Cincinnati Reds have easy rotation decisions to make

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

With a pair of veterans injured, the Cincinnati Reds can see how their rotation could look to start the season.

The Cincinnati Reds saw this show in 2017.  They came through the off-season with hopes of a reliable pitching staff.  By the end of spring training it was in shambles.

This season the Reds are starting the season without Brandon Finnegan and Anthony DeSclafani in their starting rotation.  Neither has built up the endurance to start games for the Reds at the beginning of the season.  That means that only Homer Bailey and Luis Castillo are set in stone as starters for the Reds.

Among all of the other arms in camp, Amir Garrett has stood out as being the most ready to start the season.  He has a WHIP of 0.69 and batting average against of .136.  He started the season in the rotation for the Reds last season before a hip injury derailed his 2017 campaign.

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Another pitcher that made his MLB debut last season and is in line for a rotation spot is Tyler Mahle.  He came into spring training on the outside looking in, but has established himself as a back end starter for the Reds.  He has a spring WHIP of 0.61 and an ERA of 2.45.

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The Cincinnati Reds have a true battle on their hands for the fifth spot in the rotation.

The Reds have a pair of pitchers that have been battling for the fifth spot in the rotation all spring long.  Sal Romano and Robert Stephenson did the most last year to earn a shot  at the rotation this year.  While Garrett and Mahle have passed Romano and Stephenson, injuries have kept all four pitchers in the mix.

Romano has done more this spring to earn the spot in the rotation.  He has kept his ERA at 3.00.  Romano’s15 strikeouts tie him for the team lead.  He also has a WHIP of 1.15.

Meanwhile, Stephenson looked a true MLB starter at the end of 2017.  However, he had trouble both last spring and this spring as a starter.  If Stephenson doesn’t make the rotation, he will awkwardly end up as the long reliever for Cincinnati.

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The Reds are in desperate need for starting pitching help.  That they have any choice at all is an improvement over where they were last season.  Now they just need to decide who should start and who should start in the bullpen for the big league club.