Your Opening day starter for the Cincinnati Reds will be Johnny Cueto, manager Bryan Price made it official today.
The right-hander will take the mound Monday against the St Louis Cardinals at 4:10 p.m at Great American Ball Park. Cueto will be followed on Wednesday by Tony Cingrani. Homer Bailey or Mike Leake will pitch Games 3 and 4, although Price hadn’t told the players yet and withheld the order. It will be likely Bailey will start the third game in the Cardinals series’ and Leake will start the opener of the road trip in New York against the Mets on Friday.
Alfredo Simon is scheduled to start the sixth game on Sunday, after Cueto returns Saturday against the Mets in New York.
“I’ve spoken with Johnny ahead of time,” Price said. “He had a pretty good understanding that if he made it through [Tuesday's] start that he’d be starting Opening Day. So that’s our rotation going into it. We hope to have Mat Latos back by mid-April.”
Simon was given the fifth spot almost by default because of an injury to Brett Marshall against the White Sox on yesterday. Marshall strained a tendon in his right middle finger, Price said.
“[Marshall will] be getting a second evaluation done,” Price said. “He had an MRI after the game. He’ll be seeing a hand specialist locally in Phoenix, but it doesn’t look like he’s going to be having any chance to open the season with us.”
Cueto pitched well and deep into a Minor League game on Tuesday. He had been scratched from recent spring training starts because of shoulder and back soreness.
” I talked to him [Wednesday] and told him I wanted him to go out and play some catch to make sure everything was OK,” Price said about Cueto. “And he said everything was fine. I didn’t want to announce it yet. I wanted a bit more time to make sure he was OK. So I’m comfortable now being able to make that declaration.”
Opening day in Cincinnati is just four days away, and the RFB crew will have a preview of the season on Saturday, so check back here for the article piece until then.