Heading into spring training, the Cincinnati Reds were loaded with pitching prospects.
When spring training started, Amir Garrett’s path to the Cincinnati Reds rotation wasn’t clear. After a pair of strong outings and stumbles by others, the path is clearer. There are still plenty of others still in the way.
The Reds had ten pitchers heading into spring training with some sort of hope to make the starting rotation. Towards the bottom of the list was Garrett. Towards the top was Robert Stephenson.
Stephenson has pitched in a pair of games. He has an ERA of 15.00. He has nearly pitched his way out of the starting pitching plans for the Reds.
Michael Lorenzen has also pitched poorly in two starts. He has an ERA of 14.73 and a WHIP of 2.45. Starting may not be in the cards for Lorenzen.
Cody Reed was also looking to make the starting rotation. Two appearances into spring and his ERA is 13.50. The good news is that Reed didn’t know what role the Reds have in mind for him in 2018.
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Jackson Stephens started the spring in a similar situation to Garrett. In three games he has an ERA of 7.71. He appears destined to start the season in Louisiville.
Amir Garrett is once again forcing the hands of the Cincinnati Reds.
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Garrett has pitched five innings in two spring games. That ties him with Homer Bailey for the team lead. He led the Reds in spring training last season on his way to making the rotation.
Garrett has also struckout ten without walking a single batter. He has not even given up a hit yet. That means that he has pitched five perfect innings.
The next step is for the Reds to start him in a spring game. Right now, Garrett doesn’t see all of the opponent’s starters. By starting Garrett, he would face the opposition’s best batters.
Garrett also has to worry about the rest of the pitchers in camp. Anthony DeSclafani, Tyler Mahle, and Jose Lopez all have yet to surrender a run in camp. Mahle in particular could win the role that Garrett is fighting for.
The good news is that the Reds have plenty of healthy options for their starting rotation. The better news, meanwhile, is that Garrett is off to a great start. However, now the Reds have a decision to make going forward for their rotation and their prospects.