Cincinnati Reds’ John Lamb Set to Make Big League Debut


The first of the three left-handed pitchers that the Cincinnati Reds acquired for Johnny Cueto has already made his way to the big leagues. John Lamb will be making his big league debut on Friday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers, replacing Michael Lorenzen in the starting rotation.

Lamb, once a top 20 prospect in all of baseball, is in the midst of his best season as a professional since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2011. Between Triple-A Omaha and Triple-A Louisville, the 25-year-old is 10-2 with a 2.67 ERA and also carries an impressive 117/36 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 111.1 innings.

He’s made three starts in Louisville since being traded to the Reds organization, going 1-1 with a 2.65 ERA and 1.24 WHIP while striking out 21 and walking seven in 17 innings. His last start with the Bats was his best since the trade, in which he allowed only one run on four hits and a walk while striking out seven in six innings. That start in particular got the attention of Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper:

Ironically, Lamb will be wearing Cueto’s old jersey number (47) when he toes the rubber for the first time in a Reds uniform. To keep Lamb on his regular schedule, David Holmberg and Anthony DeSclafani both had their scheduled starts pushed back a day.

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Meanwhile, the scuffling Lorenzen heads back to Triple-A. It’s the right move for the Reds and Lorenzen, as he’s been going through quite a rough stretch on the mound. The 23-year-old has a 12.57 ERA in his last five starts, including losses in six out of his last seven outings. His velocity was noticeably down in his last start against the San Diego Padres, in which he wasn’t able to make it through the second inning.

Before writing off Lorenzen, keep in mind that he is still relatively inexperienced at starting. He didn’t start in college and it wasn’t until 2014 that he became a full-time starter. A trip to the minor leagues could help Lorenzen to get some of his confidence back and if all goes well, I’m guessing he’ll return to the Reds in September to join their bullpen, where his innings would be limited.

Next: Hamilton, Suarez power Reds to win over Dodgers