J.J. Hoover will open 2016 as the Reds' closer

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher J.J. Hoover will open the season as the team's closer, manager Bryan Price said Thursday.

What It Means:

To be more precise, Price said the job is "Hoover's to lose." This is going to be a bad Reds team, and the organization is undergoing an aggressive rebuild. Hoover will probably become trade bait himself if he gets off to a hot start.

The 28-year-old Hoover registered a cool 2.94 ERA (4.62 xFIP), 1.17 WHIP, 7.27 strikeouts-per-nine rate and 4.34 walks-per-nine in 64 1/3 innings last season for Cincinnati, vulturing one save from the now-departed Aroldis Chapman.