Iglesias Debuts & Optioned to Louisvlle

Cincinnati did some roster juggling today because of Devin Mesoraco’s sore hip and Homer Bailey’s return from an injury. Meanwhile rookie Raisel Iglesias will make what may turn out to be a brief trip to Louisville after making his MLB debut Sunday.

Coming into this season the Cincinnati newcomer getting the most attention was probably Raisel Iglesias. Perhaps it was his $27 million contract, or just the mystery surrounding the Cuban defector. The last high profile Cuban signed by the Reds was Aroldis Chapman and that turned out well. Of course when a pitcher brings triple digit heat his success is much easier to predict.

Now in the final year of Chapman’s contract Iglesias is in the first year of his and he made his MLB debut Sunday against division foe St. Louis. It got off to a good start with four scoreless innings before the Cardinals rallied for three in the sixth, Inglesias’s final inning. He didn’t figure in the decision in the contest that the Reds eventually lost in eleven innings. Overall his line was three runs off five hits/two walks over five innings with four strikeouts.

That wasn’t bad especially considering it was the first time he’d pitched against American competition save for a handful of innings where he overpowered younger hitters in the Arizona Fall League. Given the investment in their new pitcher it certainly merited another start, well, most of the time. In Iglesias’s case his next appearance will be in a Louisville Bat uniform because he was optioned to AAA today along with infield backup Chris Dominguez.

However, it’s no time to throw in the towel on the 25 year-old right-hander because will likely make a return soon enough. His option was a combination of the return of Homer Bailey and the effectiveness of Jason Marquis Saturday which earned the veteran another turn in the rotation. Replacements up from the farm will be pitcher Josh Smith, who is now on the cusp of making an MLB debut and catcher Kyle Skipworth whose only experience at the top level is four games with the Marlins two years ago. Some juggling had to be done on the 40-man roster and their additions to it came at the expense of Ryan Dennick and Daniel Corcino who were designated for assignment.

The right-hander Smith had yet to make an appearance at Louisville this season after going 10-7/4.70 over 24 starts for them last year. It appears the main reason for his promotion is to provide another option in the bullpen after it was leaned on heavily during the first week of the season. There’s no reason to bring Bailey in until he’s ready to take his first start and Iglesias won’t take the mound again until he’s rested from Sunday’s outing. In the meantime Smith, who has spent most of his minor league time as a starter would be available for an appearance or two if needed. He’s been in the Cincinnati organization since they selected him in the 21st round of the 2010 draft out of Lipscomb University and his best season was in 2013 when he went 11-9/3.26 at Pensacola.

It was a bit of a surprise to see Corcino get DFA’d because it wasn’t that long ago when some considered him the next Johnny Cueto as he ascended close to the top of Cincinnati prospect lists. He’s struggled with control since reaching AAA a couple of years ago, but still made a MLB debut last year. The Reds would have probably preferred calling up Tucker Barnhart for some action behind the plate but since Devin Mesoraco, who will have an MRI done on his hip, has not yet been put on the disabled list not enough time has passed since Barnhart was sent down for him to be eligible for recall. Actually, Corcino could be reinstated to the 40-man within 10 days of the designation which would give Cincinnati more time to get a clearer idea if Mesoraco will need the DL. If not he (and Dennick) could still be outrighted to Louisville if they clear waivers.

Players are getting juggled, but hopefully for the Reds it will be temporary. In the meantime the 27 year-old Smith has finally gotten the call that he’s dreamt of since turning pro. It’s a safe bet that Skipworth is very happy the way things have transpired as well. He’s 25 years old, hits left-handed, and started out 2-9 with a homer at AA Pensacola. He spent 2013-14 at AAA New Orleans where he hit.201 AVG/.265 OB over two seasons.


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