocketty went to watch Bruce in action and the left-handed slugger went 2-for-4 with a home run.

"It just confirmed what everyone had been telling me," Jocketty said. "You like to see guys from the organization that are good kids get an opportunity. He certainly has earned it."

Patterson, the current center fielder, went 0-for-8 in the Reds' 18-inning loss to the San Diego Padres on Sunday and has three hits in his last 34 at-bats.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.