Cincinnati Reds show faith in prospect Amir Garrett with the trade of starter Dan Straily

Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY Sports /

The Cincinnati Reds have the sixth best left-handed prospect in MLB and they plan to use him.

Recently MLB’s Pipeline named Cincinnati Reds’ prospect Amir Garrett as the number six left-handed prospect in all of baseball.  The top overall left-handed prospect is the Milwaukee Brewers’ Josh Hader, who should be in Milwaukee this season sometime.  The most well-known name on the list is likely A.J. Puk of the Oakland Athletics.

The one name above Garrett that will raise some eyebrows is the number three ranked Braxton Garrett of the Miami Marlins.  He hasn’t pitched as a pro yet after signing late last season.  He is young and has yet to prove himself to the extent that the rest of the prospects have.

The trade of Dan Straily to the Miami Marlins has a more immediate impact on Amir Garrett.  It opens up a spot in the rotation.  The Big Three of Straily, Anthony DeSclafani, and Brandon Finnegan has become the Questionable Two.  Now the Reds have three spots in the rotation and no absolute answers.

Before the trade Garrett looked like a long shot to beat out former top prospect Robert Stephenson for the last spot in the rotation.  Now he looks like the leader  to win the the number four spot in the rotation.  The Reds do not have another more ready prospect outside of TIm Adleman, who is likely being penciled into the number three spot because of Homer Bailey’s injury.

The Cincinnati Reds have a more wide open competition for roster spots now.

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Prior to the trade of Straily, Garrett was fighting for the role of lefty specialist with just an outside shot at beating out Robert Stephenson for the starting spot.  Now the Reds have more roster flexibility to bring the twelve best pitchers to Cincinnati when the team breaks camp.  In the meantime the Reds have to find five starting pitchers from among their options.

Assuming Stephenson maintains his hold on a spot in the rotation and Homer Bailey spends more than the minimum 60 days on the DL, the Reds now have one spot open in the rotation that Garrett is in now and two spots open in the bullpen.  Another spot could open up if Jumbo Diaz looks awful this spring.  Another spot could open up due to injuries too.

The other thing that could be happening here is the old switcheroo.

The Reds have been telling everyone all off-season that Raisel Iglesias will be a late inning reliever.  In off-season retrospection they may have changed their mind.  They also could have Scott Feldman in the rotation into of the bullpen.

Next: Brandon Phillips goes home to Atlanta

Whatever is going on, it opens more competition on an ever younger team.  The Reds are in danger of getting so young that they won’t have a veteran to lead them out of the rebuild.  That used to happen to Kansas City Royals until they went out and signed Gil Meche.  That is cautionary tale to be sure.