Per Steve Stewart on the broadcast today, Reds claimed LHP Jonathan Coutlangus off waivers from San Francisco and optioned him to AA Chattanooga. To clear a spot on the 40-man, Grant Balfour was DLed.
Coutlangus is a converted outfielder drafted in the 19th round in 2003 out of the University of South Carolina. He hit well in his first pro season, but cratered in 2004 with a .194/.293/.242 line in 2004 at High-A Salem-Keizer. The Giants converted him to pitcher, and he rewarded them at High-A San Jose in 2005 with a 3.04 ERA and 4-0 record in 50 appearances, posting a nice 29/79 BB/K ratio in 77 innings and allowing just 64 hits.
He's 25 for 2006 and will be getting his first taste of AA. I wonder if Johnny Almaraz saw the success of Brian Shackleford and tried to go back to the well. Shack was 26, not 24, when he was converted at the AA level, and reached the big leagues in his third year of pitching. Coutlangus had better immediate success than Shack did, too, as Brian walked a ton of people when he was first changed over.