Cincinnati Reds: Luis Castillo looks to ride hot start; replaces Tyler Mahle

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 29: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Great American Ball Park on July 29, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 29: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Great American Ball Park on July 29, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Reds have shaken up their starting rotation a bit. Tyler Mahle will not make his 2019 debut on Wednesday, instead Luis Castillo will take the mound that afternoon at Great American Ball Park.

Apparently David Bell is as anxious as the Reds’ fans are to see Luis Castillo back on the mound. After a brilliant performance on Opening Day, the Cincinnati Reds, per Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer, have decided to delay Tyler Mahle‘s 2019 debut and instead Luis Castillo will make his second start of the season.

I can’t say that I blame David Bell for this one. With the built-in off day last Friday, Luis Castillo’s second start was already going to be delayed. Bell and the Cincinnati Reds coaching staff already had the opportunity to make this move because of last Friday’s off day, however, they decided to keep Mahle on the 25-man roster to begin the season.

The rainout on Saturday made this decision much easier. Tyler Mahle will start on Thursday in Pittsburgh rather than Wednesday afternoon’s series finale with Milwaukee Brewers. Typically pitchers get four days off between starts. Had Bell stuck with the original rotation, Castillo would’ve had six days off between starts.

Given how well Castillo performed on Opening Day, there’s no reason to disrupt his routine whatsoever. Castillo was masterful in his 5.2 innings of work last Thursday. The right-hander struck out 8 batters and only allowed 1 earned run after Jared Hughes surrendered 2 runs in the top of sixth inning.

Mahle is substituting for the injured Alex Wood. Mahle had a fantastic spring and deserves a spot on the roster, but for the first time in a long time, the Cincinnati Reds have enough depth in their starting rotation that Mahle can be used as more of a spot starter rather than being relied upon every fifth day.

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Alex Wood ins’t expected back until later this month, so it’s highly likely that Mahle may get three or four starts before he’s optioned to Triple-A Louisville. The rest of the rotation is expected to remain the same, so Sonny Gray will get his chance for redemption on Friday in Pittsburgh. He’ll be followed in the rotation by Tanner Roark and then Anthony DeSclafani.