Following the loss to Cleveland on Tuesday night, Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell announced some changes to the rotation. Everyone knew that the team didn’t have a starter able to go on a normal set days of rest for Thursday because of the postponements and doubleheader on Sunday. But rather than Luis Castillo being listed as the probable on Wednesday – which would put him on his regular schedule – the team game notes listed TBA. We now know why that was. Tejay Antone will make his first big league start tonight as he takes on the Indians in Cleveland.
Following Tejay Antone in Cleveland on Thursday will be Luis Castillo. Trevor Bauer, Anthony DeSclafani, and Sonny Gray will pitch the three games against the Milwaukee Brewers up in Wisconsin from Friday through Sunday before the Reds get an off day on Monday.
For Tejay Antone, he says he’s ready to give the team anything they need, but he’s ready for a full start, too.
“I’ll do anything for this team, whatever role they need me, but I’m very excited to start,” said Antone. “During quarantine, they (the Reds) asked me to get up to 5 innings. So I threw 5 innings, 100 pitches in quarantine – to the same hitter over and over – but yeah, I’m built up and ready to go.”
The right-handed pitcher only has one appearance in the Major Leagues – a 1-hit, 4.1 inning relief appearance of Wade Miley on July 27th. Antone struck out five batters in the game on 69 pitches with just one walk and a solo homer allowed. Almost all of his games in the minor leagues have come as a starting pitcher. He’s made 109 starts since being drafted in 2014 and just two relief appearances. One came in 2014 as he followed up a rehabbing pitcher and the other came last season in long relief right before the All-Star break.
Things for the rest of the rotation set up to to where Castillo, Bauer, DeSclafani, and Gray lead into the off day on Monday. Then, if the team wanted to, they could skip the #5 spot in the rotation, and pick back up with Castillo on Tuesday the 11th and move forward there. After Tyler Mahle’s start on Tuesday night against Cleveland, maybe they would like to get him out there again – but the option is on the table to get Luis Castillo a start on the 11th and the 16th (if they skip Mahle and then pitch him on the 15th) before an off day on the 17th.
While there are not going to be any possible weather postponements in Milwaukee because they play in a dome, in 2020 that’s not the only reason your game could be postponed. Still, the Reds may be moving their rotation around a bit to try and best maximize how things play out for the top of the rotation and to try and get the most out of Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, and Trevor Bauer. Time will tell if the planning works out or not.