Bryan Price officially named the Reds rotation to start the season. Raisel Iglesias will start on Opening Day for the Reds on April 4th. Here is the Reds rotation:

Monday, April 4th vs Phillies – Raisel Iglesias vs Jeremy Hellickson
Wednesday, April 6th vs Phillies – Brandon Finnegan vs Aaron Nola
Thursday, April 7th vs Phillies – TBA vs Charlie Morton
Friday, April 8th vs Pirates – Alfredo Simon vs TBA
Saturday, April 9th vs Pirates – Raisel Iglesias vs TBA
Sunday, April 10th vs Pirates – TBA vs TBA

– The Phillies also officially announced their rotation today for the opening series. The Pirates have yet to announce their rotation, but Francisco Liriano will be their opening day starter (the Pirates open on Sunday vs STL).

– Iglesias starting opening day is especially exciting considering his high upside. Iglesias was obviously very excited about starting opening day. Here is what he had to say (via C. Trent Rosecrans):

“First of all, I want to thank the team for having confidence in me and I want to thank the training staff, the coaching staff and the whole organization for the help they have given me over the last year,” Iglesias said through translator Tomas Vera. “I believe the news that the manager gave me today is one of the best news I’ve had in the last couple of years, because being an Opening Day starter for a pitcher is something I’m proud of, and it’s great news for me.”

– Here are some cool notes on Iglesias:

– Finnegan starting in the second game might come as a bit of a surprise. He was projected to be the Reds #4 starter as of last week.

– The first TBA on Wednesday could be occupied by Robert Stephenson. Price said that could be Stephenson or Tim Melville (neither of the pitchers have pitched in the big leagues). Stephenson breaking camp with the big league camp could be a serious mistake, as that would start his free agent clock. If the Reds had waited two weeks to call up Mike Leake back in 2010, he would have been a free agent after the 2016 season.

– The noticeable missing pitcher from the rotation is Anthony DeSclafani. The Reds are hoping he can start on Sunday, April 10th against the Pirates. He has an oblique strain according to C. Trent Rosecrans:

The Reds had planned on Anthony DeSclafani to make the start until he was delayed by a left oblique strain. He first noticed it in his March 18 start at Milwaukee, but didn’t inform the team until after his March 24 start against the Rangers.

The Reds still hope DeSclafani can start the season on the active roster and pitch the team’s sixth game, Sunday, April 10, against the Pirates at Great American Ball Park.

– The Reds have suffered a bunch of injuries among their starting candidates. John Lamb could be back in mid-April, while Homer Bailey could be back in May. The Reds will have to piece together a rotation until they can get a few of these guys back.

I wrote all about the Reds rotation last week here on RN. Stay tuned to RN for more Reds news leading up Opening Day next Monday. We will continue our team previews of the NL Central tomorrow with the Pirates.

 

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

Join the conversation! 67 Comments

  1. Tell me the Reds cannot be that stupid to start Stephenson that third game. I don’t care what he does in his next spring training start, he HAS to start the season in Louisville.

    I honestly don’t care what scrub they find to start Game 3. Tim Melville. Keyvius Sampson. Pedro Villareal. Heck, bring back Jason Marquis for a couple starts. Just don’t burn a year of team control on Stephenson just because of a meaningless game in April of a lost season.

    • Agree 10000000 percent. Reds were plain stupid to start Cueto on the roster in 2008 and Leake in 2009. Those teams had no chance, but we lost a year of control for 2 freezing starts. Luckily Cueto agreed to long term deal, but still stupid plan. I go further and say that Peraza also should not start until June!

      • I hope the Reds pick up one of the many starters getting cut right now, Jeremy Guthrie?

    • Pretty sure that’s not the way service time works. If he starts once, you send him back down… clock stops. So basically you just have to keep him down an extra week next year.

      • But, why would they send him down? Cueto and Leake were not sent down later.

      • Clock stops when sent back down. If Reds use him for an emergency spot start, they can send him back down and mitigate the impact on the service time and arbitration clocks.

      • Yeah, this is much less of a concern (Stephenson spot start) than keeping Peraza on the 25 man roster and then spot playing him. This is just….stupid.

  2. If Stephenson starts with the big club but is sent down say May 1 for a couple of months, would that be any different for his service time than if he started in AAA and came up after June 1?

  3. Service Time is based on “days on the MLB roster” so if they start him and send him down to Louisville for a period it won’t negatively impact his Free Agency time frame.

    The issue is….What if he gets shelled and it impacts his confidence since he’s likely being sent down anyway……or What if he pitches a 2 hit shutout and “the fans” go nuts when he’s sent down. One other risk is injury….if he gets hurt in that one start and misses the rest of the year, will that count as a year of service time since he’s on the MLB DL?….i don’t know.

    Either way, there is no real upside in pitching him game 3. There has to be some scrub, someplace that can make a start.

  4. I thought that the Reds under the new GM would have gotten away from dumb stuff like this. But the more things change…

    • Why do you think Dick Williams is any good? Credentials . . . . Being related to the owner is all!

      • I didn’t say he was any good. And I don’t think you, me, or anyone else can say whether he is good or bad at this point. Just not enough time on the job to give any kind of assessment yet.

        But if he burns a year of Stephenson for no reason, that will definitely be a black mark on his resume.

  5. Reds *could* be publicly saying they are considering Stephenson as a ploy just so they don’t face a Bryant situation down the road (he filed a grievance against the Cubs).

    • Hmmm… smartest thing I’ve heard in awhile. Could be.

    • Key difference is that Bryant was tearing up Spring Training and was clearly the best option. Stephenson, on the other hand, is getting torn up in Spring Training, and is likely nowhere close to the best option at this time. Reed’s got a far better claim to that than Bob Steve.

      • Yes, but I think Nick is talking about next season. If Bob Steve gets called up half way through this year, there is no service time issue the following season because he’ll get full credit for 2016. But, if he does tear up ST next year, and the Reds want to keep him down a month, this will be a possible pointer for the Reds to say they aren’t doing it intentionally.

    • There isn’t a player on the Reds team, outside of Votto and maybe Mesoraco, that has any valid reason to file a grievance, unless its for “sending me out to face big leaguers and being humiliated” kind of filing.

  6. Either I need to re-read (possible) or you need help writing headlines. “Rest of rotation set.” How does two TBA slots qualify as “set,” exactly? It is unthinkable to me that we’re this close to Opening Day and have to settle for 3 of 5 slots qualifying as “rotation set.” Seriously?

  7. Those 5 who are hurt could very realistically have been the rotation on Opening Day. And now 2/5 of our rotation is “Alfredo Simon” (which I’m actually ok with given the situation, the point is it was unexpected) and “TBA”

    I was really hoping the Reds bad luck was behind them

  8. I’m not too concerned with this. Most the decisions about this pitching staff are going to be “let’s try it”-type anyhow. Surprised? A bit, that’s all.

    I mean, Hoover as closer? I’m not too confident about that. And, one lefty in the pen in Cingrani? I’m not too confident about that, either, especially since he may end up being our closer, also.

    I mean, there is essentially nothing definite in this pitching staff at all. Oh, yes, Disco and Iggy were pretty much slated as starters. But, which starters? No one really knew. People had each of them set for any one of the 5 rotation spots (probably any one of the top 3-4 on this team, including Homer). But, which specific place were they going to end up? No one could tell.

    And, the bullpen? Bullpens are always shots in the dark. I will say, it would be hard to get much worse than what we had the last couple of years (except for Chapman, of course). But, I would think it would be better.

  9. So, why couldn’t the Reds put Disco on the 15-day DL and back-date it to March 25, and if he actually is ready to go at the end of 15 days, he’d be able to pitch on April 8. Let Simon pitch on April 7. At least this way, the Reds could carry an extra bullpen guy for the first few games. I can already hear Price crying over an overused bullpen if the starters in the first few games of the season don’t go deep into games.

    Robert Stephenson is starting tonight’s spring training game, so add me to the list of those concerned that he might break camp with the Reds.

    • And… Stephenson walks the first three batters of the game, ends up giving up three runs in the inning on just one hit.

  10. The Reds bat around in the bottom of the first to tie the game, and Stephenson has a better second inning: 2 strikeouts and a flyout.

  11. Stephenson is going full Rick Ankiel right before our ears…

  12. He’s back to his first inning tricks.

  13. Brian Duensing released by Royals. A lefty who has had a pretty good spring, and decent career numbers. Could help the Reds pitching woes, and keep Stephenson in the minors where he belongs.

  14. This is why quality depth is the most important thing you can have as a major league team. Even more important than having a superstar. Just ask the Angels and the Nationals last year.

    This is also why I think the Reds strategy of targeting ready or near ready prospects with high floors in their trades is a good strategy. Play the long game in the draft and the international market with “upside” guys. But get high floor guys who you know will give you at least a little production at the major league level with your trade chips.

    • Speaking of upside or lack thereof, I’m still chapped about the Reds taking Jake Cave in the Rule 5 draft as opposed to Jabari Blash. Blash is out-OPS’ing Mr. Cave by a couple hundred points and, as he did at the time, really looks to be the far superior player. What was it that the Reds saw in Cave as far as upside I don’t know. Not to say that Cave can’t be a competent Major Leaguer, but he’s likely a 4th or 5th outfielder as opposed to a viable starter (which I think Blash is).

      • Cave is younger and can play all 3 outfield spots. Maybe that was enough to tip the scales in his favor over Blash.

  15. Came up with 2 slogans for our rotation so far

    Raisel and 4 days of hell or
    Finnegan and then the mess begins again

    I actually love our young arms but we have to have more than 1 available at a time don’t we? The offense will be interesting but we are going to give up runs at Majewski’an rate this year! Whats wrong with Sampson starting a game or 2? He has some arm talent if Price can get him to improve.

    • The name of our rotation should be TBA (The Blist Athletes or To Be Announced as both seem to fit)

  16. There is little reason for optimism seeing our so-named early starting staff. Don’t kid yourself. This staff doesn’t scare anybody. Maybe next year but looks woefully thin now.

    • 4 days of hell refers to us as Reds fans. I have no illusions…I would take under 70.5 wins this year

    • I’m not aware of anyone who was optimistic for this year.

    • Optimism, when was ever a reason for that other than wait til 2018. Probably the last time any one felt optimistic was when they said if Billy can just get on base a few more times and we can get some quality starts out of Marquis and Gregg can be an effective set-up guy….

    • Maybe it doesn’t “scare” anyone, but it has tons of upside.

      In their positional power rankings for starting rotations, FanGraphs said something along the lines of “the Reds are that team from the bottom half that would be least surprising to be in the Top 10.”

      I actually think the rotation is one of the potential bright spots. If any 2 of Reed, Stephenson, Finnegan, Lamb, Lorenzen, Moscot, Garrett, Travieso end up being decent, the Reds rotation in 2018 could be quite formidable.

      • I agree Patrick and actually think there is a reasonable chance that more than 2 of that collection will at least be “decent”.

      • I agree too, must be that SEZWHOM and others aren’t noticing the injuries to the actual projected starters? The opening rotation has only one starter that will likely be starting come late May and that is Iglesias. The rest will be in the bullpen or AAA/AA or released come late May, including Finnegan. Finnegan will not be an MLB starter after this year. He has all the makings of middle relief and potentially a good RP at that.

  17. Well…this will be fun. Glad to Iglesias is pumped about starting opening day. Happy for him. It would be nice if all of our starters other than Simon weren’t getting shelled every time out, but then again, I’m sure that Arizona air is having something to do with the HRs. That’s what has been hurting the pitching the most it seems.

    • Lots of crazing hitting stats in Arizona and awful hitting stats in Florida. So yeah, I expect pitching to improve in regular season (even with injuries) and hitting to regress substantially…for all teams springing in AZ.

  18. Thank goodness, expectations are low this year. Two rotation starters starting the season on the DL and three other starters succumbing to injuries in spring training. The re-built rotation is needing a re-build before Opening Day. And they need a LH reliever to fall from the sky and into their laps before Opening Day too. Thank goodness, expectations are low this year.

    • Manny Parra just became available. Wesley Wright is out there now. Not a LH but Mujica is out there now too! Wright could really work I would think. I’d take a flyer on Mujica too assuming the price was right.

  19. Pitching wise it doesn’t look good but I have a feeling a few guys might make USA Today’s projections looks pretty stupid if they stay healthy!

    Suarez at .253 with 13 hrs
    Mesoraco .249 with 16 hrs

    • Yeah, that’s a terrible projection for Suarez. I feel like some of these projections just average some amount of the last few seasons and weight them based on level. That’s really lazy I think.

      Turns out, young guys usually get better as they near their primes.

      • Bingo! Most projections are this lazy. It’s just a computer crunching numbers (the one weakness of relying on computers…they don’t have two eye balls as counter-weights).

        • Very true, but computers are also unbiased. I like starting with projections then seeing if there is something underlying. The more data they get, the better they become, thankfully. Even though Votto’s projections are a bit low, they still peg him for an over .400 OBP, for example. Sometimes they know stuff! 😉

  20. Cubs release Manny Parra. Could he find his way back to the Reds LH-depleted bullpen?
    Drew Stubbs released from Texas. Tough day for former Reds.

    • Sam LeCure also released. He was having a miserable spring though.

    • My boy Stubby has pretty good career #’s vs lefties. Seems like someone could use him?

  21. I listened to the first few innings last night. Thom and Marty were sadly in mid season form. They were both downright critical and negative of a freaking Spring Training game. Thom especially. He even made disparaging comments about how the Brewer’s Will Smith hurt his knee taking his cleats off standing up “instead of using a stool, like you or I would do.” Good grief.

    I wish somebody on the Reds would see/hear this and do something about it. It’s embarrassing for the team, it’s embarrassing as a fan… if I had been listening with a friend or family in the car, I’d have felt the need to apologize: “Yeah, sorry, these guys can be really harsh sometimes, I just listen for the baseball in between.”

    I’m not trying to restart the whole Marty needs to go thing… again, it was Thom who was more abhorrent to listen to last night, but seriously, at the very least, can they just to less editorializing, more game calling.

    • Thom is far worse than Marty and whereas many feel Marty has earned the right to be so critical, I don’t think that argument stands up when it comes to Thom.

      • And I used to think ed Kennedy and Frank McCormick were awful. Chris welsh is pathetic. To the point of being sickening.

        • WHAT? Chris Welsh is awesome. He knows his stuff, from a pure baseball side and from an analytical side. He’s the only one on the team that tries to add Sabermetrics to the conversation and is entertaining as well. I just wish he’d be more direct when he calls out Thom or anyone else that rants about things they don’t know.

    • They generally have amongst the highest radio ratings in baseball. They’re not going anywhere, nor is anyone in ownership going to ask them to change.

      I often disagree with both of them….but, their core audience is a 65 year old man in suburban Cincinnati who doesn’t care about WAR, OBP and thinks Votto walks too much. They don’t serve to educate or enlightening……they are there to entertain and help maintain the core.

      Baseball demographics are awful……The Reds demographics are even worse. Marty and Thom play well to that audience and those 65 year olds are extremely important to the Reds.

      • Chuck: I’m in that demographic (except for being older and living in the Green Mountain state), and I think Thom is a horse’s rear end. I’d probably think the same of Marty, but I only see and hear him shilling for Montgomery ribs and cars.

      • I’m well beyond that 65 year old demographic and grew up listening to Waite Hoyt describe the Reds games. Other than opening day or if there’s a trade, etc., I don’t listen to Marty and Thom. Instead, I watch the games on MLB and follow politics or whatever else on cable.

        • Similar to me, although I don’t fit that demographic (I’m 45)… I watch on TV but usually am listening to music.

  22. What! Elmer Dessens is not available?!

  23. A what point does the Reds strength and conditioning team get called to the mat? With all of the injuries there needs to be some accountability going on with those paid big bucks to keep our players healthy and ready to go.
    Either they are being pushed to hard or we are recruiting kids held together by duct tape and super glue.

    • Most of the injuries have been to pitchers, haven’t they? Strength and conditioning might reduce those (though forty or fifty years ago there was little of either, and I don’t recall that there were more injuries), but pitching overhand is an activity that, by its nature, is likely to result in injuries, particularly with the premium placed on pitch speed. Not many teams are free of injuries, though wasn’t it just a few years ago that the Reds themselves had a remarkable run of starting pitchers staying injury-free?

  24. Events haven’t really rendered me speechless; I just have limited access to the grid right now. Sounds like same old same old playing out 🙂

    I was counting on my phone for access this week. It continued to work fine as a phone but wouldn’t do data. I think it is fixed now at least until the next time it fails to automatically pull down a required upgrade..

    As a Reds fan I feel right at home with such dysfunction.

Comments are closed.

About Nick Kirby

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

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