Scott Feldman pitched out of the bullpen last year at Houston by twist, turns and quirks of fate he will be an Opening Day starter in Cincinnati this year.
Feldman will get the ball for Opening Day at Great American Ball Park. It will be his third Opening Day start in his second appearance ever at Great American Ball Park.
Feldman started on Opening Day for Texas in 2010 against Toronto. The Reds hope that is a omen because that team went on to be American League Champion. He started Opening Day for Houston against the New York Yankess in 2014. That team lost 92 games.
“It’s pretty cool,” Feldman said. “I know the about the history of Cincinnati, being like the capitol of Opening Day.”
When Feldman signed with the Reds it was unknown what role he would take on the Reds’ pitching staff but manager Bryan Price early on named him as one of his three starters in the rotation. One of them, Anthony DeSclafani, was the most likely to start on Opening Day but he was shut down for a month with elbow problems and will start the season on the disabled list. Homer Bailey the most tenured Reds’ starter had surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow in early February. Bailey won’t be able to pitch in a game until at least June 1.
That brought the choice down to Brandon Finnegan and Feldman, the only two known to be in the Reds’ rotation to date.
“You can’te really predict the future. You have to stay ready for everything,” Feldman said. “It’s just an honor to get the ball on Opening Day. You want to get off to a good start and build on it for the rest of the season.”
‘I think Scott has the experience and the way he commands the strike zone, makes him the best candidate,” Price said. “My interpretation of Scott throughout spring training is exactly the guy we were looking for and we targeted, a veteran guy with a presence. He has a savvy that will serve us well. Part of the decision is the fact that we don’t have Homer or DeSclafani ready to go. That being said, I couldn’t be happier to have Scott Feldman to be able to go to in this exact situation.”
Feldman has pitched one game at Great American Ball Park. He was the starter for the Chicago Cubs on May24, 2013 and took a loss. He pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs, including home runs to Joey Votto and Ryan Hanigan. He also hit a home run off Bronson Arroyo.
Later that season he was traded to Baltimore for Jake Arrieta.