Cincinnati Reds could resemble 1992 Atlanta Braves in 2018

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds have the pitchers and the talent to use five second year players in 2018 starting rotation.

The Atlanta Braves had one of the historic rotations in 1992 and the Cincinnati Reds could copy that blueprint.  In 1993 the Braves brought in Cy Young winner Greg Maddux, but in 1992 the rotation consisted of Charlie Leibrandt and five young pitchers.  These are the names of the lore from that rotation: Steve Avery, Tom Glavine, Kent Mercker, Pete Smith, and John Smoltz.

Of the five both Glavine and Smoltz are in the Hall of Fame.  Glavine did it as a starter for the Braves and New York Mets.  Smoltz is the only pitcher in MLB history to have 200 wins and 150 saves.

All five of them came up through the Braves’ system.  They acquired Smoltz as a minor leaguer from the Detroit Tigers, but all five spent time in the Braves’ system.  The Reds have a quintet that could go pitch for pitch with the Braves’ pitchers.

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The Reds have a trio of right-handers that made their MLB debut this season.  Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, and Sal Romano all look ready to contribute next year.  All three started the season in the minor leagues, too.

The Cincinnati Reds have the talent to emulate the 1992 Atlanta Braves, if they choose wisely.

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After those three, the Reds have a laundry list of pitchers that made their debuts in the past two seasons.  That doesn’t count the veterans who are hanging around, either.  The young players that have the most name recognition are Michael Lorenzen, Cody Reed, and Robert Stephenson.

All three spent time in the Reds’ bullpen this season.  Lorenzen was viewed as a starting prospect until arm injuries slowed him in 2016.  Reed and Stephenson both spent time starting in the minors this year.

Amir Garrett and Rookie Davis are also both around.  They were both in the starting rotation to start the 2017 season.  Neither had made an MLB pitch prior to this season.

But wait, there’s more talent!  Don’t forget about Jackson Stephens, Keury Mella and Deck McGuire.  Mella and McGuire made their debuts as September call-ups, while Stephens made a spot start for his MLB debut.

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The Reds just have to pick the right five youngsters to put in that rotation.  That also will allow their bullpen to be stacked and filled with veterans.  It may seem like a bit of a stretch, but it should let the Reds compete in 2019 if not before.