Cincinnati Reds start the season with six injured pitchers

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds started 2018 with six pitchers on the DL.

To start the 2018 season the Cincinnati Reds placed Rookie Davis, Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan, David Hernandez, Michael Lorenzen, and Kevin Shackelford on the DL.  Closer Raisel Iglesias also began the season on the paternity leave list. That’s half of the Reds’ pitching staff.

Four of the injured pitchers fought for spots in the starting rotation.  DeSclafani and Finnegan would have been in the rotation if they were healthy.  Davis and Lorenzen would have been fighting Robert Stephenson and Sal Romano for the fifth spot in the rotation.  Hernandez and Shackelford had roles in the bullpen.

With that group of pitchers on the DL and Iglesias on paternity leave, Jared Hughes was the closer to start the season.  When the Reds signed him in free agency, Hughes was supposed to help Lorenzen set-up for Iglesias. He slid to low leverage middle relief when the Reds signed Hernandez.

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It’s similar with starting rotation, where the Reds had to come up with three additional starters.  The Reds will start Romano, Tyler Mahle and Cody Reed, who may be keeping the spot warm fpr newly signed Yovani Gallardo, to make up for the injuries.  Reed will likely get the start ahead of Gallardo as Gallardo worked as a reliever for the Milwaukee Brewers this spring.

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The injuries on the Cincinnati Reds pitching staff have given more pitchers a chance.

With Iglesias on paternity leave, Zack Weiss initially made the team.  The Reds sent him down when they signed Gallardo. With Reed in the mix for starts, the Reds put Garrett in the bullpen as a middle reliever instead of the starting rotation.  The same is true of Jackson Stephens, who only made the team initially because both Lorenzen and Hernandez are on the DL and Reed was in Louisville.

 Kevin Quackenbush and Hughes are the only two traditional relievers on the team right now.  

Wandy Peralta is a reliever for the Reds and Austin Brice is too, but they both came up through the minors as starters.  Quackenbush was the back-up closer to Hughes for the first three games.

This gives many pitchers a chance to improve on their spring.  Brice and Stephens both looked destined to Triple-A. With the injuries the duo got a brief chance to prove that they belong in the majors.

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This is the second consecutive season that the Reds started the season with injuries to their starting rotation.  With the injuries to both the rotation and the bullpen things are even worse. However, hopefully, the players will get healthy enough that 2018 isn’t completely lost.