The Cincinnati Reds head west starting on Thursday night and they are making a change to the starting rotation. Left-handed pitcher Reiver Sanmartin was initially expected to start the game. But the rookie is no longer the probable. The Reds announced that Luis Cessa will actually be starting the first game of the series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, first reported by C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic.

This is very likely a situation where the Reds are going with an “opener”. Cessa, a righty, will face the top of the lineup – maybe more. The Dodgers have a balanced lineup, though, with four regulars who are left-handed hitters to go along with five that hit from the right side. While this is a lineup that doesn’t feel like the most perfect scenario to go with an “opener”, if the expected lineup for the Dodgers plays out, the first six hitters would only include two lefties and that, in theory at least, would play to the Reds benefit if they could get to the bottom third of the lineup before turning things over to Reiver Sanmartin. Of course that plan only works out if someone(s) can cover the first two innings by facing the minimum.

The Reds DFA Riley O’Brien

Prior to Wednesday’s game the Cincinnati Reds needed to make a set of roster moves in order for left-handed pitcher Nick Lodolo to make his scheduled start. Lodolo was not on the 40-man roster and it was full. That led to the Reds designating right-handed pitcher Riley O’Brien for assignment. He made one start last season for Cincinnati, but has otherwise been in Triple-A Louisville since being acquired in late August of 2020 in a deal with Tampa Bay for Cody Reed. With the Bats he made 22 start and two relief appearances, posting an ERA of 4.59 in 115.2 innings while walking 56 and striking out 125 batters.

22 Responses

  1. DaveCT

    Unfortunately, O’Brian hasn’t shown too much. I had higher hopes for him, as he’d been rated well in the Rays’ min or league system which at the time was top five. Perhaps we can get a player back if a trade works out.

  2. Daytonnati

    Six games in and it’s all hands on deck.

  3. William

    Although I am among the fans who are disappointed in the owners, I am ready to enjoy baseball and get over it. For real…three of my for favorite Reds were traded. Joey Votto is the only one of the four that remains. Hey, things happen. I am still enjoying the Reds. I think they can surprise people, especially because of the young pitching. The pitching will be good the next few years.

    • Rob

      I dont know about that. Speaking of starters. I would actually expect a downturn from 2020 and 2021. Castillo, Gray, Mahle, and Miley were pretty solid and would have been even better with a decent bullpen. Miley won 12 and Mahle was denied about 7 wins because of blown leads by the pen. And Castillo wasn’t all star caliber until June.
      In re: to the next few years, a couple of things need to happen for the staff to be very good: (1) Castillo and Mahle need to be resigned and given their paydays. and 2) Greene and Lodolo need to have level of success (13-14 wins each) and show some season long endurance (175 innings). Without these things happening, I cant see our pitching staff being rated as good in the next couple of years.

    • Rod Andrews

      Thanks William. It’s nice to see someone who has their priorities in order.

  4. Erik the Red

    An opener in the first week of the season is not a good sign. The schedule is brutal for the first 20 games. 90 losses is not of the question in 2022.

    • greenmtred

      It’s a sign that Castillo isn’t available. Not a good sign, but not a sign of impending doom, either.

  5. Gonzo Reds

    No where to go but up! (thanks Bumbling Bob and Silver Spoon Son)

    Can only hope that over the next week we don’t bury ourselves so far in the cellar that we never leave. It’s embarrassing enough to finish behind the Cubs but the Pirates too? Yikes!

  6. Bill

    What? Geez, already doomed after 6 frickin’ games.

  7. RedsGettingBetter

    As the things are going, if th Reds take one game against LA and another from SD for a 2-5 record in this road trip it would be spectacular so after that the team would stand at 4-9 in this very tough season beginning…

    • realist

      And after that if they win 96 more games they will have 100 games! Go Reds!

  8. Greenfield Red

    This is not a bullpen game in that the regular starter will still pitch. It seems the manager is making an unconventional move to show the world how smart he is…. how his is smarter than everyone else.

    It’s only a matter of time until he starts making double switches even with the DH because he is so smart.

  9. MK

    I am sure this is one of those smart analytics moves. A lot of people here wanted an analytics approach. This is what it looks like.

    • greenmtred

      Also, in spite of the comments, a lot of people here have suggested that the opener approach is a good idea. Well I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Since the season is effectively over after six games, it doesn’t matter. Right?

  10. Mark A Verticchio

    I think since Bell became manager his biggest fault has been that he has tried to prove how smart he is. Just the other day he took out Santillan and then tried to justify it with telling us how it was it was decided that he would only work one inning despite the situation.

    • DaveCT

      In fairness to Bell, the assumption being he’s trying to prove how smart he is just cannot be made. I mean, unless somebody has access to him and he is saying that stuff out loud. It’s like assuming someone is out to get you. It’s better to assume he, like any professional, is going to do their best.

      • Chris

        LOL…okay. How about instead, you suggest in fairness to us fans. As fans, we see the absolute over analyzing moves that Bell does, so in fairness to us fans, it appears that he’s trying to prove how smart he is. See how that works?

    • greenmtred

      Do you suppose that he and Johnson might have discussed the use of the pitchers in the bullpen? Do you know, for example, that Santillan felt able to pitch another inning? “Saving” a relief pitcher gets derided, but a manager has to consider it. Who knows when a starter will implode after 2 or 3 innings, or a bullpen guy get injured. Bullpens already cover 5 innings per game routinely, and relief pitchers tend to be maximum-effort pitchers. And the season is long.

  11. William

    I hope using Cessa to open works. I would hate to see the Dodgers sweep the Reds. I would be satisfied if the Reds just won two of these games. The Dodgers have a great lineup thanks to all the money they have to spend. Love to see the Reds beat them.

  12. Mark A Verticchio

    I would be elated if they could find a way to split this series. however I sure don’t like the pitching match up tonight but you never know.

  13. Eddie

    God what the hell is up with defense smh. This is crappy