Cincinnati Reds continue to rebuild the bullpen with young starters

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

As the Cincinnati Reds have been building the bullpen internally, all of the pieces are former starters.

It is not unusual for the major league teams to used failed starting pitchers in the bullpen, but the Cincinnati Reds have taken it to a whole other level.  Quietly last season, the back end of the Reds’ bullpen was constructed entirely of former starters.  Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias even have experience starting at the big league level.

Iglesias was the Opening Day starter for the Reds in 2016.  Granted it was due to injuries, but Iglesias made five starts before injuries derailed his first half.  In 2015 sixteen of his eighteen appearances were starts.

Lorenzen has bounced back and forth between starting and relieving.  In 2015 21 of his 27 appearances was as a starter.  In 2016 and 2017 all of his appearances were out of the bullpen due to injury concerns.

Wandy Peralta has a similar story.  He was a starter for the first half of his minor league career.  He had good numbers in the minors, but could never go deep enough in games before transitioning to relief.

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Former Red Tony Cingrani resembles Lorenzen as well.  He started in 2013 and 2014 before transitioning to the bullpen in 2015.  Now, he is a reliever for the National League Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

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In 2018 the Cincinnati Reds could follow the same pattern to stock up the bullpen.

The primary person that stands out is lefty Brandon Finnegan.  He has experience as a back-end reliever.  He also is coming back from an injury shortened season.  That makes him valuable in either role that the Reds need to fill.

Another pitcher that comes to mind is lefty Cody Reed.  

He was great as a long man in the Cincinnati bullpen, but had a short start in his only start in the big leagues in 2017.  He did show some promise as a starter at Triple-A in 2017.

Jackson Stephens and Rookie Davis are both options for the bullpen.  Stephens looked great in his cup of coffee with the Reds, but has had trouble staying games in the minors.  Davis, for his part, has had difficulty going deep into games since he joined the organization.

Next: Tim Adleman leaves the Reds

The Cincinnati Reds have a deep collection of minor league pitcher that are prospects who could become major league starters.  Those that don’t have every chance to become big league relievers.  Iglesias, Lorenzena and Peralta have already shown them the way.