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Prospect Greene to make Class A debut April 9

Finnegan set for simulated game Wednesday; Schebler scratched
MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- It was already known that Reds prospect Hunter Greene would pitch at Class A Dayton at some point this season. But the organization has moved up the timetable for Greene's debut.

Reds senior director of player development Jeff Graupe revealed Monday that the 18-year-old Greene was scheduled to pitch the Dragons' fifth game of 2018, which is April 9 vs. Lake County at Fifth Third Field.

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CINCINNATI -- It was already known that Reds prospect Hunter Greene would pitch at Class A Dayton at some point this season. But the organization has moved up the timetable for Greene's debut.

Reds senior director of player development Jeff Graupe revealed Monday that the 18-year-old Greene was scheduled to pitch the Dragons' fifth game of 2018, which is April 9 vs. Lake County at Fifth Third Field.

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"Just looking at what he's accomplished this offseason and what his throwing program looked like to accomplish that, we wanted to get him out under the lights in front of the fans and take advantage of the fact that he's pretty sharp right now," Graupe said.

Greene, who was the second overall pick by the Reds in the 2017 Draft, is ranked as Cincinnati's No. 2 prospect and No. 21 overall by MLB Pipeline. He is able to throw his fastball consistently in the 97-100 mph range, and he has impressed with his consistency on the mound and overall poise and demeanor at a young age.

The initial plan was to curb the right-hander's workload by having him begin the season in extended spring camp in Arizona and join Dayton at some point after April. That was changed after the organization saw Greene pitch in Spring Training and it was determined that it wouldn't be good to stop his momentum and have him restart again during the regular season.

"If the shape of the offseason looked different, we might have gone a different way," Graupe said. "Based on where we are and how he's throwing, it makes more sense to take advantage of his time on the mound now.

"There's an obvious workload limit that will come into place at some point. It could either be in April or in August at the end."

That limit will be determined by the number of pitches Greene throws this season, rather than innings pitched. Graupe did not specify the target number the organization wanted.

"There's a range we want to get him to," Graupe said. "What we'll have [Dayton manager] Luis Bolivar and [pitching coach] Seth Etherton doing the whole way is communicating with him, seeing how he's feeling and then aiming at that target."

The Reds were pleased with how Greene pitched during his first Spring Training in Minor League camp.

"He was fantastic," Graupe said. "Beyond just the fastball, his command really improved. I thought he did a great job on improving his slider, and his feel for his changeup took off as well. He was throwing as well in Spring Training as we could have hoped."

Finnegan back in Cincinnati

Reds pitcher Brandon Finnegan, currently on the 10-day disabled list with a left biceps strain, was back in Cincinnati on Monday and played catch in the outfield. Finnegan had stayed behind at Spring Training to pitch in a Minor League game and build up his innings.

"I have a sim game on Wednesday and then I'm good to go," Finnegan said.

If Finnegan has no issues after Wednesday, that could put him on track to pitch April 9 at Philadelphia on normal five days of rest.

Schebler scratched

Reds right fielder Scott Schebler was in manager Bryan Price's original lineup vs. the Cubs on Monday, but he was scratched. Schebler has a right elbow contusion after being hit by a pitch from the Nationals' Sean Doolittle on Sunday.

"We thought it would resolve itself overnight with some treatment and it hadn't," Price said. "I think he's going to be OK."

Schebler spent several moments at first base Sunday in the 6-5 loss trying to shake off the injury and getting looked over by the trainer. He was able to remain in the game.

Adam Duvall replaced Schebler in the lineup and started in left field, while Jesse Winker was moved from left field to right field vs. Chicago.

Gallardo shaky in Reds debut

Right-handed pitcher Yovani Gallardo, the Reds' newest acquisition, didn't have a stellar debut for the club in Sunday's loss to the Washington. Gallardo, who joined the club on a one-year, $750,000 contract Saturday, gave up two earned runs and three hits in one inning with one walk and one strikeout.

Gallardo entered in the top of the seventh with Cincinnati trailing, 3-1. He gave up a one-out single to Wilmer Difo before Adam Eaton slugged a two-run home run to right field.

"Eaton is on fire and the guy is swinging the bat so well. Really with Difo, I really liked the matchup there in the pitcher's spot," Price said on Monday. "Difo is a much-better right-handed hitter, and him being able to flare that ball into left field got him into a situation where he's facing a pretty dangerous hitter with a man on base."

Gallardo issued a two-out walk to Bryce Harper and allowed a single to Ryan Zimmerman before getting out of the inning.

"He was 89-92 [mph], with a good overhand breaking pitch," Price said. "I think his experience and the ability to provide us with some length will certainly be valuable."

Parade tradition continues

Before Monday's game, the 99th Findlay Market Opening Day Parade was held, albeit four days after Thursday's actual season opener. The change was made because the market couldn't afford to close during the busy Easter shopping week.

Despite temperatures in the 30s, crowds still gathered on the parade route in Over-the-Rhine and downtown Cincinnati. Former Reds pitchers Sam LeCure and Danny Graves were grand marshals, and current Reds pitchers Sal Romano and Cody Reed also rode in a car.

The honorary grand marshals were family members of the late Walter "Superbubz" Herbert, who would have turned 7 years old on Monday. Herbert, who warmed the hearts of Reds players and fans last summer during his battle with cancer, died in October.

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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