Earlier today John Fay reported that the Reds have laid out their pitching rotation for spring training. Here is what you'll see when the Reds begin playing actual baseball on March 1.
Game 1: Jon Moscot & Brandon Finnegan
Game 2: Robert Stephenson & Cody Reed
Game 3: Anthony DeSclafani & Jonathan Sanchez
Game 4: Michael Lorenzen & Tim Melville
Game 5: Brandon Finnegan
Game 6: Jon Moscot
In the games where two starters are listed they will each see an inning or two of work. Fay also noted that this rotation puts DeSclafani in line to start the season opener against the Phillies.
This spring will offer Reds' fans the opportunity to get a good look at some of the system's highly rated prospects. Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus both rate Robert Stephenson as the Reds #1 prospect. Last season he spent time in Pensacola and Louisville. During his eleven starts in AAA he ran a 4.04 ERA and struck out 8.2 per nine. The focal point for Stephenson this spring will be control. Baseball America noted in their Prospect Handbook, "Stephenson has front of the rotation stuff that he will realize with better control." His development will be a main point of interest for the front office and Reds' fans this season.
Cody Reed generally ranks right behind Stephenson on Cincinnati prospect lists. The left hander was acquired from the Royals in the Johnny Cueto trade. His stint with the Reds AA team last year was a successful one. In eight starts he held his ERA to 2.17 and stuck out 10.9 per nine. He has a big arm that can hit 99 mph from time to time, and it's likely he'll start the season in the Louisville rotation.
Tim Melville and Jonathan Sanchez were both free agent signings by the Reds this off-season. This spring will also provide an opportunity for fans to get a better look at Brandon Finnegan who was also acquired in the Johnny Cueto trade. Two pitchers who figure to be in the Reds rotation but are absent from this list are Raisel Iglesias and Homer Bailey. Fay noted that Iglesias dealt with shoulder fatigue last season, and that Price wants to give him "adequate time to be fully stretched out." Bailey, who is returning from Tommy John surgery, should be back on the field by mid-May.