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.