There is a wide open competition for 12 spots on the pitching staff this spring.
Both the starting rotation and the bullpen are a work in process with the bullpen a consolation prize for those that don't win a spot in the rotation.
"We have the depth here in camp. I'm on board with young players learning to be big league pitchers in the Major Leagues,' manager Bryan Price said.
This year Sampson is slotted for the bullpen but the door is still open to transition back to starter at a later date.
"Sampson is pitching to make the team," manager Bryan Price said. "He needs to pound the strikezone. He got away from that a little bit as a starter. I like him as a reliever on this particular team, in this particular environment."
Tony Cingrani, who broke in with the Reds as a starter will pitch from the bullpen. Both Sampson and Cingrani will be looked on as pitchers who will pitch more than one inning in middle relief.
Cingrani is also the model for the Reds' plans for its young pitchers just about to emerge onto the Major League scene.
Cody Reed, Tim Melville, Robert Stephenson, Brandon Finnegan, Jon Moscot, Michael Lorenzen and Rookie Davis are all starters but could still make the team in longer relief roles.
"I'm on board with young players learning to be Major League pitchers at the big league level. We can't have a surplus of one inning pitchers. From the depth we have at the Double A and Triple A level, we have the resources to make adjustments."
The Reds signed Jonathan Sanchez, who hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues since 2013. He pitched all last season for Iowa the Cubs Triple A team. Sanchez pitched a no-hitter for the Saa Francisco Giants. He was recommended by Reds' Double A manager Pat Kelly, who managed Sanchez in the Puerto Rican Winter League where he won the Comeback Player of the Year.
There are veteran starting pitchers on the market that the Reds' can also sign to fill in.
"We may find a veteran to help us manage but it has to be the right guy," Price said.