Cincinnati Reds have talented pitching staff on DL to start season

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds have a stronger starting rotation on the DL than on the mound.

With the start of the MLB season the Cincinnati Reds had six pitchers on the DL.  Two of them were relievers Kevin Shackelford and recent signee David Hernandez. The other four were Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan, Michael Lorenzen, and Rookie Davis.

Had he been healthy, DeSclafani would undoubtedly been the Opening Day starter.  Like Opening Day starter Homer Bailey, DeSclafani is a .500 pitcher, but Disco’s ERA is under 4.00 unlike Bailey’s.  DeSclafani is also seen as the future of the rotation.

Meanwhile, Finnegan is the workhorse of the pitching staff who said he was ready to go in February.  He is the only pitcher in the last two seasons that made a every start in his spot for a full season when he made 31 starts in 2016.  Ace Luis Castillo may lead the staff in 2018 with about 150 innings pitched, but the Reds talked about limiting him to less than thirty starts this season.

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The other three starters in the current rotation, Tyler Mahle, Cody Reed and Sal Romano had a combined 31 starts heading into 2018.  Lorenzen and Davis combined for 27. Of course, Lorenzen has spent the last season and a half setting games up for Raisel Iglesias in the bullpen.

The two relievers on the DL for the Cincinnati Reds aren’t too shabby either.

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Iglesias is the clear closer in the Reds’ bullpen.  With the transition of Lorenzen back to a starting pitcher, the next spot is wide open.  The Reds clearly brought Hernandez in to take Lorenzen’s set-up role in 2018.

Hernandez has 105 holds, but hasn’t closed for a big league team since 2011.  He would have been the closer with Iglesias out on paternity leave. Instead, that role fell to Jared Hughes.

At the other end of the bullpen is Shackelford.  He is a low leverage middle reliever. Right now, starting pitchers Yovani Gallardo and Amir Garrett are filling that role.

As Shackelford moved up through the minors, he got more and more high leverage chances.  When he debuted last season, though, he only had three holds. His ERA is likely too high, however, to be more than a seventh inning guy.

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Those are the guys that the Reds have on the DL.  Despite all of these injuries, the Reds have been able to put together a decent pitching start to the season.  The depth, however, will be tested at every corner until the injured are healed.