Cincinnati Reds work to reconstruct thin 2017 bullpen

(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
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With Jared Hughes already added, the Cincinnati Reds are looking to change the bullpen order.

The Cincinnati Reds are looking for set-up men and middle relievers this off-season.  They already signed one in Jared Hughes.  They hope to find more so that Michael Lorenzen can get a chance at the rotation.

Hughes spent the first five years of his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a reliever.  Hughes earned 54 holds and 3 saves for the Pirates.  He was a Milwaukee Brewer last season, throwing 59 ⅔ innings with a 3.02 ERA.

The Reds are also linked to Craig Stammen. Similar to Hughes, he has a history with the Washington Nationals as a middle reliever.  He spent last year with the San Diego Padres and is a free agent now.

The Reds have faith in Wandy Peralta as the primary set-up man and Raisel Iglesias as the closer.  They also appear ready to add Cody Reed as a multi-inning reliever.  That would allow the Reds to move Michael Lorenzen back to the rotation.

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The Reds also have Austin Brice and Kevin Shackelford at the fringe of the rotation.  They both had their moments in 2017.  In 2018 they both appear set as the low leverage relievers for the Reds.

Michael Lorenzen and Brandon Finnegan could end up in the bullpen for the Cincinnati Reds

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Lorenzen and Brandon Finnegan are both in the running for a rotation spot.  They will both end up in the bullpen, if they don’t make the rotation.  They are also both back end relievers.

Finnegan was a solid starter for the Reds in 2016.  He was the only starter to take the ball every turn in the rotation for the Reds after pitching as a reliever for the Kansas City Royals.  In 2017, however, he only threw a handful of games due to injuries.

Lorenzen, on the other hand, was a closer in college and stretched to a starter after the Reds drafted him.  

He had a good year as a starter in 2015.  Due to injuries, Lorenzen has been in the the bullpen each of the last two seasons.

If all of the projected starters are healthy and the Reds sign Stammen, they could have an elite bullpen.  Adding both Finnegan and Lorenzen to the back end and Stammen to the low leverage options would make the bullpen loaded throughout.  With six starting pitchers penciled into the rotation ahead of the duo, this could happen.

Next: Reds can play it cool in hot stove league

The Reds are rebuilding their bullpen.  This coincides with the health of the starting rotation. Once the pitching is set, the Reds should be competitive again.