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Finnegan among options for Wednesday's starter

Although centerpiece of Cueto deal is maturing, Price likes his stuff

CINCINNATI -- At some point within the next 24 hours, the Reds will decide on a starter for Wednesday night's series finale against the Pirates at Great American Ball Park. And they'll have plenty of choices.

Reds manager Bryan Price said the club is still mulling over its options, specifically whether it will run out right-hander Keyvius Sampson, who threw only three innings in Saturday night's rain-delayed loss to the Brewers, or slot in one of their callups.

Cincinnati is expected to make another round of promotions, likely on Tuesday, after its Minor League affiliates end their seasons. Price said the "jury's still out" on who exactly will be joining the Reds.

"It may be a game that we split -- start Sampson and have one of the other kids we bring up come in behind him," Price said, also considering Pedro Villarreal, who's pitched well as a long reliever. "There's some options. We'll have a large number of pitchers available to pitch that day."

But Price did point out that it would be left-hander Brandon Finnegan's day to pitch, and he has been stretched out to 88 pitches at Triple-A Louisville. The centerpiece of the Johnny Cueto deal, Finnegan arrived in Kansas City as a dominant reliever but never started in the Majors.

The 22-year-old has struggled as a starter in the Minors this year, going 0-5 with a 5.14 ERA in 15 outings. But as Price was quick to point out Sunday, Finnegan is still a young player -- in fact, he's not even two years removed from pitching for Texas Christian University.

"Being able to isolate him for an inning or two at a time at the big league level has let his stuff play up," Price said. "It's a huge jump. It's a huge change. He's in a time right now of maturing as a starter and getting back to learning how to manage that lineup.

"We've liked the stuff. The stuff has been good. It's just been harnessing it more with a higher percentage of strikes and finding a way to work his way through that lineup."

Around the horn

Todd Frazier was presented with the Reds' team award for the MLBPAA "Heart and Hustle Award" during a pregame ceremony Sunday afternoon.

County Commissioner Greg Hartmann also declared Sunday as "Todd Frazier Day" in Hamilton County to recognize Frazier's victory in the Home Run Derby at Great American Ball Park.

• A day after making his Major League debut as a pinch-hitter, catcher Ramon Cabrera was in the lineup for his first big league start Sunday afternoon. The 25-year-old backstop was also named the Mary E. Barney Team MVP for Triple-A Louisville on Saturday.

• Center fielder Billy Hamilton (right shoulder) went 1-for-3 with a walk in his first rehab start for Double-A Pensacola on Saturday.

Adam Berry is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.
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