The Cincinnati Reds allow another big inning through bullpen misuse

Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports /

After going to the bullpen early, the Cincinnati Reds called on their lefty specialist to go a full inning.

It doesn’t matter who on the Cincinnati Reds is to blame here.  Wandy Peralta should never have been put in the place to fail so miserably in the first place.  He’s been getting a tryout as a lefty specialist, but was left in for the entire fourth inning vs. the Chicago Cubs.

Josh Smith was called upon to deliver a spot start, despite not starting since May.  He pitched three decent innings, allowing one run on three hits and a pair of walks.  Then, after 66 pitches, Smith was pulled.

He wasn’t pulled for the other multi-inning reliever, Keyvius Sampson, or occasional multi-inning reliever, Ross Ohlendorf, or even former starter turned reliever, Matt Magill.  No, Bryan Price called in prospect, Wandy Peralta, whom the Reds have been transitioning from starter to reliever for most of his time in the organization.

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Making Peralta a lefty specialist is the right idea.

Unlike the Reds’ current closer, Tony Cingrani, Peralta doesn’t have good splits vs. left-handed batters in his brief time in the big leagues.  While the only difference that Cingrani sees is a lower slugging percentage for lefties, Peralta sees no difference against southpaw batters.  At Triple-A this year, Peralta was better against right-handed batters.

That’s what made this tryout so important for the Reds and Peralta.  If he can’t get out lefties any better than a righty, he may not have a future with the Cincinnati Reds.  They need to tease out his possibilities.

What’s even worse is that the Reds didn’t even give him a chance vs. the Cubs.  Abel De Los Santos was brought in for the fifth and the sixth innings.  It made no sense to use Peralta, if De Los Santos was available.  Theoretically, they could have done things this way to avoid having De Los Santos bat.  Then again they could have used a one inning specialist like Jumbo Diaz, too.

This is the second game in a row vs. the Cubs that it appears as though the Reds are not interested in winning.  They also haven’t been focused on developing their players to fit roles for next season.  Peralta should have been saved for when he could have faced a lefty.  He should be able to go a full outing without being forced to face a true right-hander.

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Magill is a very interesting case here.  He pitched the eighth inning.  He could have been the ideal pitcher to match with Smith to get through five or six together.  Saving him for the ninth made no season whatsoever.