Reds to consider replacing Melville with Straily

Price pondering change after early struggles

Reds to consider replacing Melville with Straily

ST. LOUIS -- The Reds still have pitcher Tim Melville listed as their probable starter for Wednesday vs. the Rockies. But coming off Friday's 14-3 loss where Melville was roughed up by the Cardinals over three innings for seven runs, manager Bryan Price acknowledged there might be a change.

"We'll see. Certainly, we'll have to take a look at Dan Straily with the job that he's done," Price said on Saturday morning. "Unfortunately, we've had to utilize him in some games that have gotten out of control early. He's done a really nice job managing those opportunities. So we'll see how it goes."

In his first two big league starts of his career, Melville has demonstrated command problems. He lasted four innings vs. the Pirates in his first start and allowed one run but threw 92 pitches. On Friday vs. St. Louis, Melville walked his first two batters on eight pitches, and he later gave up a pair of three-run homers.

Straily replaced Melville and gave up just Matt Holliday's solo homer over three innings. With Alfredo Simon also providing a short outing of two-thirds of an inning Wednesday at Chicago, Straily has already pitched 5 1/3 innings on the road trip. In his Reds debut on April 10 vs. the Pirates, he worked three hitless innings.

A roster move will be coming on Sunday when the Reds have to activate Jon Moscot from the disabled list to make a start. Cincinnati has been carrying an eight-man bullpen, so the team will likely subtract a reliever.

"We definitely have to give thought to the fact that anytime we get short starts, it puts a lot more workload on the bullpen," Price said. "Certainly when we add Moscot tomorrow, we'll probably be moving towards a seven-man bullpen. We'll need a certain amount of reliability from our starters. That's certainly going to improve as these guys start popping off the DL here in May."

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