Touted lefty prospect Nicolino debuting vs. Reds

Southpaw called up for spot start in place of injured Koehler

Touted lefty prospect Nicolino debuting vs. Reds

CINCINNATI -- The anticipated MLB debut of Justin Nicolino is coming faster than expected. The 23-year-old lefty was called up from Triple-A New Orleans on Saturday, and he is getting the starting nod against the Reds at Great American Ball Park.

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Miami's No. 3 ranked prospect, Nicolino is taking the hill in place of Tom Koehler, who was scratched due to neck and back discomfort.

Nicolino is 4-3 with a 2.87 ERA in 13 games. In 78 1/3 innings, he struck out 45 and walked 21. To make roster space for Nicolino, catcher Jhonatan Solano was designated for assignment.

Nicolino's big league debut is coming against his former teammate and good friend, Anthony DeSclafani, who will start for the Reds. In November of 2013, Nicolino and DeSclafani were part of the 12-player trade between the Marlins and Blue Jays.

Nicolino and DeSclafani opened 2014 in Double-A Jacksonville's rotation.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.