Cincinnati Reds: Tyler Mahle gets one last chance to make an impression

Tyler Mahle gets another chance to prove himself to the Reds coaching staff.

Tuesday night may be the last time we see Tyler Mahle start for the Cincinnati Reds this season. Then again, maybe not. Mahle is taking the place of injured starter Wade Miley who’s currently on the 10-day injured list. Mahle was unspectacular in his first start this season, and his time is running out to show that he can be a valuable piece of the Reds rotation.

Tyler Mahle has all the tools to be, at the very least, a solid big league starter. But, Reds fans have seen this before. Michael Lorenzen, Raisel Iglesias, Cody Reed, Sal Romano and Robert Stephenson all eventually transitioned from starter to reliever. Will that be Mahle’s fate? Let’s hope not.

Mahle has a tough task tonight. The Cleveland Indians will send Shane Bieber, perhaps the hottest pitcher in all of baseball, to the mound this evening. Runs are going to be at a premium for Reds hitters. Can Mahle stifle the Indians bats enough to keep Cincinnati in the game?

Mahle’s first start of the season was on July 28th in place of Anthony DeSclafani. The right-hander  wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t good either. Mahle went only four innings, allowed six hits, two runs and struck out four batters. Of Mahle’s 69 pitches, 45 went for strikes.

Mahle’s first earned run was actually a product of just bad luck. On a fly ball by Jason Kipnis to center field, Shogo Akiyama misplayed the ball in the sun and the Cubs second baseman rumbled into third base with a triple. The next batter, Nico Hoerner, singled to right field, scoring Kipnis.

Tyler Mahle struck out the big bats in the Cubs’ lineup, sending both Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez back to the dugout. A barrage of singles to start the fourth inning allowed the Cubs to scratch across another run and Mahle left the game with the score knotted at two thanks to a Nick Castellanos home run in the bottom of the fourth.

It sounds as though David Bell is confident that Wade Miley will be ready to come of the IL as early as Friday. Miley has been sidelined by a groin injury. If Miley is reinstated then Tyler Mahle’s future will be in the bullpen. Let’s hope Mahle performs at a high level tonight and gives the Reds coaching staff something to think about.

Next: Should Bell bench Suárez for game?

Time is not on Mahle’s side. The Cincinnati Reds farm system is stacked with young, talented arms waiting to get the call. Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Tony Santillan and Packy Naughton are not far away from receiving their big break in the majors. Tejay Antone has already impressed this season and will likely be in a battle with Mahle for playing time as well.

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