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Reds face tough decision on Opening Day starter

With DeSclafani sidelined, Feldman and Finnegan compete for honor
March 17, 2017

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Since there are only two pitchers currently locked into the Reds' rotation, it's not surprising that one of them will be the Opening Day starter vs. the Phillies on April 3.His name starts with 'F.' The starter will either be Brandon Finnegan or Scott Feldman."I'm picking from

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Since there are only two pitchers currently locked into the Reds' rotation, it's not surprising that one of them will be the Opening Day starter vs. the Phillies on April 3.
His name starts with 'F.' The starter will either be Brandon Finnegan or Scott Feldman.
"I'm picking from a group of two. I'd be happy with either one of those guys," Reds manager Bryan Price said Friday. "Certainly Scott has the experience. It doesn't mean he can't be caught up in the excitement and emotion of his first start as a Red. And Finny handled some big moments last year pitching in Dodger Stadium against Clayton Kershaw, and pitching in the World Series [in 2014 for the Royals]."
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Feldman, who was signed to a one-year, $2.3 million contract as a free agent on Jan. 26, pitched Friday afternoon in a Minor League game. Against the White Sox Triple-A team, the right-hander worked four innings and allowed three earned runs, seven hits and two walks while striking out four. He threw 76 pitches.
Price watched some of the outing.
"I liked what I saw," Price said. "We have to use these Minor League games to get ready for our season because we have so many players left in camp, we have multiple guys who are trying to get stretched out to remain in the competition as starter."

Finnegan started against the Indians on Friday night. Last season for the Reds, the left-hander was 10-11 with a 3.98 ERA over 31 starts while throwing 172 innings.
The Opening Day choice became more challenging for the second straight year because of an injury to presumed starter Anthony DeSclafani. Last year, DeSclafani suffered a strained left oblique in his final spring start and missed two months. On Monday, he was diagnosed with an ulnar collateral ligament sprain in his right elbow and will open the season on the disabled list.

"I think either one can handle it," Price said of Finnegan and Feldman. "I'll sit down with Mack [Jenkins] and Dick [Williams] and go over it and come to an executive decision."

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.