Cincinnati Reds: This is the perfect starting rotation for the 2021 season

ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 11: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates after recording the final out of the game. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 11: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates after recording the final out of the game. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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Wade Miley #22 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the first inning.
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – AUGUST 27: Wade Miley #22 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the first inning. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

5. Wade Miley, Reds left-handed pitcher

Okay, I know many fans throughout Reds Country were not happy about Wade Miley‘s performance, or lack thereof in 2020. However, with the money owed to the southpaw in 2021, I can’t envision Cincinnati moving on from the 34-year-old. After signing a two-year/$15M contract last winter, Miley will almost definitely be part of the Cincinnati Reds rotation next season.

Now, if we enter next season with Miley as the No. 5 starter, I can live with that. After all, in 2019, the left-hander put up some fabulous numbers while pitching for the Houston Astros. That season, Miley was 14-6 with a 3.98 ERA.

I’d also expect Miley to be on a short leash next season. Heck, we saw that in 2020 when down the stretch, David Bell moved the lefty to the bullpen for his final two appearances of the season. Overall, Miley saw action in just six games and surrendered nine earned runs over 14.1 innings of work.

Miley is not Cincinnati’s only option to take that final spot in the rotation. Michael Lorenzen has been rumored to be in the mix, as has last year’s rookie Michael Lorenzen. We mentioned Nick Lodolo in the previous slide, and the Reds’ first-round pick from the 2019 MLB Draft will surely be considered as well.

Cincinnati dealt former first-round pick Robert Stephenson to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Jeff Hoffman. Though he’s been a reliever throughout a good portion of his career, Nick Krall has mentioned the newly acquired right-hander as a potential starter as well. Don’t dismiss José De León either. A former top prospect with Tampa Bay, De León dealt with injuries throughout 2020.

Next. The perfect Reds lineup for the 2021 season

Provided the Cincinnati Reds do not trade Sonny Gray this offseason, I think it’s safe to say that we know at least three of the five members of next year’s rotation. Miley is, more than likely, set to occupy a spot in the starting rotation as well. Would the Reds turn to Anthony DeSclafani on a one-year deal? Might they swing a trade later this offseason? Hunter Greene isn’t in the mix, is he?