The Cincinnati Reds may not have added any players at the July 31 trade deadline, but that doesn’t mean they won’t get a shot of new blood before the stretch run. C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweeted last night that Cuban right-hander has arrived in Cincinnati:
Raicel Iglesias is here in Cincinnati. Got his visa on Saturday. Will go to Goodyear on Wednesday. #Reds
— ctrent (@ctrent) August 12, 2014
Iglesias, you might remember, was the subject of intense bidding as an international free agent just two months ago and ultimately ended up with the Reds. Though many think he has the chops to start in the big leagues, the Reds have made mention of Iglesias as a potential reliever, at least in the short term. Regardless of which role he takes on or where he starts his march toward the Majors, he will get started very soon. As Jamie Ramsey reported, the Reds are clearing room on their roster, almost surely to accommodate Iglesias’ arrival:
OF Ryan LaMarre today was designated for assignment. #Reds
— Jamie Ramsey (@Jamieblog) August 12, 2014
Even if he begins in the minors, Iglesias seems like a dead-lock to hit the Majors this season, and likely before the end of August. While I’m not a big fan of relegating young, live arms to the bullpen, such an assignment might work well for Iglesias and the Reds, who have struggled with middle-inning relief for much of the season.
Of course, given Alfredo Simon’s recent struggles and Homer Bailey’s ongoing injury concerns, the Reds might well be looking for rotation help by the time Iglesias gets his bags unpacked. He could find himself in a big league rotation during a playoff chase before he’s had his first bowl of chili.
Beyond his pitching ability, Iglesias brings something else valuable to the 2014 Reds: excitement and change. The current team has done well to stay in contention in the face of smothering injuries and massive slumps, but general manager Walt Jocketty hasn’t made any moves to try and refresh his club as summer begins to wane.
Iglesias has the opportunity to be that fresh breeze that makes fans take another look at the Reds before the season dies, and just maybe we’ll find ourselves following a playoff team after all.