{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

{"event":["spring_training" ] }

Reds hope Francis adds depth to rotation

|
Reds hope Francis adds depth to rotation play video for Reds hope Francis adds depth to rotation

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- One of a handful of free agents signed by the Reds about a month before Spring Training, veteran left-hander Jeff Francis was added to provide depth in the rotation. Francis, 33, is a non-roster invite on a Minor League contract.

"They called and I thought that was good," Francis said. "Maybe there is familiarity. They've seen me here before and know what I can bring and the role I can fill potentially."

In 23 games last season with the Rockies, including 12 starts, Francis was 3-5 with a 6.27 ERA. In 2012, he was in Reds camp on a Minor League deal, but opted for his release in June while pitching at Triple-A Louisville to sign a big league deal with Colorado.

"We like what he can do. First and foremost, we feel like he's a competitive Major League pitcher," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We wanted to have depth in a place where we weren't asking a young player to come up and do something you can't really quantify what his success chances are."

The Reds' depth could be tested as frontline starter Mat Latos needed minor surgery on his left knee on Friday. Latos' readiness for Opening Day is unknown, which could open the door for Francis or someone like veteran right-hander Chien-Ming Wang, who is also in camp on a Minor League contract.

Francis spent 2004-10 with the Rockies and 2011 with the Royals. He won 17 games in 2007.

"If we have something happen in Spring Training, it would be nice to be able to support our rotation with a guy that's been there, that's had success and we also think he's a great fit personally," Price said. "He blends in with what we're trying to do here, which is to create a culture of preparation, professionalism and competitiveness. He is that guy. He fits that role."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español