The young, exciting, rebuilt Cincinnati Reds have announced that 34-year-old journeyman Scott Feldman will be their Opening Day starting pitcher. Well, the Reds did say when they signed him that Feldman was flexible in his role for the club.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 59 Comments

  1. I guess that means he made the team.

  2. Price wanted someone experienced. I guess it could have been

  3. Let’s hope he does well so we can trade him for prospects. *snicker*

  4. Thought it would be Finnegan

    • Thought it -should- be Finnegan……….(or maybe Garrett)

      There, -fixed- it (grin)

  5. I know its Opening Day, but realistically this game matters no more than the other 161, so why not start a journeyman 34-year-old, who’s started Opening Day for two other clubs and is not going to be rattled by the pressure of the moment? Sounds better than starting a young player (Finnegan) who is looked upon to be a part of the next great Reds team, although he’s probably the 4th starter or a bullpen piece on the next great Reds team.

    • Agreed. Haven’t looked at the schedule, but the first week has always been a little funky. Hey, it’s not Jimmy Haynes or Eric Milton……Or is it?

  6. opening day starter looks good on the trade resume…maybe

  7. Scott (Corey) Feldman and the Lost Boys….gonna be a long year

    • I still can’t wait though….weird? Its like standing in line for 30 minutes to see Al Pacino play Jack Kevorkian

  8. Wow! Not doing any good for Finnegan’s confidence heading into the season. Typical Price. Giving the opening day nod to someone who should be in our organization for many years makes way more sense than a stopgap 1 year rental. Heck, he may only be around until the trade deadline. Another reason Price should not be the manager of the Reds. DW hire Mike Sarbaugh before it’s too late!
    Finnegan should just look at it as opening day starter by default and forget about it. With a healthy staff, Finnegan would not have been in that position. Bailey or Disco would’ve been the starter on opening day. Still, he must feel slighted. Price said Feldman earned the right over Finnegan. If you really want to give it to a pitcher that earned it, Garrett or Romano would be our starter on opening day.

    • If not being named opening day starter is going to shake Finnegan’s confidence, he is destined for a very short career as a major league pitcher.

      • I don’t think Finnegan has set the world on fire in spring training, either. Not that spring performance should be the be-all and end-all of such decision making, but I think he could have made Price’s decision a bit harder. Six walks in 11 innings and 10 earned runs doesn’t inspire much confidence. His walks have always been a concern.

    • Opening day is one game, but it’s a big deal, particularly in Cincy. A young pitcher could fel a lot of pressure. I wouldn’t read too much into this.

  9. Yes….Very uninspiring choice and not consistent with positive trajectory on the surface. But let me play devil’s advocate…They are going to need innings from him until Disco and Homer come back…Why not showcase him and give every opportunity like Straily…If he gives you 12 starts and 8-9 are solid and you flip him in July for an AA solid prospect…. It’s a good thing. If he’s 0-4 with an ERA of 7 in early may….Well…He could do that pitching in in any role or any starting slot for the club and will be DFA’d

  10. This announcement is clearly premature…how do we know we won’t pick up a reclamation project on waivers at the last minute who we could plug in to start? /s

  11. Theoretically you start your bed pitcher on Opening Day because that means he could get 33 or 32 starts and yes so could your Day 2 starter, but after that the odds go down. Again that is theoretically, and probably means nothing. The problem is the statement it makes about how unimportant this season is. How important is the “rebuild.”

    • Do you believe that starting a relatively untested young guy instead would demonstrate the importance of the season or the rebuild? If anything, the decision could be all about the importance of the rebuild. But again, is it really such a big deal?

  12. Disappointing on several levels.

  13. Opening Day? Well, the bullpen will be fresh.

  14. Jimmy Haynes would be proud.

  15. I see absolutely no upside to this move. Even if the downside is minimal (disappointing Finnegan, perhaps), why go with a literal zero upside move? Am I missing something?

    I wonder if Price makes this decision in a vacuum or if BC/DW have some say in it?

    • Maybe when you get the chance to start a guy on Opening Day that tossed 77 innings of below-average baseball the previous year, you just gotta do it. Don’t know when a chance like that will come along again.

    • The worst part is the reasoning given by Price. Not that Feldman is their best pitcher. Not that he’s going to be a cornerstone of the rotation. But because he’s a veteran. A savy veteran at that, who can “control the strike zone” to the tune of 3BB/9 and 5.5K/9.

      This is the exact same reasoning that got us Jason Marquis, Alfredo Simon 2.0, and a Kevin Gregg the set up man.

      You listen to Dick Williams and think the organization might be turning a corner, but then see inane things like this and realize it’s the same old pig just with fresh lip stick

      • Bailey and DeSclafani are unavailable. The other candidates are either trying to build some confidence after brief and disappointing MLB experiences last year (Stephenson and Reed) or haven’t pitched in MLB at all (Garrett and Romano). Is this the best of all possible worlds? Dunno. Does it mean that the rebuild and DW’s talk of changing direction are a sham? I really doubt it.

  16. In 12 seasons, Feldman has been above-average once (2009), average twice (2012, 2013), and below-average or injured 9 times.

  17. Dick Williams’ proclamation that the Reds were going to start getting results from the rebuild this year looks very premature at this point. I’m having trouble seeing the Reds as much better than they were last year. Sure, in a perfect world scenario they could break .500, but this rotation could be pretty terrible.

    • Agree 100%. Will have to ride out September to try and avoid 100 losses.

  18. Why put the added pressure of Opening Day starter and (temporary) no. 1 status on the shoulders of Brandon Finnegan?

    He turns 24 next month, pitched 172 innings last season and got hit hard, for the most part. He needs to continue to be worked with and sheltered, not promoted in the rotation.

    The Braves have Colon, Dickey and Garcia in their starting rotation for a reason. Their young pitchers aren’t ready to assume starting spots. Atlanta might hit lightning in a bottle and contend this year, but why risk young arms on such a slim possibility?

    With the all of the arm problems already evident around the Reds, the last thing I want to see in 2017 is another young guy overworked or rushed into the rotation.

    • That has to be their reasoning. I’ll also add that after the first time or two in the rotation it doesn’t really matter. Just a bummer for those attending opening day with a retread as your starter. But who knows. Feldman might pitch a gem.

    • I don’t buy the pressure argument. Never have, probably never will (unless data, of course). These guys excel under pressure from the age of 12. They never buckle. That is why they are in the majors and didn’t wash out earlier.

      • Patrick, not every thing is a data based decision. Not in real life or baseball. We just agree to disagree on that viewpoint.

        The Blue Jays limited Aaron Sanchez’s innings last season, despite no recovery from TJ surgery or data-driven reason to do so.

        Atkins and Shapiro had a good record in developing the Indians’ young pitchers.

        Whether it’s pressure or trying to win games at the expense of personal development, it’s all unnecessary risk with Finnegan with little hope of meaningful return this season.

        • agreed with above….on the atkins/shapiro comment only question i have is doesn’t seem like other clubs move pitcher quicker than reds overall. what do stats say on that? is it something that jim has brought up recently on med stats??

      • Patrick: They mostly excel under pressure, but they didn’t surrender their human brains when the signed their first contracts. Pressure affects everybody, and the more experience you have with it, the less it surprises you. The fact that so many knowledgeable people here at RLN are making such a big deal out of this shows some recognition that Opening day is not just another game. If Feldman screws up, what does it really matter–to the team or to him? Mightn’t it matter more to Reed? Who would you start?

    • You are talking about a 24 year old who pitch in high leverage relief situations (successfully – very successfully) in a World Series.

      He’s seen more pressure than anyone on this team not named Votto.

      Toss out that excuse and give me something else.

  19. In the spirit of Joey Hamilton and Jimmy Haynes.

  20. I think it’s a experienced based decision, next in the line after Bailey and Disco, no one else

  21. “The young and exciting, rebuilt, Reds”……. Im still laughing. Lord, I’m afraid, it is going to be a rough couple of years.

  22. I think the real story is not Feldman….But that veterans Arroyo and Adleman are nowhere near proving they can pitch every 5 th day in MLB. Adleman is not getting hitters out and Arroyo hasn’t pitched more than 2 innings and the limited returns aren’t good.

    • I don’t see any way Arroyo pitches a single inning in the bigs for the Reds this year. And if he does, he’ll be a bad version of what Jared Weaver was last year… which was bad.

  23. Looks like Price has taken a page from Dusty Baker’s book and gone with the gritty vet. Not exactly the way to go if you’re trying to find out whether the young guys can play.

  24. Glad I got a season ticket package for the Louisville Bats, instead of buying Reds tickets. Closer, cheaper, and it’ll be infinitely more fun.

  25. Maybe we can bring “gritty” Skip back.

  26. it makes a lot of sense actually, do you really want an over amped rookie/almost rookie taking on the extra pressure of opening day in Cincinnati? The fact that Feldman has already been an opening day starter twice made this decision… that and the fact that no one else made any sense with both Disco and Homer out.

    • I don’t buy the pressure argument considering, as “Grand Salami” said above, Finnegan has pitched in high leverage situations, as a rookie straight out of college, in the World Series. This after pitching in the College World Series in the same year! There could be a thousand reasons but I don’t think pressure is one of them.

  27. This is more of a statement as to where the Reds roster is at right now than where the FO wants it to be. Bailey out. Disco out. A bunch of very young and inexperienced pitchers vying to fill in the gaps. Some look promising but mostly its just question marks.

    The Reds could roll with a rotation of Finnegan and young prospects and see how things sort out. In fact, that’s likely to happen no matter how conservative they are trying to be now. More injuries are bound to occur and we haven’t even begun to discuss the likelihood that some of these guys are just not going to stick in the majors.

    I’m concerned about the bigger issue. Is this rebuild constructed on a shaky foundation? There are a lot of key injuries and lingering injury concerns right now, and not just to the rotation. Mesoraco (who appears will miss the beginning of the season), Herrera, Hamilton, Iglesias, Disco and Bailey all have durability concerns. And Votto ain’t getting any younger.

    This represents a lot of potential holes to fill all while the Reds are trying to figure out what they have in this next group of players. We could be approaching another event horizon similar to the early 00’s…

  28. In any event former pitching coach & present (for now) manager Bryan Price has made this bed, & will have to lie in it. Feldman is his choice. Let’s just hope he’s held accountable.

    • I wouldn’t say this represents much of a choice. At least not one of real consequence. It was either going to be Feldman or Finnegan. The construction of this rotation, at least for now, is being dictated by injuries, service time and preparedness of the candidates. Let’s just hope there aren’t any further injuries.

  29. I honestly don’t see what the big deal is. Are people really up in arms about whether Finnegan pitches game 1 or game 2? It doesn’t really matter at all.

    The truth of the matter is that either Bailey or Desclafani would be starting Opening Day if they were available. Feldman is a one-year stopgap, and Finnegan profiles as a # 4/5 starter down the line. Neither really belongs out there on Opening Day, but here we are.

    I am as critical of Price and his adherence to “roles” as anyone, but this is a non-issue. Move along.

    • I agree….Opening day is overrated. Its just one of 162. Feldman’s last 3 years with Houston…total of 350 innings with a 3.64 era. That’s pretty good for pitching in a AL park thats so short to left! He might be decent this year til the innings start to add up.

      • I really don’t have much expectations for Feldman this year. Hopefully he pitches well enough so that we can get a decent prospect for him come July. But I’m not holding my breath.

        I’m not expecting Finnegan to tear things up either. But that’s ok. Not every staff can have all 1’s and 2’s. A dependable guy to lock in as the # 4 or 5 guy is still valuable, and that’s where I see him ending up eventually.

        I really wouldn’t have cared which of the two they let pitch Opening Day, and which does the second game. In the grand scheme of things, it is irrelevant.

  30. Wow, I can barely contain my excitement.

    The future is now.

  31. They should have just said TBD 30 minutes before game time…when the entire pitching staff draws straws. That would be…interesting…and quite ingenious. Oh well.

Comments are closed.

About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


Opening Day