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Inbox: Could Lorenzen see time as a starter?

Beat reporter Mark Sheldon answers questions from fans
MLB.com @m_sheldon

Will Michael Lorenzen get a chance to start next year?
-- Jon J. Vera on Facebook

A lot depends before that could happen. First, the yet-to-be hired manager would likely have a say. Then, the Reds would have to see if they're successful at acquiring starting pitching from elsewhere. Finally, the front office and the new manager would have to evaluate whether having Lorenzen available to pitch once every fifth day (with pinch-hitting in between) is more valuable for the team than being able to work multiple innings a few days per week and batting for himself to extend his outings. Lorenzen definitely showed some good work during his three starts last month to give the Reds something to think about.

Will Michael Lorenzen get a chance to start next year?
-- Jon J. Vera on Facebook

A lot depends before that could happen. First, the yet-to-be hired manager would likely have a say. Then, the Reds would have to see if they're successful at acquiring starting pitching from elsewhere. Finally, the front office and the new manager would have to evaluate whether having Lorenzen available to pitch once every fifth day (with pinch-hitting in between) is more valuable for the team than being able to work multiple innings a few days per week and batting for himself to extend his outings. Lorenzen definitely showed some good work during his three starts last month to give the Reds something to think about.

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Would the Reds prefer a left-handed free agent for the rotation like Hyun-Jin Ryu or Derek Holland rather than a right-handed starter?
-- Luke Dorsey on Facebook

Having a left-hander in the rotation would be good for a different look and to get opposing lineups to make changes, but it's not required. The most successful Reds rotation in recent memory, in 2012, got by very nicely with five right-handers. All that really matters are the pitcher's numbers, the price it would take to get him and whether he's able to keep the ball down in Great American Ball Park.

If Jim Riggleman is not retained as manager (and he should be), will he be given a front office spot? He would be a great resource for the Reds.
-- Jeff Greer on Facebook

Riggleman said on the final day of this season that he would like to remain with the organization in some capacity should he not be chosen as the permanent manager. He has a passion for working with players and managing/coaching.

Hi, Mark. Do you see the Reds trading one of their most reliable relievers such as Jared Hughes, David Hernandez or even Raisel Iglesias? I feel like their trade value is at its peak.
-- @GoCincyReds_JPN on Twitter

I don't see them dealing Hughes or Hernandez, especially because their contracts are so reasonable for the club. Hernandez is set to make $2.5 million and Hughes will get $2.15 million in 2019 -- both the final seasons of their respective two-year deals. The front office did not appear serious about trading either veteran reliever over the summer.

As for Iglesias, he'll make $5.71 million in 2019, and he's an interesting case. He's a proven closer, and his contract has him under club control through 2021. That could make a return much more substantial since he's locked up for three more years. Contract aside, I think it should come down to this: if the Reds feel they can contend in '19 or '20, they won't trade Iglesias, because they would want him to close for them.

Throughout the summer, the Reds seemed to prey on first place teams, especially with their bats. By the end of the season, they couldn't produce runs any longer. It seems to me that the fall off in offensive production took a dip as soon as Adam Duvall was traded to the Braves. Did Duvall's trade take the air out of the clubhouse or did the Reds just run out of gas at the end of the season?
-- Kevin Y., Noblesville, Ind.

Duvall was well-liked inside the clubhouse, but his trade had little to do with the Reds' offensive slide. He was batting .205 with 15 homers when he left Cincinnati in the July 30 trade to Atlanta for pitchers Lucas Sims and Matt Wisler and outfielder Preston Tucker. After the trade, Duvall batted .132 in 33 games without a homer or RBI. The Braves re-acquired Tucker a month later.

The Reds' offensive dip had more to do with Jesse Winker being gone for the season not long after the All-Star break (right shoulder surgery), Scott Schebler spending an extended period of the disabled list (right shoulder) and Joey Votto's down year combined with his issues returning from a strike to the right leg by a Ryan Madson fastball on Aug. 4.

Is Barry Larkin a managerial candidate?
-- Greg Marcum

No. President of baseball operations Dick Williams said late last month that Larkin would not be a candidate and that the Hall of Fame shortstop preferred to remain in his current role as a special assistant to the general manager and Minor League instructor.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

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