Reds Send Jeff Francis to Triple-A, Solidifying Aroldis Chapman in Rotation

02 Apr

MLB writer Mark Sheldon reported that southpaw pitcher Jeff Francis would start the year at Triple-A Louisville.

GM Walt Jocketty said, “There’s still a possibility he could pitch in the bullpen but we decided to send him there because we need to have a starter available in case something happens.”

He is therefore eliminated from any chance of breaking camp as a rotation starter, if anyone had fostered that possibility.

That would mean to me that Homer Bailey is the man the Reds will start the year with as their long reliever. Sam LeCure is still hanging around with his bloated stats as well.

Injuries have forced the Reds to revamp their plans concerning the bullpen pecking order. Ryan Madson is gone for the year, and Nick Masset is starting the year on the 15-day DL.

That would leave the door open for Aroldis Chapman to start the year in the rotation as the No. 5 starter. He has enjoyed an excellent camp and his control issues seem to be taken care of.

Bailey has been treated unkindly by batters except for the few innings he threw against a minor league squad. If he would falter as a long reliever, I see him as a pork chop dangling in front of the other GMs.

Coming into the training camp, Bailey had to know it was between him and Chapman for the fifth spot. I realize spring training isn’t to be taken hyper-seriously, but when a man is at war he needs to cinch up the old apple sack and fight.

He has been given numerous opportunities to prove himself the right man at the right place at the right time. He has either been the wrong guy, was visiting elsewhere or his clock has not been calibrated.

Bailey, who turns 26 in May, is still young enough to be valuable in another city. I have said before, and I stand by it, he will never flourish in Cincinnati.

With the beginning of the season just days away, the final cut has not been made. The Reds cleared up a space on their 40-man roster by trading slugger Juan (Willy Mo) Francisco to the Atlanta Braves for pitcher J.J. Hoover.


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