GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds revealed their final 25-man roster on Thursday, which required two more cuts. One is a stunner in right-handed reliever Sam LeCure, while pitching prospect Michael Lorenzen was the other.
LeCure cleared waivers and was sent outright to Triple-A Louisville. He had Minor League options left, but the club needed the 40-man roster space. Reds manager Bryan Price clearly had emotions about the move.
"The LeCure thing, I never could have seen that coming when we began Spring Training," Price said. "I think it breaks all of our hearts that he's not on this ballclub right now. We anticipate him being back. I think we feel he's not at his best where he needs to be to help us right now."
LeCure, 30, is owed $1.85 million in 2015, the second year of his two-year contract. To collect that money, he would have to report to Louisville, which he indicated he would do on his Twitter feed.
thank you all for your well wishes and support. caught me off guard too. just another bump in a long road. the goal stays the same.
With 231 games pitched, LeCure has the third-most appearances for the Reds from 2010-14, and he's long been viewed as a key middle-to-late-inning reliever. But last season wasn't as strong of a year for LeCure, as he went 1-4 with a 3.81 ERA in 62 games and struggled at times during the second half.
LeCure had a 3.24 ERA this spring in seven Cactus League games, but this was a case where he didn't pitch as well as the numbers may have indicated.
"His velocity is down a little bit, but the concern isn't the velocity," Price said. "The concern is fastball command. … His bread and butter we've seen over the last five years is being able to locate that fastball with that off-the-body comebacker on lefties and freeze down and away on the right-handers. It's a signature pitch for him. He's been a little erratic with that since the second half of last season."
Lorenzen, the organization's No. 4 prospect according to MLB.com, often impressed this spring, as he posted a 1.80 ERA in six games, including two starts. He emerged first as a long-reliever option, but he pitched himself into the fifth-starter conversation, too. Raisel Iglesias now has a spot in the rotation -- at least until Homer Bailey returns from the disabled list later this month.
"He's a non-roster guy," Price said of Lorenzen. "To add him to the [25-man] roster to make a start and most likely then in turn go back to the Minor Leagues didn't make a great deal of sense for us to have to risk losing a player in order to do that."
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.