The Reds made their final cuts today. The most surprising news was that the team cut veteran reliever Sam LeCure. Raisel Iglesias won the battle to serve as the fifth starter over Michael Lorenzen. Iglesias will be in the rotation until Homer Bailey returns in mid-April. Lorenzen was assigned to a minor league camp.
Kevin Gregg, Jason Marquis, Brennan Boesch and Chris Dominguez made the 25-man roster. Sean Marshall, Jason Bourgeois and Homer Bailey begin the year on the DL.
LeCure was essentially bumped by journeyman Kevin Gregg, who GM Walt Jocketty signed to a minor league deal in the off-season. “It breaks our heart,” said manager Bryan Price (John Fay) about cutting LeCure.
More on these developments later.
Update: LeCure has passed through waivers and has accepted assignment to AAA Louisville, so he is eligible to return to the Reds but is no longer on the 40-man roster. LeCure is owed $1.85 million this year and has to accept assignment with the Bats to collect it. The Reds needed to make room on the 40-man roster.
Manager Bryan Price elaborated on the club’s thinking:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“His (LeCure’s) velocity is down a little bit but the concern isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the velocity,Ã¢â‚¬Â Price said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The concern is fastball command. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a fastball pitcher with a lot of good accessory pitches Ã¢â‚¬â€œcurveball, slider and changeup. His bread and butter weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen over the last five years is being able to locate that fastball with that off the body comebacker on lefties and freeze down and away on the right-handers. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a signature pitch for him. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been a little erratic with that since the second half of last season. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a much better pitcher than heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s shown recently. We just need to get him back there, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m very confident he will be back to help us during the season IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure.Ã¢â‚¬Â (Mark Sheldon)