Cincinnati Reds: Predicting the Opening Day roster 1.0

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 26: Michael Lorenzen #21 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 26: Michael Lorenzen #21 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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Sonny Gray #54 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches. The latest Reds rumors predict Gray may be traded.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 27: Sonny Gray #54 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the Minnesota Twins on September 27, 2020 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

Reds roster predictions: Starting rotation (5)

Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, Wade Miley, Michael Lorenzen

The Cincinnati Reds starting rotation will look much different in 2021 than it did last season. Cy Young-winner Trevor Bauer has joined the World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers and Anthony DeSclafani is now in the Bay Area with former battery mate Curt Casali as part of the San Francisco Giants rotation.

Last season, Sonny Gray was the Reds Opening Day starter, but the former Vanderbilt Commodore may have some competition for that spot this season. Luis Castillo will likely be the team’s No. 1 starter and get the ball on April 1st versus the St. Louis Cardinals. Gray and Castillo will form a terrific one-two punch this season.

Tyler Mahle really came into his own last season. It was assumed in spring training that Mahle would optioned to Triple-A Louisville to begin his 2020 campaign, but an injury to DeSclafani opened the door for the California native to enter the season as part of the starting rotation. Mahle grabbed the reins and never looked back. He looks to be cemented as the No. 3 starter.

Wade Miley had a season he’d like to forget. After putting up fantastic numbers as a member of the Houston Astros in 2019, Miley never got going last year and injuries had a lot to do with it. The left-hander will be looking to bounce back in 2021.

Finally, it seems like Michael Lorenzen has the edge when it comes to snagging that final spot in the Cincinnati Reds rotation. Lorenzen has been a starter before and adding him into the mix allows David Bell to deploy the right-hander as a pinch runner, pinch hitter, or an additional outfielder on days he’s not slated to pitch.