Fay: Reds continue to rotate the rotation in search of relief pitching depth

Fay: Reds continue to rotate the rotation in search of relief pitching depth
Posted at 7:58 PM, Apr 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-18 19:58:06-04

CINCINNATI -- In another installment of How the Rotation Turns, the Reds announced that right-hander Tim Adleman will start Friday against the Chicago Cubs.

That came after the announcement that Sunday’s starter Sal Romano had been optioned back to Triple-A Louisville. Lisalverto Bonilla took Romano’s spot. The Reds still haven’t decided who will start Saturday’s game.

Rookie Davis, one of the four starters on the disabled list, will not be able to make that start.

The Reds are basically looking to fill the innings the best they can with the best arms available. Because of injuries and ineffectiveness, that’s led to transactions nearly every day.

Bonilla, the 24-year-old right-hander picked up off waivers from Pittsburgh this spring, falls into the good arm category.

“He’s stretched out, he's been a starter in Triple-A,” Price said. “He was stretched out over the course of spring training. He's pitched in relief in the big leagues, so I think all those things benefit him and benefit us in regards to that. As you've seen, we're flipping pitchers in large part because we need some depth in relief pitching. We haven't really gotten into our groove yet with our rotation where we're getting that consistent six-plus innings per game.”

The Reds are hoping Adleman can be a six-plus innings guy. Adleman threw four innings of one-run, two-hit ball in the relief of Romano Sunday.

Adleman, the 29-year-old right-hander, made 13 starts for the Reds last year, going 4-4 with a 4.00 ERA.

Price would not commit beyond Friday.

“He's in the rotation for the first game against the Cubs, that's where he is,” Price said. “As you know, our rotation is about as fluid as any position we have on the team. We are also keeping an eye on Rookie Davis and when he'll be back. We're not going to cast Rookie into the bullpen because he got hit by a pitch. He's going to slot back in there. We'll see. We'll probably have a better idea in the next day or two as to who is going to slot into that second game against the Cubs.”

It will likely be someone on the roster. Cody Reed and Robert Stephenson are the prime candidates.

But, as the Reds have seen so far, things change rapidly. That’s how Adleman got Romano’s start.

“We initially thought we would be utilizing Sal in a way that we did with Robert, get him up here and have him make a start,” Price said. “Things started to change when – we agreed on Sal before Finnegan got hurt. I think Sal’s start suggested that he does need a little bit more polish. And we had a kid like Adleman who comes up and threw the ball well. It was to certain degree, a head-to-head competition in that situation.

Romano walked four in three innings; Adleman walked none in four.

“What we really needed was strikes, quality strikes and the ability to go deeper in the game simply because we are going to our bullpen really early so far this season,” Price said. “It hasn’t been unusual for us to go to the ‘pen in the fourth or fifth inning. That gets exacerbated. Those situations get largely created by not throwing the ball over the plate.

“With Tim, we’ve got somebody that throws three pitches over right now. I think the next time we see Sal, we’ll see him throwing it over at a more consistent rate. He’s certainly much better than he represented the other day.”