Reds left-hander Brandon Finnegan will get his first Cactus League start on Tuesday against the Indians.
Finnegan, who pitched only 13 innings due to injury in 2017, has been used with caution so far this spring.
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“He’s one guy we pushed back a little bit just to make sure he was ready to go in a Cactus League game,” Reds manager Bryan Price said.
Finnegan, Homer Bailey, Anthony DeSclafani and Luis Castillo have been penciled in as the top four starters in the Reds’ rotation. Bailey and DeSclafani also are coming off injured-plagued seasons. The fifth starter will come from a group of Tyler Mahle, Sal Romano, Robert Stephenson and Amir Garrett.
“Health is really important for us,” Price said. “We don’t have a ton of true veterans on the pitching staff. Those we do have, we have high expectations for. It is part of getting things turned around from the pitching perspective. Our ability to make a big turnaround sits largely in their hands of our ability to pitch better.”
Michael Lorenzen will pitch in a ‘B’ game against the Rangers on Tuesday.
Dilson Herrera, who came to the Reds from the Mets in the trade for Jay Bruce in 2016, is behind Scooter Gennett and Shed Long in the competition at second base.
Herrera was bothered by a sore right shoulder from spring training on last year, limiting him to 68 games at Louisville.
Herrera, who is out of options, had surgery on his shoulder Aug. 1.
The Reds have alternated playing days in the field with designated hitter roles. Herrera has played in six games with one hit in 11 at bats.
“He’s fine swinging the bat,” Price said. “We have taken it a little bit slower with the shoulder. It hasn’t completely recovered from the procedure to get it straightened out. We’re hoping to see him regularly at second base and maybe some third base as we get deeper in camp.
Nearing the halfway point of spring training, Price has given his team mixed reviews, especially the younger players in camp.
“Some things I’m really pleased and others have been disappoining at this point,” said Price, whose team carried a 3-7-1 record into Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels.
The record isn’t important at this point the quality of play is.
“I think we’ve seen some good individual performances,” Price said. “Certainly the guys came here in good shape, ready to go which is terrific. I’ve been disappointed with our situational play.”
Indians vs. Reds, 3:05 p.m., FS Ohio, 1360