MLB Playoffs: Three role players who are crucial for the Reds to advance

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: Freddy Galvis #3 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a single. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: Freddy Galvis #3 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a single. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Raisel Iglesias #26 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch.
CINCINNATI, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 16: Raisel Iglesias #26 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

1. Reds reliever Raisel Iglesias will be key if the game is close in the ninth inning.

A collective gulp can be heard throughout Reds Country, but I honestly think the lack of faith in Raisel Iglesias is misplaced. Of late, you could make the argument that Iglesias has been one of Cincinnati’s best relievers, and he’ll have to maintain that same level of consistency against the Braves in the Wild Card Series.

The 2020 version of Iglesias looks eerily similar to the player that we all knew and loved from his 2017 and 2018 seasons with the team. Iglesias fell on tough times last season after Reds rookie Manager David Bell inserted Iggy into several situations in which he was not comfortable. The right-hander was not afraid to share his disdain for the new role either.

However, this season has seen Iglesias consistently work as the team’s closer when Cincinnati has a lead late or is tied in the eighth or ninth inning. Iglesias is 4-3 with a 2.74 ERA in 22 appearances out of the Reds bullpen. Iglesias has eight saves and his 31 punch outs trails only Lucas Sims (34) for strikeouts among relievers.

Over his last seven appearances, Raisel Iglesias has flat-out shut down the competition. Iglesias hasn’t allowed a run in the last 7.2 innings, has just one walk and seven strikeouts. That’s the version of Iglesias that must be on the mound late in games. If Iggy has his stuff working, the Braves batters will be going down in bunches.