CINCINNATI -- Reds manager Bryan Price has no intention of playing out the string during the final two months of the season. However, the balancing act of seeking wins while also fostering Cincinnati's rebuilding process is something he has dealt with all season.
"The things you focus on are the things you can control," Price said. "We're trying to build a pitching staff here. That's our biggest goal. You don't want to concede wins for development."
The last-place Reds (45-66) host the San Diego Padres (49-61) in a four-game series beginning Monday night at Great American Ball Park.
Cincinnati hasn't won a season series against the Padres since 2012.
The Reds were forced to adjust their rotation for the series opener when right-hander Robert Stephenson was placed on the 10-day disabled on Sunday due to a bruised rotator cuff.
Tim Adleman (5-9, 5.42 ERA) will move back into the rotation to start Monday in his first career appearance against the Padres.
"I would be available to start tomorrow if I really wanted to, but there is no reason to push it," Stephenson said on Sunday.
Stephenson is among several promising young starters the Reds are pinning their hopes on for next season and beyond. Injuries have delayed development of a few of those young arms, but San Diego will face three of Cincinnati's budding stalwarts, right-handers Sal Romano, Asher Wojciechowski and Luis Castillo, during the series.
Adleman was 0-5 with a 7.34 ERA in a six-start span before he was moved to the bullpen late last month. However, he hasn't pitched since his most recent start on July 29.
Price has instituted a trial-by-fire approach with many of his young prospects.
"You don't pull a young starter in the third inning because he doesn't have it," said Price. "You want to see how he handles that. You don't pinch-hit for (left-handed-hitting right fielder) Jesse Winker against a left-hander. You want to see what he can do against left-handed pitching. But, the goal is to make every effort to win every ballgame, get out of last place and feel good about how we finished 2017."
The Reds have gone 9-19 versus the Padres since 2012, including 6-16 the last four years. San Diego swept a three-game series in June at Petco Park.
Padres right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (11-7, 3.99 ERA) will take the mound Monday for his 23rd start of the season and 11th on the road. His 11 wins and 13 quality starts lead the team.
Chacin earned the win in seven of his 10 starts since June 9, and he has allowed two or fewer earned runs in nine of those 10 outings. He has been outstanding at Petco Park, posting a 1.86 ERA, the lowest home ERA among major league starters. He is looking to carry that success on the road, where he is 4-5 with a 7.35 ERA.
"He's a guy that all the pitches have to work … and he has the capability to do that," Padres manager Andy Green said. "We love his spin. We love his off-speed."
Chacin is 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA in seven career games (five starts) against the Reds.