Cincinnati Reds’ southpaw Amir Garrett is the best left-handed option in the bullpen. For the Reds bullpen to be effective, Garrett needs to face both left and right-handed hitters.
Entering play on Saturday, the Cincinnati Reds‘ three left handed relievers Amir Garrett, Wandy Peralta, and Zach Duke have made 51 appearances between them. In those 51 trips to the mound they have only accumulated 34.1 innings of work. Why is David Bell insisting on using Garrett for only short outings?
Through the first 32 games of the season, if there’s one thing we’ve learned about David Bell, it is that he’s a numbers guy. Bell plays the percentages almost every time. However, when it comes to Amir Garrett, Bell has developed something of a blind spot.
Amir Garrett has faced an equal number of left-handed and right-handed hitters this season. In those 52 batters faced, he has induced slash lines of .130/.231/.174 and .261/.346/.391. The way David Bell manages a game you would assume that the first slash line belongs to left-handed hitters and you would be wrong.
The only home run Amir Garrett has allowed this season is to, you guessed it, a left-handed hitter. The 52 batters faced is the fourth fewest among the Reds pitching staff. Only Zach Duke (47), Wandy Peralta (45), and now Cody Reed (8) have been used less frequently. Garrett has only faced 5 more batters than Duke. Let that sink in for a moment.
Zach Duke the owner of a 9.00 ERA has been allowed to face 22 right-handed hitters. Only 4 less than Amir Garrett. In those 22 opportunities against right-handers, Duke has allowed 11 of them to reach base. At this point, Duke should be relegated to no more than mop-up duty.
Another of David Bell’s favorite bullpen arms is Jared Hughes. The 33-year-old right-hander was excellent for the Reds last year, however, the 2019 season has not been as kind. Sporting a 5.40 ERA Hughes has faced 43 right-handed bats and is getting hit hard.
Having allowed 11 hits including 3 doubles, and 2 home runs Hughes has kept the Cincinnati Reds outfielders busy. Surrendering a .531 slugging percentage to right-handers is less than ideal.
David Bell has a valuable, underused, asset in Amir Garrett. The numbers don’t lie. Amir Garrett has a 1.050 WHIP and 10.9 K/9 innings rate. He’s whiffed 9 right-handers and 7 lefties.
The 27-year-old southpaw is arguably the second-best arm among the relief corps behind closer Raisel Iglesias. Garrett has been effective against left-handers and dominant against right handers. David Bell needs to remove the blinders and free Amir Garrett.