The Cincinnati Reds spent most of the off-season looking for a starting pitcher before trading one of theirs away.
The Cincinnati Reds spent the first two months of the off-season trying to find another starter to compete with their prospects before sending away Dan Straily. Now the Reds are relying on a pair of prospects and the oft-injured Homer Bailey to start in 2017. In the interim they have only added relievers Drew Storen and Scott Feldman.
Anthony DeSclafani is penciled in as the number one starter. Since he came over in exchange for Mat Latos, he has been a quality starting pitcher. He had some arm issues last year, but looked like his old self by the end of the season.
The other Mr. Reliable in this rotation is second year starter Brandon Finnegan. He is the only starter on the roster who made all of his starts last year. He might not really be an MLB starter, but he is for the Reds.
Bailey would have been in the rotation if he had made it through spring training in one piece. He has made a total of eight starts in the past two years covering 34 1/3 innings. The Reds were counting are Bailey to make thirty starts for this plan to work. Now it appears that Tim Adleman will fill Bailey’s spot again.
The Cincinnati Reds are relying on a series of young pitchers to cover the other two spots in the rotation.
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Besides Bailey, the other person that trading Straily shows a ton of confidence in is former top prospect Robert Stephenson. Stephenson made eight starts for Cincinnati last season, but only last 37 innings. For him to maintain a spot in the rotation he will need to stay in the games longer.
With the number four spot in the rotation open suddenly Amir Garrett is much more likely to make the starting rotation. He has progressed by leaps and bounds the past two seasons to emerge as the Reds top pitching prospect. At the end of 2016 he was pitching in Louisville and having some control issues.
The forgotten man in all of this is Tim Adleman who looked the part of a major league starter going down the stretch in 2016. He made 13 starts going 4-4 with an ERA of 4.06. Those are not impressive numbers, but they are solid for a number five starter.
Newly signed Scott Feldman is another possibility. He only made a handful of starts in 2016. He looks more like another of the now infamous Reds’ multi-inning relievers.
The Reds set the rebuild back another year when they traded Straily. They also force the young pitchers to step up. If this doesn’t work, the rebuild will have to start all over again.