Reds news: Sean Doolittle signing affirms Amir Garrett as the closer

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 03: Sean Doolittle #63 of the Washington Nationals throws a pitch. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 03: Sean Doolittle #63 of the Washington Nationals throws a pitch. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

It’s not a shortstop, but the Cincinnati Reds added another player to the team for the 2021 season. According to Jon Morosi, reliever Sean Doolittle, formerly of the Washington Nationals, has agreed to a one-year contract with the Reds. This is Cincinnati’s first major league signing this offseason.

Bringing Doolittle to Cincinnati does two things for the Reds’ bullpen; it adds another left-hander to the relief corp and essentially confirms that Amir Garrett will be the team’s closer in 2021. While Doolittle and Lucas Sims are options as well, it seems like it’s AG’s time to shine.

Adding Sean Doolittle gives the Reds another lefty in the bullpen.

Sean Doolittle had a bad season in 2020, but his track record is quite nice. During his in D.C., Doolittle has compiled a 10-10 record and 3.03 ERA. Doolittle appeared in a career-high 55 games during the 2019 season and was limited to just 11 appearances last season, as he was limited by injuries.

Doolittle gives David Bell an additional left-hander out of the bullpen. Heading into the season, it appeared as though Jesse Biddle or Cionel Perez were going to be his only other options outside of Garrett.

The Reds front office is showing confidence in Amir Garrett.

If Amir Garrett wants his time in the spotlight, he’s got it. After the trade that sent Raisel Iglesias to the Los Angeles Angels, Garrett was quite vocal about becoming the team’s closer. The addition of Doolittle gives Garrett that opportunity.

I don’t, however, feel as though the opportunity is going to just be given to the southpaw; he’s going to have to earn it. Lucas Sims and even Tejay Antone present Bell with right-handers who seem capable of closing out a game as well.

Garrett is going to have to solve right-handed hitters if he wants to secure the role as the Cincinnati Reds closer. Against lefties, Garrett is lights out, but he struggles when a right-handed hitter is in the batter’s box.

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While Reds Country watches with their social media channels with anticipation of trading for a starting shortstop, the addition of Sean Doolittle is a positive move for Nick Krall and the front office. The team needs to add more hurlers to the bullpen, as Michael Lorenzen is likely slated to be in the starting rotation this season.