After struggling through four April starts, Scott Feldman was relegated to bullpen duty for most of 2016. The 33-year-old right-hander managed a solid 2.90 ERA and 1.24 WHIP over 26 appearances (five starts) for Houston, but stumbled after being traded to Toronto on Aug. 1 and was used sparingly down the stretch. Overall, the veteran finished with 6.6 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 rates -- both of which were better than Feldman's career averages of 5.6 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9. He signed with Cincinnati over the offseason, which should help his fantasy prospects given their lack of established rotation options. However, this move to a hitter's paradise and the absence of swing-and-miss stuff should temper any excitement about Feldman heading into 2017 even after landing a rotation spot.
Feldman will no longer pitch in the WBC for Team Israel, even if they advance out of the first round. Feldman instead wants to focus on making the Reds' rotation and get as many spring training reps as possible. "I'd rather be here," said Feldman. "It's a new team and I'm trying to worry about this team. I have too much at stake."
Manager Bryan Price said Thursday that he sees the recently-signed Feldman as one of four pitchers with a rotation spot heading into camp, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Feldman is no stranger to the starting rotation despite spending time in the bullpen with both Houston and Toronto last season, as the 12-year veteran has started 183 of his 321 career appearances on the mound. The 6-7 lefty will be 34 years old when the season begins, and hasn't had a season-long K/9 over 7.0 since 2012. He'll eat up innings in Cincinnati, but don't be surprised if the team looks to see what they have in younger options down the stretch.
Feldman signed a one-year contract with the Reds on Wednesday, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports. The 33-year-old hurler posted mediocre numbers, mainly as a reliever, between Houston and Toronto last season. He may wind up in a similar role for the Reds Reds in 2017, but he could be a candidate for the back end of the rotation given the team's lack of depth.. Feldman's base contract will net him $2.3 million in 2017, but he could make up to $4.5 million should he hit all of the contract's incentive bonuses.
Feldman has logged just three innings in four appearances this month. Manager John Gibbons lost confidence in the veteran right-hander following a rough August in which Feldman posted a 7.50 ERA over 10 appearances. He managed a nifty 2.90 ERA over 62 innings (five starts and 21 relief appearances) with Houston before being traded to Toronto at the beginning of August, but he has failed to sniff such success since the move. With the team in the heat of a playoff race, it's extremely unlikely that Feldman will get an opportunity to make a fantasy impact before the season ends.
Since joining the Blue Jays, Feldman is 1-1 with a 9.72 ERA and 10 strikeouts over six relief appearances (8.1 innings). Feldman picked up the win against the Yankees on Aug. 16 by allowing just one run on three hits over three innings. Outside of that impressive five-strikeout performance, the 12th-year veteran has been miserable since being acquired at the beginning of the month. With 183 career starts to his name, Feldman is best suited for long relief work when disaster strikes a starting pitcher in the early innings -- which doesn't happen often with the Jays sporting one of the best rotations in the majors this season. The team already uses a six-man rotation, so the right-hander isn't even in the mix for a spot start. Feldman has very little, if any, fantasy value in most leagues.