Tuesday afternoon news and notes Doug Gray March 25, 2014 10 Comments C. Trent Rosecrans just posted an article where Bryan Price suggests that Alfredo Simon may not fill the rotation spot of Mat Latos afterall. Price mentions that both Brett Marshall and Jeff Francis would be in the running to take that rotation spot if it isn’t Alfredo Simon. Here is how each guy has performed thus far in spring: Player ERA IP H HR BB K WHIP Jeff Francis 4.85 13.0 13 1 5 13 1.38 Brett Marshall 2.08 13.0 9 0 10 15 1.46 Brett Marshall has been better at preventing runs, missing bats and has given up one less home run. Jeff Francis has allowed fewer base runners and showed better control as he has walked half as many hitters in the same number of innings. I believe the biggest factor here is that Marshall is already on the 40-man roster and Jeff Francis is not. That gives him a huge advantage over Francis as the Reds are already going to have to find a way to create spots to fill out their bench. For a spot that may only be used once or twice it seems like a risky move to remove someone to add Francis for such a small need. As far as stuff goes, Marshall has better pure stuff. Francis has experience on his side with well over 1000 MLB innings compared to just 12 MLB innings for Marshall. The Reds may use Billy Hamilton at shortstop this season, but only as an emergency. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that. That is all for now. Not much going on today. Back to work on getting things ready for Saturday and preparing the other roster projections for the rest of the week. 10 Responses Alan Horn March 25, 2014 I would use Brett Marshall versus Simon. Hamilton in a emergency at SS is a viable option. You can call up a good field/ no hit guy from AAA the next day if someone is injured. No need in my opinion to carry someone on the bench that can’t hit a lick. Playing that same person everyday in the event of a injury is different. He can help you with his glove at a key middle infield position for 9 innings each game. MK March 25, 2014 I would use Marshall as well. Simon has really struggled the second time through the order which makes him much better suited for the bullpen. It would also be cleaner on the roster while providing some positive experience for a guy who might actually be on the upside of a career not the downside like Francis. Big concern with Hamilton at short would be one of those 5-day, non DL, injuries to Cozart. Alan Horn March 25, 2014 Some guys just pitch better in relief. I think Simon may be one of those guys. The 5 day thing with Cozart is a valid concern. That may be preferable to every day with a zero bat off the bench. You also have Frazier and Nelson who could fill in. You could send someone like Nelson or Soto down for those 5 days. Could you send Cozart down for 5 days of rehab? MK March 25, 2014 Don’t think Nelson has options without waivers but Soto certainly would. Doug Gray March 25, 2014 They wouldn’t use Hamilton for more than to finish out a game from the sounds of it. They would use Frazier or Nelson if he were on the roster. DaveCT March 25, 2014 I’d be concerned with injury unless there really is no choice but to put Billy at SS for a few innings. Frazier or another infielder will have been doing those rep’s every day and would have the physical conditioning needed for SS. Moses March 26, 2014 I just love that Hamilton is being discussed as a possible emergency stand-in at SS, in the same way that Soto was mentioned as a possible emergency catcher. While most of us likely never want to see it come to this, it shows a bit of growth on the part of the Reds management from past years when the bench was weak but checked off all the boxes when it came to back-up defensive positions. Not that it’s saying much, but a bench of Pena, Soto, Nelson, Heisey, and Bernadina may be the strongest we’ve had in years. And when we’re talking about potential SS stand-ins, why is Phillips never mentioned? I’m guessing he’d do fine on the other side of the diamond if the need arose. Nick March 26, 2014 Phillips played over 500 minor league games at short, so he would make sense as an emergency shortstop Josh March 26, 2014 The Reds have a great chance to form a very strong bench coming out of ST. Although the 40 man roster is full, IMHO the Reds MUST find a way to keep BOTH Bernadina and Nelson. A bench consisting of: Heisey, Pena, Bernadina, Nelson and Soto Please don’t screw this chance up by putting Santiago on this team. I hope this organization makes the right choices about Bernadina and Nelson. Alan Horn March 26, 2014 I agree 100% on the bench players starting the season.