Cincinnati Reds can only watch as each starter implodes in his showcase appearance

Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Cincinnati Reds watched Cody Reed implode right after Amir Garrett did the same thing, destroying their rotation plans.

As the Cincinnati Reds watched Amir Garrett’s WHIP slowly get higher and higher, they were not worried because Cody Reed was having a good spring.  Then Reed had a breakdown that reminded everyone of his disastrous 2016 MLB audition.  Following the awful springs of Tim Adleman and Robert Stephenson, the Reds’ rotation is once again in shambles.

In Reed’s latest start, he went 3 2/3 innings allowing 10 earned runs on 10 hits.  He also walked four before hitting his 40 pitch limit.  For perspective, Reed pitched 5 2/3 innings on 36 pitches the previous time out.

This is on the heels of Garrett surrendering 6 runs in 5 innings.  The good news is that Garrett didn’t hit his pitch limit of 70.  The bad news is that Garrett also allowed 3 walks and a home run.

Not to be outdone, Sal Romano also had his worst outing of the spring last time out.  He allowed seven runs, five earned, in 4 2/3 innings.  However, he didn’t allow a single walk and still struck out 6, meaning he may still have an edge to make the rotation sometime in the season.

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Rookie Davis, who came over in the Aroldis Chapman deal, wasn’t immune.  In his latest start he allowed five runs, three earned, over 4 2/3.  Much like Garrett, however, he didn’t hit his pitch limit of 70, throwing just 45 in the outing.

Following these atrocious outings, the Cincinnati Reds announced they were down to five candidates for their last three rotation spots in Bronson Arroyo, Rookie Davis, Amir Garrett, Cody Reed, and Robert Stephenson.

The bad outing likely cost Romano any chance and Adleman pitched himself right out of the rotation.  Surprisingly, the pitch efficiency of Garrett and Davis likely kept them both in the hunt.  Stephenson had a similar outcome in both a good pitch count and a bad outing in his last start.

Stephenson hasn’t looked like  an elite prospect all spring long.  In his most recent outing he allowed 4 runs over four innings of work.  He also surrendered a home run and 2 walks.

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Bronson Arroyo is still working on his stamina and may not end up having good enough stuff to make it in an MLB rotation anymore.  Frankly, though, he is the Reds’ best chance at having an elite pitcher in the rotation this season.  These bad outings coming down the stretch for the prospects is a bad harbinger of things to come from the undermanned rotation in 2017.