The Cincinnati Reds already had plans on making a starting rotation move on Sunday, with the previous announcement that Sal Romano would be called up from AAA Louisville to make his big league debut in the place of the injured Rookie Davis. That move happened earlier this morning, as did another one directly impacting the team’s starting pitching options - the placement of Brandon Finnegan on the 10-day DL after he left yesterday's start against the Milwaukee Brewers early with a shoulder issue.
Jesse Winker, who picked up his first career big league hit with a 2-RBI double on Saturday, was seen largely as a cup of coffee bench addition for the time being until Romano needed a roster spot, so his option back to Louisville was rather expected. As for Tim Adleman’s addition, that will provide the Reds a veteran arm with starting capability while they wait for Davis’ return and the 2-3 week period (and subsequent ramping up of activity afterwards) that Finnegan will be shut down, as manager Bryan Price told The Enquirer’s C. Trent Rosecrans.
Price said Finnegan will rest for 2-3 weeks before resume throwing. Reiterated that it's the trap, not the lat— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) April 16, 2017
That, of course, leaves the Reds' rotation in about as many tatters as you could expect. When pitchers and catchers were reporting to Goodyear in February, it wasn't outlandish to expect a starting rotation featuring Anthony DeSclafani, Homer Bailey, Finnegan, Robert Stephenson, and Cody Reed - in fact, that was the likely five in my own eyes, at the time - and now not a single one of them will be part of the rotation for the near future. Factor in the full-time moves to the bullpen of 2016 Opening Day starter Raisel Iglesias and 2015 rotation regular Michael Lorenzen, the offseason trade of Dan Straily, Jon Moscot's Tommy John surgery, the merciful parting of ways with Alfredo Simon, Keyvius Sampson, John Lamb, Tim Melville, & the like, and you quickly stumble across one of the more attrition-filled starting rotation periods in recent memory.
If you're keeping track at home, it now appears the rotation currently includes Scott Feldman, Bronson Arroyo, Amir Garrett, and Sal Romano. And yes, that's four, not five. As Rosecrans expanded upon earlier, Davis will be eligible to come off the DL and make Friday's start, and it now looks as if Romano's would-be cup of coffee start will now see him stick around in Cincinnati red for much longer than that. Adleman will be used out of the bullpen initially, it appears, though with the way Price has juggled the bullpen and lengthy roles, that may not render him used much differently than the currently thinned rotation.
All told, that means that of the 15 players that made starts for the Reds during the 2016 season, not a single one of them currently has a spot in the team's starting rotation. That's remarkable.
Remember when there was some initial outcry that the Reds had focused too intently on bringing pitching prospects over in return in their initial rebuild-focused trades? Well, it sure looks like that strategy was not only wise beyond its years, but is also being tested to its limits.