Tyler Mahle had an up and down season for the Cincinnati Reds in 2018. It appears, with the new additions, that Mahle is destined for Triple-A Louisville.
Tyler Mahle threw a nice game last night against the San Francisco Giants. In fact, he stuck out the side in the second inning after allowing two hits in the first frame. However, despite Mahle’s talent, it looks as though he’s likely to start the season at Triple-A Louisville. The Cincinnati Reds have too many good arms and Mahle looks to be the odd man out.
I’m a big fan of Tyler Mahle, and outside of Luis Castillo, I believe he has the best chance among the Reds’ internal candidates to be the team’s ace in the coming years. However, for the time being, the starting rotation appears set and rather than sit Mahle in the bullpen, I’d expect the team to send him to Louisville to get starter’s reps.
Mahle had an up and down go of it during his rookie year last season. He went 7-9 with a 4.98 ERA in 23 starts. He pitched a total of 112 innings and racked up 110 strikeouts. Mahle, like a lot of the Reds starters, had a penchant for surrendering the long ball. Tyler Mahle allowed 22 home runs in 2018.
More from Blog Red Machine
- Reds vs. White Sox: Pitching preview, prediction, and more
- Reds: Reiver Sanmartin adds another twist to offseason roster construction
- Reds: Signing Tyler Mahle to a contract extension should be a top priority
- Reds: Reiver Sanmartin should get first major league start vs Pirates
- Reds should unquestionably bring Wade Miley back in 2022
Last year, during the month June, there was no better pitcher on the Reds staff than Tyler Mahle. The right-hander went 3-0 in 6 starts, throwing 33 innings to the tune of a 2.18 ERA. Mahle recorded 37 strikeouts during the 6-game span and allowed only 3 roundtrippers. Opposing batters were only .244 off him during that stretch.
However, the wheels came off during July. After winning his first game that month against the Chicago Cubs, going 7 innings and allowing only 1 run, Mahle lost his control. The hurler couldn’t find the strike zone. He was lit up in 3 innings of work against the Cleveland Indians, giving up 7 runs on 6 hits. HIs following two starts against the Pirates and Phillies weren’t much better.
After a brilliant performance to start the month of July against the Cubbies, Mahle saw his ERA rise from 3.66 to 4.53 in just three games. After another rough outing against the Washington Nationals in August, Mahle was sent down to Triple-A Louisville, until gaining one last start after being called up in September.
Tyler Mahle’s standing with the team has nothing to do, however, with his lack of talent, but rather the way the Cincinnati Reds roster is constructed. Mahle looks to be No. 6 in a 5-man starting rotation, and in an effort to get Mahle 5-plus innings of work every fifth day, his best option is starting the season in Triple-A Louisville.
David Bell has already laid out his starting rotation. Though we don’t know who’ll begin the season against Jameson Taillion and Pittsburgh Pirates on Opening Day, we know it’ll be either Anthony DeSclafani, Luis Castillo, Tanner Roark, Sonny Gray, or Alex Wood. The only way I foresee one of those five not making the rotation would be if an injury occurred.
Sonny Gray was already sat earlier this spring with a shoulder issue. However, the injury seems to be minor and Gray has resumed throwing. If Gray’s health checks out and he’s ready to begin the season, I’d expect to see Gray on the mound in Cincinnati during that first series with the Pirates.
Competition on the Cincinnati Reds roster has not been this fierce in years. While some fans are worried that Player A or Player B might not make the Opening Day roster, I’m thrilled to see so many talented players in camp this spring. The competition should bring out the best in everybody.
Tyler Mahle may not break camp with the Cincinnati Reds, but that doesn’t mean he won’t find his way onto the 25-man roster later in the season. As the season unfolds, inevitably injuries will occur. Hopefully it’ll be nothing significant, but it’s nice to know that Mahle is waiting in the wings when the Reds need him.