The seven-year, $27 million signing of 24-year-old Cuban pitcher Raisel Iglesias by the Cincinnati Reds has set the stage for changes in the team’s starting rotation.
The Reds have announced that their intent is to fast-track Iglesias as a starting pitcher and not a reliever, which would mean Iglesias will be in the mix to start next year.
The inclusion of Iglesias in the starting rotation mix brings the number of Reds’ starting pitchers under contract control for 2015 to seven (Iglesias, Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Alfredo Simon, Mike Leake, Homer Bailey and Tony Cingrani).
The Reds converted the 33-year-old Simon to a starter to replace an injured Latos at the outset of this season, and Simon has shown he’s a solid starter despite struggles in the second half. Cingrani was demoted to the bullpen after Latos returned, but soon found his way to the minor league disabled list where he has remained ever since with a shoulder problem.
Provided Cingrani does regain his health by next spring and Iglesias proves his worth as a starter, the Reds will be in a position to deal one or two of their other starters.
And that could be a boost for the Reds’ beleaguered offense, which has derailed the postseason plans the Reds had for this season. Even at the expense of dealing a top pitcher like Latos or a lesser starter like Leake, the depth the Reds have built into their rotation can help the team survive the loss — provided that the Reds are ultimately right about their assessment of Iglesias as a starter.