Cincinnati Reds could have an all prospect rotation in 2018

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds starting pitching options are filled with prospects

The Cincinnati Reds have three rookies from 2017 leading their rotation heading into 2018.  Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, and Sal Romano are all penciled into the Reds rotation to start 2018.  That leaves two spots open.

Of the three Castillo is in the lead for the Opening Day start.  After coming over in the Dan Straily deal last off-season, the Reds didn’t expect him in Cincinnati in 2017.  Instead, Castillo made 14 starts and established himself as the ace.

Robert Stephenson could make the rotation.  He has shown his inconsistent side, but when he is on, he is a solid MLB starter.  Stephenson’s inconsistency allowed Romano to surpass him in the eyes of the front office.

The other prospect that is hanging on to hopes of making the rotation next year is Cody Reed.  He was good in the bullpen for the Reds and looked good in Triple-A as a starter.  Unfortunately, for the Reds he only had one bad start all of 2017.

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Of course, first month phenom Amir Garrett is also in the mix.  He was a saving grace for the Reds coming out of spring training.  After an amazing first month, however, Garrett fell apart.

The biggest reason that the Cincinnati Reds might not do this are their veteran pitchers.

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Homer Bailey is the veteran most likely to break up the prospect rotation.  His health may dictate that he start or retire.  In that scenario the Reds will start him before paying him to stay home.  This is also how 2017 ended.

Anthony DeSclafani is the other missing piece here.  He missed all on 2017 on the DL.  He will return to the rotation eventually, but he could easily spend 2018 in the bullpen as he recovers from a missed season.

The other starting veteran that stands out is Brandon Finnegan.  

Finnegan, though, is a valuable entity as a reliever.  He would fit in nicely with the late inning combination the Reds put together in 2017.

The Reds could also bring back Scott Feldman as insurance.  He pitched well out of the bullpen in the American League in 2016.  In 2017 Feldman made all starts for the Reds before a knee injury ended his season.

Next: The Reds' top prospects are updated

It would be both exciting and scary to have a rotation entirely of prospects in 2018.  They folllowed the model of the Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians from the early 1990s to get this far.  The Reds finally have options in regards to their starting rotation and can use them all.