Cincinnati Reds left hander Amir Garrett will do what needs to get done

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Amir Garrett was the best starting pitcher to start 2017 for the Cincinnati Reds before injuries derailed his season.

Last year, Garrett was the best starter for the Cincinnati Reds for the first month or so of the season, after a great 2017 spring training. Then he suffered a hip injury.  The rest of 2017 was effectively lost for Garrett.

Coming up through the minors, Garrett pitched in relief twice in five minor league seasons.  He pitched that many for the Reds last season.  Now his future may end up in the bullpen.

In his first six starts of the season, Garrett only had one bad start.  At that time he was 3-2 with an ERA of 4.25.  His ERA wasn’t below 5.09 the rest of the season.

His 2017 Triple-A wasn’t much better.  It was his highest ERA in any minor league campaign at 5.72.  The only other season when Garrett’s ERA was above 5 was his first season as a pro in 2013.

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Garrett pitched 138 ⅓ innings which is about the same as number that he pitched each of the previous three seasons.  He surrendered a combined 153 hits when his previous season high was 117.  He also walked a combined 64 batters, which is 5 more than his previous single season high.

The Cincinnati Reds need Amir Garrett to become less hittable.

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Through May last year, Garrett’s WHIP was 1.41.  It had slowly been creeping up throughout the first two months of the season.  That number, however, would be acceptable for the Reds.

To make the team, though, Garrett has to prove that he can maintain a WHIP at least that low.  That means being dominant in spring training again this year.  Last year when he looked dominant his WHIP was 1.45 at the end of spring.

Even that may not be good enough this season.  

Unless there is an injury to a starter, Garrett is on the outside looking in at the rotation battle.  Four slots are filled and Robert Stephenson starts spring training with a lead for the fifth spot.

Garrett has never been a full-time reliever.  In fact, last spring he started every game that he appeared in.  This spring the plan is have him primarily come in as the second pitcher or later.

Next: Reds will be better in 2018

Garrett will do what he needs to do to give himself a chance to make the team out of spring training.  The reality is that he probably faces too difficult a journey.  Getting close though will put him on the list of early season call-ups.