Cincinnati Reds Cody Reed faces a battle to make the roster

(Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /

After a difficult 2017 for the Cincinnati Reds, Cody Reed looks to re-establish himself as a big league option.

When the Cincinnati Reds traded away Johnny Cueto to the Kansas City Royals, they thought they were getting a top pitching prospect.  That player was Cody Reed.  Brandon Finnegan established himself first, but Reed is still developing as a pitcher.

Last season Reed ended the year with a 5.09 ERA for the Reds.  His season was actually better than that as his only MLB start was a disaster.  He allowed 10 earned runs over just 3 2/2 innings during his April 22 outing.

The rest of the season in Cincinnati he didn’t look the same.  He spent the rest of the season until September call-ups in Triple-A Louisville.  He started twenty games for the Bats.

Reed went 4-9 for the Bats with a 3.55 ERA.  He tossed 106 ⅓ innings averaging over five innings per start.  He did, however, maintain his strikeout per inning average that he established in Cincinnati.

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Reed also lowered his home run rate.  He allowed 3 in 17 ⅓ innings in Cincinnati, but just 7 the rest of the season in Louisville.  Louisville’s ballpark is known as a home run haven.

Because of his struggles, Cody Reed doesn’t have a defined role with the Cincinnati Reds in 2018.

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The off-season got off to a slow start for the Reds.  In the end, though, the Reds added a pair of right-handed set-up men in David Hernandez and Jared Hughes meaning there are only two open spots in the pen.  Reed is battling the young relievers, the other starters and non-roster players for those roles.

The starting situation is even worse.  If the Big Three of Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan, and Homer Bailey is healthy, then there is only one starting pitching role open.  There are no fewer than ten pitchers that want a shot at a starting role.

That leaves Reed just pitching his heart out.  He needs to do whatever the Reds ask him to do this spring, even though he wants to start.  His presence on the big league team at the start of the season will require either an injury or a stumble from another pitcher.

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The best news for Reed is that he has proven his flexibility.  He can slide into the rotation or the bullpen,  Unfortunately for him the roster is a lot tighter than it was last spring.