Cincinnati Reds Amir Garrett re-establishes himself as big league arm

(Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
(Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) /

After a bad end to 2017, Amir Garrett makes the Cincinnati Reds to start 2018.

Last season Amir Garrett forced his way into the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day rotation.  This season, injuries have forced him onto the roster.  He took advantage, however, and looks poised to start games for the Reds.

Last spring, Garrett led the Reds in innings pitched.  This spring, despite starting it on a reliever’s schedule, Garrett is third in innings pitched.  Only Opening Day starter Homer Bailey and number five starter Tyler Mahle have pitched more innings.

This spring Garrett appeared in six games making one start.  He went 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA.  Last spring he went 3-1 with a 4.22 ERA, so it appears that he is progressing.

He has allowed a .177 batting average against with 0.88 WHIP.  This is from only allowing 11 hits and four walks this spring.  His combination of striking out 21 batters while only allowing 2 home runs shows that he has laser focus this spring.

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Garrett pitched multiple innings every time out this spring.  He only allowed runs in two of his six appearances.  Unfortunately, his last time out Garrett allowed four runs, all earned, in four innings of work including a home run in the sort of outing that cost him his roster spot last year.

The question facing the Cincinnati Reds is whether Amir Garrett or Brandon Finnegan should be in the starting rotation.

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Garrett has made the team.  He is entering the season as the Reds long reliever.  On April 9, though, some one has to start the game.

To date, Brandon Finnegan’s longest outing was three inning and 24 pitches.  That is a long relief appearance, but not a start.  Finnegan is not ready to start.

Garrett is ready to start and has earned the right.  The Reds seemed set on letting Finnegan attempt to stretch his arm out in short order, despite his previous injury history.  Garrett, though, is a true starter by trade.

Placing Garrett in between Luis Castillo and Sal Romano breaks up the Reds rotation where the pitcher throw the hardest.

Changing eye angle and pitch speed can disrupt the batters’ successes.  Allowing Garrett to pitch in that slot is more beneficial than not putting Finnegan in the bullpen to start the season.

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Whatever the Reds decide about Finnegan, Garrett has earned his second shot at the big leagues.  Last season he came up before he looked ready.  This spring, Garrett looks ready to contribute for the long term.