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Iglesias back, but 'pen roles yet to be defined

Price hopes to sort out where each reliever fits in coming weeks
MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- Upon welcoming his new baby boy, Oliver, to the world on Thursday, Reds closer Raisel Iglesias returned to the club from the paternity list on Sunday. To make room on the roster, Cincinnati optioned Jackson Stephens to Triple-A Louisville.

For the considerable future, Iglesias is likely the only Reds reliever with a defined role. Manager Bryan Price wasn't ready to commit to putting others in set roles in the bridge between the starting pitcher and closer.

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CINCINNATI -- Upon welcoming his new baby boy, Oliver, to the world on Thursday, Reds closer Raisel Iglesias returned to the club from the paternity list on Sunday. To make room on the roster, Cincinnati optioned Jackson Stephens to Triple-A Louisville.

For the considerable future, Iglesias is likely the only Reds reliever with a defined role. Manager Bryan Price wasn't ready to commit to putting others in set roles in the bridge between the starting pitcher and closer.

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"Now it's just a matter of trying to find that mix," Price said before the Reds' 6-5 loss Sunday. "I think defining necessarily inning or role definition, I'm going to put myself in a corner, and I don't like to do that."

The Reds upgraded their bullpen in the offseason by signing free agents Jared Hughes and David Hernandez, who is currently on the disabled list. Kevin Quackenbush made the club as a non-roster player, and Wandy Peralta has a year of experience and forms a lefty duo with Amir Garrett. Veteran Yovani Gallardo was signed on Saturday and can potentially be the long man, along with Garrett.

"With [Austin] Brice and Gallardo, Quackenbush and Amir, they're going to define themselves as well," Price said. "Either as guys better in the middle of the game or guys that give us a break when we need someone late."

Video: ARI@CIN: Garrett K's four in scoreless outing

Last season, Iglesias notched 28 saves in 30 chances but also led the Majors with eight saves of at least two innings. Especially with more experience in the bullpen this year, Price is hoping he doesn't need Iglesias for more than three outs often.

"It depends on how you get there," Price said. "If it's a game your bullpen is a little beat up and you have a game sitting there waiting to win and he's fresh, that's an option. I'd like to not have to use that as the vehicle to win games, trying to get two innings out of Iglesias every time we have a lead."

Another change, the actual bullpens

One difference at Great American Ball Park this season is the Reds switched bullpens, moving into the right-field 'pen that previously belonged to the visiting team. The visitors now occupy the center-field bullpen.

"The new bullpen is awesome. I like the new one," Garrett said. "It's more like home. It isn't far away back there. I like it better than being in center field. There's more room as well."

When GABP opened in 2003, the home bullpen was originally slated to be in right field until then-manager Bob Boone requested the switch. The current Reds had a few reasons to switch it back.

"For us down there, it's been proximity to the clubhouse and the [first base] dugout," Price said. "The lighting, it's OK down there. You can see, but it's not as good. Guys said if you're not sitting on the bench, it's harder to see the game over there. There definitely are some benefits to being closer to the dugout.

"Then, of course, in the dead of summer, that sun can end up baking that center-field area pretty good. There's really not any place to get out of the sun."

Price appears to not be used to the change, however. During a pitching change on Opening Day, he signaled to the center-field bullpen for a pitcher. Center fielder Billy Hamilton pointed to the umpires that the Reds' bullpen was in right field.

"As long as they know what I'm doing, that's all that matters. [If] the umpires can figure it out, we're in better shape," Price said.

Worth noting

The Reds released outfielder Darnell Sweeney from his Minor League contract on Saturday. Sweeney was cut from the spring roster on March 16.

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.

Cincinnati Reds, Raisel Iglesias