Cincinnati Reds: Three takeaways from poor showing in Ohio Cup

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 06: Manager David Bell #25 of the Cincinnati Reds argues with umpire. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 06: Manager David Bell #25 of the Cincinnati Reds argues with umpire. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /
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CLEVELAND, OH – AUGUST 05: Starting pitcher Tejay Antone #70 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /

3. Wade Miley has competition for his spot in the rotation.

Let’s give Wade Miley the benefit of the doubt. The veteran lefty got rocked in his first start of the 2020 season, but it appears as though injury might have had something to do with it. Miley was placed on the 10-day IL with an injured groin before his second start and was replaced by Tyler Mahle. Mahle looked very good against Cleveland on Tuesday night.

Let’s set the issue of how David Bell has handled his starters aside for a second. What Mahle did on Tuesday was outstanding. The right-hander went six innings, allowed just one hit and walked two batters. Mahle exited the game after 98 pitches.

Whether or not you agree with Bell’s decision is irrelevant. In case you were curious, only six teams in the major leagues have used their bullpen less. Oh, and four of those teams (St. Louis Cardinals, Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals) have had a rash of games postponed due to concerns over COVID-19.

In addition to Tyler Mahle’s brilliance in Game 2, Tejay Antone showed what he was made of in Game 3. The right-hander from Texas made his first major league start and allowed just one run in 4.1 innings of work. Though Antone was optioned to the alternate site, expect to see him back in the rotation when the Reds inevitably play another seven-inning doubleheader.

Next. Reds roster moves include some surprises

The Reds bullpen needs a kick in the pants. Cincinnati’s big boppers need to make contact. And Wade Miley had better perform upon his return from the injured list. Time’s a wasting and the Reds need to pick up the pace before they fall out of contention all together.