Brandon Finnegan was pulled after only pitching one inning due to a strained left lat, the Cincinnati Reds announced via Twitter. He joins Rookie Davis as the second member of the team’s rotation to go down with an early season injury.
“It will take two to six weeks to return from,” the Fantasy Doctor’s Dr.Selene Parekh said. “He’ll need rest, anti-inflammatories and rehabilitation.”
This is a deflating injury amidst a positive 8-4 start to the Reds season. Finnegan and the other young starting pitchers in Cincinnati have helped make the Reds one of the biggest surprises in baseball. He had a 3.98 ERA with 145 strikeouts in 31 starts in 2016 and had seemed to take the next leap in 2017, getting off to a strong start. The left-hander had 14 strikeouts and a 2.70 ERA in 10 innings pitched this season.
Robert Stephenson stepped in for Finnegan, allowing one run and and striking out five batters in three innings of relief. However, Stephenson made just one start in five appearances during spring training, so the team may want to use him in the bullpen. He had a 6.08 ERA in eight starts last season, so he is not on the radar in any fantasy league even if he did earn a few starts.
Sal Romano was promoted from Triple-A in response to Davis’ injury, but Finnegan’s injury all but solidifies the young flamethrowers his name in the starting rotation. Romano had a 3.52 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 156 Double-A innings in 2016. He was 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA with Triple-A Louisville. He is viewed as a starting pitcher of the future by the organization. He will get an extended look at least until Cincinnati’s other arms heal. He could be worth a look at the backend of rotations in 12-team leagues as long as the Reds keeping winning.
Tim Adleman be following Romano to the majors now that Finnegan is down. He posted a 4.00 ERA in 13 starts with the Reds last season. However, he got battered in spring training, posting a 11.81 ERA in five starts. Romano is the guy to own in this situation.