Cincinnati Reds 2018 season awards: Reliever of the Year

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 18: Michael Lorenzen #21 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning against the Milwaukee Brewer sat Miller Park on September 18, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 18: Michael Lorenzen #21 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning against the Milwaukee Brewer sat Miller Park on September 18, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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After the close of the Cincinnati Reds 2018 season, Blog Red Machine is continuing to recognize players who have been outstanding in one way or another through a long baseball season. Today’s focus is the Reliever of the Year.

There are several relief pitchers in the Cincinnati Reds‘ bullpen who could easily take home the title of Reliever of the Year. But, we had to narrow it down to just one.

An obvious choice would be Raisel Iglesias, the go-to closer for Riggleman. Iglesias has been solid for the 2016 and 2017 seasons and he delivered again this year with a 2.38 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 72 innings pitched.

However, the Reds are still only 2-5 in his appearances on the mound. Iglesias also gave up 12 home runs this season, which is as many as he gave up in the 2016 and 17 seasons combined.

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Arguments could also be made for either David Hernandez or Jared Hughes. Both of whom were incredibly reliable and, more importantly, consistent relievers for this year’s team. Hernandez and Hughes both provided some much-needed experience in the bullpen

Hernandez finished the season with a 2.53 ERA and 65 strikeouts over 64 innings pitched. He also is one of the only relief pitchers with a winning record. Hughes had one of the lowest ERAs on the team at 1.94. Hughes though has a lower strikeout average, 59 Ks over 78.2 innings pitched.

All three are excellent candidates for Reliever of the Year. The stats speak for themselves, but there is an obvious 4tfourth candidate on the roster who just may outshine the rest. This, of course, is Michael Lorenzen.

Lorenzen finished the 2018 season with a 3.11 ERA and 54 strikeouts over 81 innings pitched. He also has a 4-2 win-loss record with 45 game appearances. His pitching stats may not quite measure up to the other three pitchers mentioned, but he is still one of the top relief pitchers on the team.

Lorenzen was reliable out of the bullpen and was almost always good for two or more innings of work. Which, with the inconsistency and overall lousiness of the starting rotation this year, was often necessary. Lorenzen was reliable enough to earn himself a spot in the starting rotation towards the end of the season, making three appearances as a starter.

The Zen Master (as seen on Lorenzen’s jersey during Player’s Weekend) was also quite reliable at the plate this season when given the chance to bat. He ended 2018 batting .290, with a .333 on-base percentage, and an incredibly impressive .710 slugging percentage.

Lorenzen had 9 hits, 5 runs scored, and 10 RBIs to his name as well. There is also the little matter of his 4 home runs in 31 at-bats, one of which was a pinch-hit grand slam. It’s no wonder fans were calling for him to play a position or join the starting rotation; Lorenzen is the definition of pitchers who rake.

Next. Reds report card: Starting pitchers

Lorenzen’s positive and optimistic attitude on and off the field, combined with his impressive record more than prove why Lorenzen has earned the title of 2018 Reliever of the year.