Ticketed for bullpen Reds manager David Bell said Wednesday that Antone (hip) will "most likely" open the season in a relief role, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
Impact With Sonny Gray (back) headed for the injured list to begin the season, Antone's odds of breaking camp as a member of the rotation appeared to improve, but those plans may have changed when the 27-year-old righty exited his March 14 outing with a hip strain. Antone has since resumed throwing and could slot back into the Reds' Cactus League pitching schedule Sunday against the Brewers, but he looks like he'll only be asked to cover an inning or two now that the team is preparing for him to begin the season in the bullpen. While making nine of his 13 appearances in 2020 as a reliever, Antone showed he could still provide some value as a ratio stabilizer, and he may even get the chance to factor into save situations early on this season. With both Amir Garrett and Lucas Sims missing time in camp and offseason pickup Sean Doolittle having struggled mightily this spring, the Reds' closer situation is far from settled.
MARCH 24 • ROTOWIRE