Cincinnati Reds Spring Training Preview – Is there an unheralded player that people should keep an eye on this season?

Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Is there an unheralded player on the Cincinnati Reds that people should keep an eye on this season?

There are three Cincinnati Reds that fans should keep an eye on this season who are unheralded as of yet. For the position players, it is former Tampa Bay Ray Desmond Jennings.  On the pitching staff it is Tim Adleman and Nefi Ogando.

Jennings comes over from the Rays as a non-roster invitee. A spot for him on the 25-man roster was opened when the Reds lost Richie Shaffer to the Indians via the waiver wire when they had to clear a spot for free agent signee Scott Feldman.  That opened up the primary pinch hitter role and Jennings could take advantage.

With Scott Schebler and potential back-up outfielder Jesse Winker both batting left-handed, Jennings could pinch hit for either in a high leverage situation against a left-handed reliever. Schebler in particular has had trouble with left-handed pitchers.

Jennings also would be the only true center fielder on the roster to back-up Billy Hamilton. Last year when Hamilton was shut down early, the Reds went through Jose Peraza, Schebler and then finally minor league infielder Hernan Iribarren as his replacement.  Tyler Holt spent most of last season as the back-up center fielder, but he was injured too and is no longer with the organization.

There is no more unheralded player on the Cincinnati Reds than starting pitcher Tim Adleman.

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On the pitching side Adleman is the often forgotten starter from last season. He saved the Reds by starting 13 games last year in what amounted to Homer Bailey’s spot in the rotation.  With Bailey’s elbow injured again, Adleman is projected as the number three starter entering the season.

Scott Feldman wants to be in the rotation, so things could change. Adleman, though, is a number five type pitcher on a contending team.  He should show himself as an integral part of the staff, if the Reds give him a chance.

Speaking of Feldman and chances brings us to Ogando. Ogando is in line to make a play for the same role in the bullpen that the Reds initially mentioned Feldman filling.  He would make a great low leverage middle inning reliever who could come in mid-inning.

Ogando has been a reliever his entire professional career. He came up for a cup of coffee with the Miami Marlins and impressed last year.  He looks like he could be enough of a groundball pitcher to come in when a double play was needed.  He was claimed off of waivers for nothing.

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Jennings may have the highest hurdle of the three as he isn’t on the roster yet. Adleman and Ogando both have to take advantage of every opportunity they get.  On a team looking to be competitive again, these are just three of the players who may not be on fans’ minds right now.