The Cincinnati Reds claimed 1B/OF Peter O’Brien from the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday, adding a 26 year old bat who has thumped 26 and 24 dingers in AAA in the last two seasons, respectively. Of course, if like me you saw that and wondered “wait a minute, the 40-man roster is already full,” there’s news there, too, the likes of which is probably a larger story than the claiming of O’Brien in the first place.
To make room for O'Brien on the 40-man roster, LHP Brandon Finnegan (left shoulder) was transferred to the 60-day DL. #Reds— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 16, 2017
Brandon Finnegan hit the 10-day DL on April 16th, at the time under the premise that he would “rest for two-to-three weeks before pitching again,” as The Enquirer’s C. Trent Rosecrans wrote at the time. The trapezius muscle in his throwing shoulder had caused him to be shut down, but at the time it appeared he’d be back in action “in a few weeks,” as manager Bryan Price mentioned to Rosecrans that day.
Well, the decision to move Finnegan to the 60 day DL effectively puts the kibosh on that idea, with it now assured that he can’t rejoin the Reds any earlier than June 16th, though since he’s yet to sniff the early portions of rehab, even that seems a bit optimistic now.
It’s probably the prudent decision since it will ensure he isn’t rushed back, but lord knows the Reds’ rotation could certainly use him. Finnegan was struggling with walks in the early going of 2017, but he did also manage to strike out 14 batters in his 10 innings pitched, with a 2.70 ERA that would sure look nice next to the other ugly numbers posted by the team’s collective starters so far this year. Instead, he’ll get a seat alongside starters Homer Bailey and Anthony DeSclafani, as 60% of the team’s projected rotation now resides on the 60 day DL.
As for O’Brien, well, it’s pretty clear that the Reds have been shopping for 1B/OF type depth for awhile now, with the likes of Richie Shaffer and Christian Walker previously claimed in similar roles. Those two have long since exited, however, which means O’Brien will be next in line in that role for now. Hopefully, he’ll improve greatly on the .162/.235/.276 line he’d posted in 115 AAA PA this season (though honestly, hopefully everyone in front of him on the depth chart stays healthy so it doesn’t ever matter.)