Cincinnati Reds: Ranking the best pitchers for late-game situations

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 4: Lucas Sims #39 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 4: Lucas Sims #39 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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Amir Garrett #50 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches during the game against the Chicago Cubs
CINCINNATI, OH – JULY 28: Amir Garrett #50 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches during the game against the Chicago Cubs (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

3. Can you Count on AG late in the game?

Sorry gang, I’m not as high on Amir Garrett as other fans may be. While I think Garrett is a reliable left-handed reliever, he’s not who I want taking the ball with the game on the line. That said, against a left-handed heavy lineup, give me Amir Garrett all day long.

For those fans would advocate for Garrett over Nate Jones, take a look at the stats that are eerily similar. Both Garrett and Jones have the exact same number of relief appearances (8), the exact same ERA (3.68), and both have given up two home runs. Each reliever has also racked up 10 strikeouts apiece.

A lot of fans cite Garrett’s fire and passion for reasons he should be the team’s closer. While those are admirable qualities, I’d argue that Michael Lorenzen has very similar traits. The fact is, Garrett’s numbers from the end of last season don’t speak to a player who should get the ball with the game on the line.

After returning from the injured list last season, Garrett was a different pitcher. After owning a 1.70 ERA through his first 42 appearances, Garrett put up a 6.16 ERA over his final 27 contests and opposing batters put up an OPS of .861. Garrett is brilliant against left-handers this season, only allowing and OPS of .143. But right-handers have taken him deep twice and have an OPS of .798.