Cincinnati Reds: Tyler Mahle and Tejay Antone need to be on standby

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 4: Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 4: Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

The Reds may need the services of Tyler Mahle and Tejay Antone tonight.

Wade Miley makes his return from the injured list tonight when the Cincinnati Reds wrap up their two-game series with the Kansas City Royals. Miley was atrocious in his first start, surrendering six runs on four hits while walking two and striking out three batters in less than two innings. Tyler Mahle and Tejay Antone better be ready at moment’s notice.

Miley is returning from injury, so hopefully that was the biggest contributing factor to his poor outing on July 27th against the Chicago Cubs. However, with the Reds struggling to put together a winning streak, David Bell cannot be afraid to turn to his bullpen early if Miley falters.

In fact, that’s exactly what Bell did back on July 27th. After Wade Miley’s horrendous start, the Reds skipper turned to rookie hurler Tejay Antone in the top of the second inning. Antone worked the next 4.1 innings, allowed just one hit, a solo home run to Anthony Rizzo, and struck out five.

Tyler Mahle picked up Miley’s next start after the left-hander was placed on the 10-day injured list. The right-hander was impressive with six shutout innings of one-hit baseball. Mahle also struck out six batters and was removed from the game after 98 pitches. Mahle has not pitched since that game (August 4th).

The Cincinnati Reds starting rotation was expected to be the strength of this year’s team. So far, that has been the case. To date, Reds starters are second in ERA behind only the Cleveland Indians. Hopefully Wade Miley will add to the stellar start, but after his first performance this season and a woeful September in 2019 (16.68 ERA), it’s easy to have doubts.

While a lot of fans will argue that David Bell has gone to his bullpen far too often, in actuality, Cincinnati’s starters have gone 93.1 innings, the third-most in the majors. However, tonight may be an opportunity for the bullpen to shine.

Next. The Reds future SS is already on the team

Antone has made one relief appearance this season, while Mahle’s two outings were both spot starts. In three-plus big league seasons, Mahle has yet to appear as a reliever. It’ll be curious to see how Bell uses his two right-handers in the coming days. If all goes well tonight, hopefully neither one is needed. However, that’s being incredibly optimistic.