Cincinnati Reds: 3 prospects who could debut before end of 2020 season

GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - MARCH 04: Tony Santillan #85 of the Cincinnati Reds delivers a first inning pitch. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - MARCH 04: Tony Santillan #85 of the Cincinnati Reds delivers a first inning pitch. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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Tony Santillan #74 poses during Cincinnati Reds Photo Day.
GOODYEAR, ARIZONA – FEBRUARY 19: Tony Santillan #74 poses during Cincinnati Reds Photo Day. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

1. Tony Santillan could be added to the Reds bullpen.

The Cincinnati Reds bullpen has been shaky all season. Even after the addition of Archie Bradley, David Bell does not have a lot of reliable arms to turn to late in games. Tony Santillan has been groomed to be a starting pitcher at the big league level, but the flamethrower could find some time in the Reds bullpen later this season.

Amir Garrett and Lucas Sims have been about the only reliable arms in the Reds bullpen all season. Garrett and Sims have combined for a 2.08 ERA over 30.2 innings of work. Bradley and Jesse Biddle have yet to allow an earned run during their time in Cincinnati, but neither has thrown more than three innings.

However, beyond that, Reds relievers have struggled mightily. Closer Raisel Iglesias has a 4.40 ERA and last year’s most reliable relief pitcher, Michael Lorenzen, has an ERA of 4.66 and has walked 12 of the 87 batters he’s faced. That comes out to a walk-rate of 13.7%. Yikes!

Enter Tony Santillan, who has an electric fastball that usually sits in the mid-to-upper 90s. Santillan, however, did not improve upon his 2018 season. The right-hander saw a decline in virtually every statistic last season. His strikeout-rate dropped from 22.8% to 19.8% according to FanGraphs, while his walk-rate nearly doubled from 6.0% to 11.6%.

To avoid using one of Santillan’s minor-league options, the Cincinnati Reds could just choose to keep the former Texas high school pitcher at Prasco Park. But, with Trevor Bauer and Anthony DeSclafani likely heading elsewhere in free agency, it may behoove the Reds to see they have in Santillan.