Cincinnati Reds have new rotation option in Rookie Davis for 2017

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cincinnati Reds were hamstrung in 2016 to fill their rotation, but have more options for 2017.

Entering 2016, pitching prospects Cody Reed, Amir Garrett, and Rookie Davis were not ready to be pitching in the majors for the Cincinnati Reds.  Since that time Reed has made a handful of starts and Garrett has risen to the top of the list of potential new starters in 2017.  For Davis’ part, he spent the season plying his trade in the minors.

At the MLB level, the Reds were allowing the most home runs in the history of the franchise.  They gave starts to long relievers Keyvius Sampson and Josh Smith down the stretch.  They also gave first 11 first half starts to returning Red Alfredo Simon, he of the 2.05 WHIP.

That’s how tight their rotation was in 2016.  During the season they discovered four solid options for 2017: Anthony DeSclafani, Dan Straily, Brandon Finnegan, and Robert Stephenson.  In addition to those four, there is always the hope that Homer Bailey is finally able to the rotation.

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The Reds didn’t have Straily or Stephenson at the start of the season.  Straily was in the bullpen and Stephenson was in the minors.  Finding these two was a big step towards 2017.

Davis advanced from Double A to Triple A to show the Reds he’s ready for 2017.

Davis came to the Cincinnati Reds in the Aroldis Chapman deal.

He was the cornerstone of the deal along with Caleb Cotham.  Cotham had a tough season before being shutdown due to injuries.

Davis had a great start to the year.  He had a 2.94 ERA in 19 starts, going 10-3 over 101 innings in Pensacola.  After striking out close to a batter per inning in his time in the New York Yankees’ system, Davis struck out 62 batters in Pensacola.

That was somewhat a harbinger of things to come for when Davis was promoted to Louisville.  In four starts and 24 innings, Davis only struck out 15 batters, while allowing 38 hits.  That led to his first even WHIP above 1.50 at 1.88 for his time in Triple A.

What’s more important he is that Davis made 23 starts pitching 125 innings.  That’s not quite MLB levels of production, but that’s getting close.  Usually minor leaguers are closer to 150 innings and 25 starts as opposed to the 200 innings over 30 starts in the majors.

The other thing that is encouraging about Davis is his consistency.  He has struck out about 3 batters per nine innings as long as he has been a pro.  That is great, level production.

Next: Amir Garrett is ready to make a splash in Cincy

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The Cincinnati Reds may have enough starting pitching to begin the season.  They might not even need Davis in 2017.  Whether or not they do, they have him which is better than it used to be.