Cincinnati Reds have too many chefs and too few prep cooks in bullpen


The Cincinnati Reds have loaded up their bullpen with back end relievers, but have left the middle innings uncovered.

The Cincinnati Reds went to rebuild the bullpen and did that by signing another closer to match up with incumbents Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias.  With the signing of Drew Storen the Reds now have four people to share the closer’s role.  When you have four closers you really don’t have any.

If the Reds really use Iglesias, Lorenzen, Storen, and last year’s closer, Tony Cingrani, all as late inning, high leverage relievers, the bullpen is left shallow during the rest of the game.  The only other two relievers that appear to have their bullpen spots locked up are Blake Wood and Jumbo Diaz.  Both of them are single inning relievers, not multi-inning relievers.

That’s before the potential addition of Louis Coleman who just signed a minor league deal with the Reds.  He is a single inning in his own right.  If he makes the club, there may not be a multi-inning reliever in the bullpen aside from the two aces, Iglesias and Lorenzen.

After Coleman, the big two non-roster invitees are Lucas Luetge and Kevin Shackelford.  Shackelford is similar to Storen in that he is a late-inning, right-handed reliever.  Luetge is a lefty specialist, who worked in the Seattle Mariners bullpen in 2013 and 2014.

The Cincinnati Reds could solve this dilemma by brining the twelve best pitchers back from Arizona, period.

The Reds are getting close to competing again.  In order for that to happen, they need to start focusing on talent instead of development when compiling their roster.  There are a couple of pitchers who the Reds should look at for major league roles.

It’s amazing that Tim Adleman avoided the rumors this off-season.  The Reds mentioned him as another potential long man early in the off-season.  Perhaps he should be the number five starter and prospect Robert Stephenson should be the multi-inning reliever.

Another possibility for the multi-inning spot is Amir Garrett.  The Reds appear to lack a left-handed specialist going into spring training.  Garrett could be a multi-inning reliever a la Andrew Miller.  He could spend a year doing that to acclimate to the big leagues.  That’s what pitchers did in days of yore.

Next: Reds add Louis Coleman on minor league deal

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Right now, the Reds have rebuilt the bullpen.  The focus is  a pair of former starters and a handful of short relievers.  Maybe they finally have a grand plan in mind.  Hopefully, we won’t see a repeat of the 2016 season from the bullpen.