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Inbox: Will new skipper Bell have quick hook?

Beat reporter Mark Sheldon fields Reds fans' questions
February 8, 2019

With the addition of veteran starting pitchers, do you expect David Bell to have a quick hook like Jim Riggleman and go to the bullpen early? -- @jdavidhicks on TwitterI expect Bell and pitching coach Derek Johnson to be creative and focus on getting outs and doing whatever it takes

With the addition of veteran starting pitchers, do you expect David Bell to have a quick hook like Jim Riggleman and go to the bullpen early?
-- @jdavidhicks on Twitter

I expect Bell and pitching coach Derek Johnson to be creative and focus on getting outs and doing whatever it takes to do that on a given day. Under manager Craig Counsell in Milwaukee, Johnson showed a willingness to color outside the lines when it came to the use of Josh Hader and others. The Reds bullpen has a few guys capable of multiple innings -- Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen among them. And keep this in mind: While the Reds rotation was 13th out of 15 National League clubs last season in innings pitched, the Brewers were 12th.
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The Reds have done a lot of really exciting things this offseason. What do you see as the biggest missed opportunity from this offseason that no one is talking about? Marwin Gonzalez?
-- @08deters on Twitter.

Granted that I wasn't privy to the specifics about the negotiations, I'd say it might have been Indians ace Corey Kluber. The Reds definitely upgraded their rotation nicely with the additions of Sonny Gray, Alex Wood and Tanner Roark. But Kluber would have been a legitimate ace at the top of the rotation. Of course, I don't know exactly who Cleveland asked for in return for Kluber. I wouldn't be shocked if the conversation ended once Nick Senzel or Hunter Greene was brought up.
Hi Mark. With the Reds having upgraded their starting rotation, the only position they may be lacking in would be center field. Do you see the Reds possibly going after Adam Jones even if it's just for a one-year deal?
-- Randall, Cincinnati

In center field last season, Jones had a minus-18 defensive runs saved according to FanGraphs. I could see his power rebounding after it took a dip during his final season in Baltimore though. At this point, I'm not sure Jones would be better in center field than the in-house options like Scott Schebler, Yasiel Puig or Senzel.
Why would the Dodgers trade for Homer Bailey, when they seemed to be planning on releasing him right away?
-- Ted C., Tampa, Fla.

Because the average annual value -- or AAV -- of Bailey's contract helped get the Dodgers back under the threshold for a luxury-tax penalty. Even though he was owed $28 million for the final year of his six-year contract plus the club option buyout for 2020, the AAV for Bailey was $17.5 million. That was less than the $20 million Matt Kemp's AAV. Because he's under contract for '19, Bailey can now sign with any club for the league minimum and still get paid the full price of his contract. He remains unsigned.

With all of the different options being talked about, why does nobody mention TJ Friedl to start in center? He has played the position and continued to produce at the Double-A level last season.
-- Garrett D., Charleston, W.Va.

Friedl had only a half-season at Double-A in 2018, so it really is premature. At the moment, projections see Friedl as a fourth outfielder in the big leagues, but he could work his way into being a regular center fielder down the road. He needs to keep working on his hitting and bunting to take advantage of his speed. I would say Jose Siri is ahead of Friedl currently among center-field prospects. His defense is big league ready now, but he's also still working on his hitting skills.

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.