Cincinnati Reds: Predicting the bullpen after addition of Sean Doolittle

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 22: Sean Doolittle #63 of the Washington Nationals delivers the pitch. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 22: Sean Doolittle #63 of the Washington Nationals delivers the pitch. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Sean Doolittle #63 of the Washington Nationals celebrates. The Reds now have Doolittle in their bullpen.
HOUSTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 29: Sean Doolittle #63 of the Washington Nationals celebrates. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Adding Sean Doolittle gives the Reds a veteran leader in the bullpen.

The Cincinnati Reds relief corp got a boost on Tuesday afternoon with the signing of former Washington Nationals’ closer Sean Doolittle. The left-hander brings a much needed veteran presence to a bullpen that will undoubtedly have young players elevated to positions they’ve not yet been in. What does the rest of Cincinnati’s bullpen look like?

While Sean Doolittle’s 2020 season was a forgettable one, the former Oakland A’s draft choice is hopeful for a bounce-back season in the Queen City. Doolittle struggled with injuries in 2020 and posted a 5.87 ERA in just 7.2 innings of work. Doolittle’s 1.696 WHIP was a far cry from his career 0.954 WHIP the lefty owned before heading into last season.

Doolittle, a two-time All-Star, brings a solid track record, striking out 60-plus batters in each season from 2017-2019 and putting up a 2.94 ERA and 3.03 FIP. Doolittle’s 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings during that span is quite impressive, as is the southpaw’s 1.8 walks per nine innings. If Doolittle bounces back, he could be key cog in the Reds retooled bullpen.

But who’ll likely be joining the nine-year veteran? Some players on the Cincinnati Reds roster a shoe-ins to make the cut, while others are sitting the bubble. While Doolittle may take on the closer’s role heading into the 2021 season, there’s a few others who’ll battle it out in spring training for that right. Who else will join Sean Doolittle in the Reds pen during the upcoming season?