Mar 25, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jeff Francis throws in the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Reds Have A Pitching Problem


Mar 25, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jeff Francis throws in the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds find themselves in a bit of a predicament with Wednesday’s game being a rainout. The rainout has jumbled put the starting rotation prompting the Reds to look to the minors for pitching. The injury to Tony Cingrani and his subsequent stint on the DL has finally caused some headaches for the Reds.

Wednesday night’s starter Johnny Cueto has had his start pushed back to Game 1 onThursday. With Cueto starting Thursday’s game that messes up the rotation, it now appears Alfredo Simon will miss a start, he would have been game 2 starter.

With Simon out the Reds now need another starter. Tony Cingrani was scheduled to to pitch this Saturday in Philadelphia, that will not happen. With Cingrani not making his start and Simon not pitching until Friday the Reds needed another pitcher. It now appears Jeff Francis will start Game 2 for the Reds on Thursday.

Homer Bailey will pitch in place of Cingrani on Saturday in Philadelphia. It now appears Cingrani will likely pitch on Sunday or on Monday in Washington against the Nationals.

So here is the lineup over the next five games:

Thursday Game 1 vs. Padres: Johnny Cueto

Thursday Game 2 vs. Padres: Jeff Francis

Friday vs. Phillies: Alfredo Simon

Saturday vs. Phillies: Homer Bailey

Sunday vs. Phillies: Mike Leake or Tony Cingrani

As for Jeff Francis pitched for the Colorado Rockies in 2013. He started 12 games, making appearances in 23 games. His record was 3-5 with a 6.27 ERA. In 2014 Francis signed a minor league deal with the Reds. In 8 starts in Louisville Francis has a 4-3 record with a 3.33 ERA. Game 2 could go either way for the Reds on Thursday.

The Reds are allowed to use the 26 man roster rule on Thursday to allow Francis to pitch. He will return to the minors following his start. Tony Cingrani’s return will help quell some of the Reds pitching problems.

While Mat Latos continues to rehab his eventual return will help the Reds out immensely. Until then the starting rotation for the Reds will remain in tact. Good news, it continues to improve with each passing day.

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