Cody Reed is the left-handed starter the Cincinnati Reds need

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: Cody Reed #25 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on September 20, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: Cody Reed #25 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on September 20, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Cody Reed got his first win last night against the Marlins in Miami. The Cincinnati Reds need a strong-armed lefty like Reed heading into 2019.

The Cincinnati Reds rotation has been devoid of left-handed arms all season. They gave Brandon Finnegan a shot and he crumbled under the pressure. So far, Cody Reed has shown himself to be quite capable as a starter. The Reds need a young, left-hander like Reed in their rotation.

The Reds have a lot of young starting pitchers in their system. Luis Castillo, Sal Romano, Tyler Mahle, Keury Mella, and Tanner Rainey to name a few. Cody Reed possesses one attribute that the above-mentioned players don’t; he’s left-handed.

Playing in the lefty-dominated division of the National League Central, the Cincinnati Reds go head on against some of the best left-handed hitters in the game. Anthony Rizzo (Chicago Cubs), Jason Heyward (Chicago Cubs), Travis Shaw (Milwaukee Brewers), Christian Yelich (Milwaukee Brewers), and Matt Carpenter (St. Louis Cardinals) all reside in the NL Central.

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Any baseball nerd will tell you that a lefty versus lefty matchup almost always favors the pitcher. With bats like Yelich and Carpenter, both of whom are MVP candidates, likely to remain with their current teams for the foreseeable future, it would benefit the Cincinnati Reds greatly to have a lefty that they could give the ball to at least once every five days.

The Chicago Cubs currently have three left-handed starters on their roster in Cole Hamels, Jon Lester, and Jose Quintana. All three have an ERA below 3.95. The Brewers have the veteran Wade Miley and the Cardinals have rookie Austin Gomber. All five pitchers have been successful, left-handed starters this season.

Cody Reed has stepped up huge over the last two games. The Reds’ pitcher has thrown 11 straight innings of shutout baseball. Five of those innings came on the road against Chicago Cubs, who are in a tightly contested pennant race.

Reed has 3.71 ERA through his 5 starts since joining the rotation late in the season. Take out the anomaly of the 6 earned runs against Pittsburgh back on September 4th, and Reed’s ERA drops to 1.86. Have the Reds found their left-handed starter for 2019? Maybe, just maybe.

There’s no left-handed pitcher in the Reds pipeline who’s even close to being ready for the big leagues. Scott Moss, Cincinnati’s fourth-rounder from 2016, is at least two years away from making it to the Majors. Jacob Heatherly, the 77th pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, is even further away from his Major League debut than Moss.

Now, if the Cincinnati Reds were able to land Arizona’s All-Star lefty Patrick Corbin, then all their problems would be solved. Unfortunately, Corbin isn’t just the best left-handed pitcher available in free agency this offseason, he’s the best pitcher, period! It’s going to take a lot of dough to snag him.

Dallas Kuechel is another option via the free agent route, but again, he’s going to cost a team a lot of money. That’s never been the Reds’ style, so it’s hard to see them going after Corbin or Kuechel, as much as Reds fans hope they would.

J.A. Happ will also be available. But, do the Reds want to spend a lot of money on a 36-year old veteran whose best pitching is likely behind him? One name to keep an eye on in free agency, however, is Derek Holland. He fits the profile of the type of pitcher the Cincinnati Reds might pursue in the offseason.

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All of this speculation is pointless if the Reds feel that Reed can be that guy. Cody Reed will likely get one more chance to impress the Reds’ brass before the season ends. He should start on Wednesday next week when the Reds take on the team that drafted him, the Kansas City Royals.