Adleman vying for one of two open spots in Reds rotation

Tim Adleman was a long shot last year in the Major League camp with the Reds but made it to the payoff window.

The 29-year old was selected in the 24th round by the Baltimore Orioles in 2010. Adleman, the 6-foot-5, 225- pound right-hander, pitched two years Single-A at Aberdeen and Delmarva. He had a 5-7 record and a 6.01 ERA in 28 appearances and nine starts with Delmarva in 2011.

Adleman was released in 2012 and pitched for two years in Independent Leagues in 2012 and in 2013 in New Jersey, where he saved 10 games in 40 appearances with a 1.46 ERA.

Most players released after being a low draft choice would have called it a career and chose another form of employment.

“I still thought I could compete at a high level and the most important point, I enjoyed playing the game still,” Adleman said. “Even though I road would be even longer than it would if I was still at Baltimore, I still felt like I had a chance. I liked being there.”

The Reds signed him in October of 2013.

With a new start, Adleman became a Southern League All-Star in 2014 in Pensacola. He led the Blue Wahoo staff in wins (nine), ERA (2.64), starts (26), innings pitched (150) and strikeouts (113).

Adleman’s performance earned an invitation to the Reds’ Major League camp.

“He is one of the few guys, who took advantage of his opportunity last year,” Reds’ manager Bryan Price said. “He was a guy playing with house money. He was a released player, an independent league player.”

It was still a long shot. The Reds were in a youth movement and Adleman was an unproven 26-year old when the Reds signed him, not the 23-year old flame thrower. He didn’t have a standout resume.

Adleman’s 2016 spring was horrible. He allowed 11 runs in 4 1/3 innings a 22.85 dead last on the team. He took a beating one night against the Diamondbacks.

“He gets rocked and then you think, he’s just a filler player,” Price said.

Adleman filled the Louisville starting rotation and pitched his way back. He was 3-1 with a 2.38 ERA in 10 starts when the Reds needed to plug a hole in their rotation. He was promoted on May 1 when Raisel Iglesias went on the disabled list. Adleman pitched four games and was 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA when he suffered an oblique injury.

“That’s such a debilitating injury but he got himself healthy and came back,” Price said “He got enough opportunity and I think the road he had to travel helped him.”

Adleman made nine more starts and ended the season 4-4 with an even 4.00 ERA. He pitched two innings against the Giants on Sunday in Goodyear. The Giants beat the Reds 9-5.

Adleman allowed a two-run home run to Conor Gillaspie, among four hits. He struck out two and Scott Schebler threw a runner out at the plate to end the first inning.

A bad outing is less important in determining his future than it was a year ago.

“You don’t ever want to give up runs but it certainly is better to have a bit of a resume,” Adleman said.. “It’s not a way you want to start but it is a lot better when you have an opportunity.”

Robert Stephenson and Cody Reed are the other frontrunners competing with Adleman for the two open spots in the starting rotation.

“That is what you want — an opportunity,” Adleman said.

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