On July 26th, the Reds traded Johnny Cueto to the Royals in exchange for John Lamb, Cody Reed, and most notably, Brandon Finnegan. He was the Royals' first round pick in 2014, and after 27 innings, Finnegan was deemed ready for the big leagues. He pitched out of the bullpen, and made history by becoming the first player to ever play in both the College and MLB World Series in the same year.
Finnegan had mixed results in 2015, but he still figured to be part of their future. When the trade was announced, it was somewhat of a shock to hear that the Royals had given up on him so quickly, and that it could have even caught Finnegan off guard.
However after hearing his comments in a recent article by Jonathan Lintner, it's clear that he was in favor of the change in scenery.
"The Royals kind of screwed me over this year, I wouldn't have done what I did if it wasn't for them last year. But you could tell they just didn't have a clue what to do with me...I like starting...Getting back into it has been tough, but I've got a great team to do it with. These guys have been welcoming."
Ever since joining the Reds' organization, all eight of Finnegan's appearances have been out of the starting role, whereas with the Royals, he just made just 12 starts in 45 games. While he's struggled thus far, Bryan Price said that "his stuff's been good, it's just a matter of harnessing it, throwing a higher percentage of strikes."
They seem to be on board with his desire pitch out of the starting rotation, but Finnegan's current manager, Delino Deshields thinks he'd be better suited as a late inning reliever.
"Honestly, I see him as a power arm in the bullpen. I see him as a guy who can pitch seventh and eighth inning of ball games -- lefty who can be a setup type guy. I think his stuff will play better in that role. But we'll see. He's a young guy. He hasn't pitched a whole lot. This is really his first year of pro ball, so it's probably to soon to label him.
DeShields may prove to be right, but as the Triple-A manager, he really doesn't have much say in the matter. If Finnegan continues to have subpar outings, it will be interesting to see how long the Reds let him remain a starter, especially since they've seen a glimpse of his potential as a reliever. For now he'll get "every opportunity to start", and remain there for the foreseeable future.