In a move that we all felt like we knew was coming, starting pitchers Luis Castillo and Mike Minor will begin the year on the injured list. Manager David Bell confirmed this with the media in Goodyear this afternoon, with Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer beating the others to the punch with reporting it first.
Both Luis Castillo and Mike Minor dealt with a sore shoulder earlier this month, setting each of them back. With a shortened spring training there simply wasn’t enough time for either of them to build up in enough time to be ready for the start of the season.
It’s not a great look for the Cincinnati Reds, who jettisoned lefty Wade Miley by placing him on waivers instead of paying his salary or trying to trade him later in the offseason and traded away Sonny Gray. Now the Reds are about a week away from Opening Day and only know what two-fifths of their rotation looks like.
There are still a lot of options for the Reds to look at and ultimately go with. Jeff Hoffman, Tony Santillan, and Reiver Sanmartin all have at least a few big league starts under their belts. You’ve also got Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo who have no big league experience, but dominated Double-A last season and in Greene’s case, pitched quite well in Triple-A outside of two starts. While Graham Ashcraft is still in big league camp as a non-roster invitee, after throwing 3.0 innings on March 21st he hasn’t pitched since and he’s also not among the scheduled pitchers (starters or relievers) through Thursday. The team hasn’t said anything about his status, but given the information we do have, it seems like he probably isn’t going to be fighting for a spot on the team at this point.
While the rotation isn’t set just yet, Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that David Bell did say that both Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo would remain starting pitchers – but that the level they begin their season at has not yet been determined. For them it seems that it’s either making the rotation in the big leaguers or heading to Triple-A Louisville to continue starting. That may not be the case for a guy like Reiver Sanmartin or Tony Santillan, both of whom has some relief pitching experience. Santillan had never pitched out of the bullpen before until last year with the big league club. Sanmartin has some limited time in the bullpen in the minor leagues where he’s pitched in 20 games as a reliever and made 75 starts.