Which three Reds pitchers will have breakout performances in 2021?
Pitching was the Cincinnati Reds calling card in 2020, and the team may need to lean heavily on its hurlers once again. Despite losing the likes of Trevor Bauer, Raisel Iglesias, and Anthony DeSclafani, Cincinnati will need its pitching staff to show up in a big way during the upcoming season. Which three pitchers will breakout in 2021?
Bauer is gone! Now, it’s time for the Reds and their fans to move on. Luis Castillo is the ace of this team going forward, and I for one believe he has the potential to be better than Bauer. Slot in Sonny Gray behind La Piedra, and Cincinnati has a formidable one-two punch atop their rotation. Tyler Mahle proved he can be a big league starter and will occupy the No. 3 spot behind Castillo and Gray.
While Wade Miley and Michael Lorenzen are the leaders in the clubhouse to take the final two spots in the starting rotation, there’s a lot to be sorted out in Goodyear this spring. The addition of Sean Doolittle brings experience to the backend of the Cincinnati bullpen, but there’s sure to be a tight competition for the role of closer for the upcoming season as well.
The Cincinnati Reds haven’t done much to address the losses in free agency, but there are plenty of young pitchers within the organization who’d like to prove their worth. Which three pitchers will breakout in 2021?
Tejay Antone, Reds right-handed pitcher
Tejay Antone will be on the Opening Day roster. The question is, will he be in the starting rotation or part of the relief corps. My gut tells me we’ll see Antone coming out of the bullpen, but if Wade Miley or Michael Lorenzen falter, Antone could snag one of the final spots in the rotation.
We saw Antone emerge from prospect to major leaguer last season. The right-hander posted a 2.80 ERA in 13 games including four starts. Antone’s splits show that he performed much better out of the bullpen in 2020.
The former fifth-round draft pick went 16.1 innings as a starter, posting a 3.86 ERA and allowed a .789 OPS versus opposing hitters. When coming out of the bullpen, Antone’s ERA was just 1.89 and he struck out 12.8 batters per nine innings as opposed to his 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings as a starting pitcher.