Cincinnati Reds pitching health will determine 2018 record

(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds are counting on pitchers returning to health for 2018.

In 2017 the Cincinnati Reds saw starting pitchers miss nearly as many starts because of injuries as their were starts last season.  The good news is that it allowed prospects to get experience.  That bad news is that few starters have a reputation as reliable.

The most important thing that came out of 2017 was the discovery of Luis Castillo.  He made 29 combined starts between the majors and the minors with a combined ERA of under 3.00.  He is in the running for the Opening Day start.

The next most impressive thing that came out of 2017 was the debut of Tyler Mahle.  He made 28 combined starts among three different levels in the Reds’ organization.  In those stops his highest ERA was 2.73 and he is in the running for the open slot in the rotation.

The Reds also saw the debut of Sal Romano.  He made combined 26 starts between Cincinnati and Triple-A Louisville.  He only averaged about five inning per start last season.

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Amir Garrett also made his debut in 2017 after an excellent spring.  He injured his hip in May slowing down his early season momentum.  After starting hot, that injury ended his starting time in Cincinnati.

Despite all of this talent, the Cincinnati Reds rotation was a disaster in 2017.

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No starter made more starts in Cincinnati than Scott Feldman with 21.  In second was TIm Adleman.  Neither are with the team anymore.

Of the projected starting rotation for 2018, Homer Bailey had the most starts last season with eighteen.  None of the other four projected starters had more.  The pitchers who were reliable are gone, leaving the injured group.

Every position is at least two deep with the signing of Cliff Pennington.  Granted, no one on the current roster could replace Joey Votto.  

Set Votto aside, though and the health of the starting pitching is the most important factor for a better record in 2018.

The good news this spring is that only Rookie Davis isn’t healthy in camp.  Anthony DeSclafani has already made his first start of the spring after missing all of 2017.  This is what the Reds need to see in support of an improving offense.

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The Reds can’t help, but be better than the past two seasons.  With healthy starters and a rebuilt bullpen, there is no reason not to expect a better result.  Now they just have to stay healthy.