After the Cincinnati Reds loss to the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night, manager David Bell announced a bit of a switch to the expected Cincinnati Reds rotation. We learned earlier on Tuesday that Trevor Bauer wouldn’t be getting the start on Thursday on short rest – a day where the team needed a pitcher to make a start that would not be a part of their normal rotation. Things weren’t expanded on from there, though, as to who would make the start. Over at Redleg Nation I wrote about why it wouldn’t be a good idea to go with Bauer on short rest, and to perhaps go with Tejay Antone instead.
Well, it seems that David Bell sort of have a similar thought, but a little bit different, too. Tejay Antone jumped to the front of the line, so-to-speak, and he will be starting on Wednesday night in Cleveland. He’ll be followed by Luis Castillo, Trevor Bauer, Anthony DeSclafani, and Sonny Gray in the subsequent games.
“When I got that news (that he’d be starting), I was almost more relieved,” said Tejay Antone. “I’ll do anything for this team, whatever role they need me, but I’m very excited to start.”
It’s been nine days since he last pitched, and he threw just 69 pitches in that game – a lot for a reliever, but he had been preparing as a starter.
“During quarantine, they (the Reds) asked me to get up to 5 innings. So I threw 5 innings, 100 pitches in quarantine – to the same hitter over and over – but yeah, I’m built up and ready to go.”
For right-hander Tejay Antone it will be his first Major League start, and only his second Major League appearance. The 26-year-old who was the surprise of the pitching staff in spring training after coming out with new, big time velocity, didn’t make the team out of Summer Camp. But it was only a day into the season when he got called up from the Prasco Park roster and he hasn’t been back since. He had to wait a few days before making his big league debut, coming on in relief of Wade Miley last Monday and allowing just one run on one hit – a solo homer – in 4.1 innings out of the bullpen while striking out five hitters.
It was in that appearnce that we got some impressive data on the spin rate from Tejay Antone that showed just how much he stood out among other pitchers in Major League Baseball in a few areas. His sinker literally jumped off of the chart when it came to spin rate (and it’s a fantastic chart if I do say so myself). Now he’ll get a chance to make his first big league start after making 109 of them in his career at the minor league level from 2014-2019 in the Reds farm system.