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Prospect Cingrani to start Cactus League opener

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The early days of the Reds' Spring Training rotation don't resemble what will likely be seen during the regular season.

When the Reds open Cactus League play on Friday against the Indians, prospect Tony Cingrani will start. Barring the unforeseen, Cingrani -- the No. 3 Reds prospect, according to MLB.com -- is expected to begin the regular season at Triple-A Louisville. He was 10-4 with a 1.73 ERA in 26 games for Class A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola last season and made three relief appearances for the Reds in September.

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Long reliever Alfredo Simon is scheduled to start Saturday's game against Cleveland, while fellow reliever Sam LeCure will start on Sunday against Cleveland. Non-roster pitcher Armando Galarraga is slated to get the nod on Monday against the Brewers. Several young pitchers are scheduled to pitch out of the bullpen in the early games.

"The young guys are probably more ready than the veteran guys," Reds manager Dusty Baker said on Thursday. "We have an extra seven games. You want them to be sharp and ready, but you don't want them to get those extra innings on them. Early, we'll put a lot of it on the young guys."

Homer Bailey is the first projected rotation member to get a start on Tuesday, facing the Padres. He will be followed on Wednesday by ace Johnny Cueto against the D-Backs. On Feb. 28 in split-squad action, Mike Leake will face Arizona, while Aroldis Chapman goes against the Rockies. Mat Latos takes on the Royals on March 1 and Bronson Arroyo pitches on March 2 against the White Sox.

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