Reds roster predictions: Relief pitchers (8)
Amir Garrett, Sean Doolittle, Lucas Sims, Tejay Antone, José De León, Jeff Hoffman, Noé Ramirez, Cam Bedrosian
Amir Garrett and Lucas Sims will be battling for the closer’s job all spring. I don’t expect either to win the job outright, but rather I foresee David Bell going with the pitcher who matches up best with the opposing team’s lineup in the ninth inning. If it’s a left-handed dominant lineup, you’ll see AG get the ball. But, if there’s mix of left-handed and right-handed batters, I think the ball goes to Sims.
Sean Doolittle did very little in 2020 to inspire much confidence, but if the veteran left-hander can return to the player he was in 2018-2019, then the Reds have another weapon they can deploy late in games. During that two-year stretch, Doolittle posted a 3.00 ERA, recorded 54 saves, and struck out 126 batters.
Tejay Antone showcased his skills during his rookie season in 2020. While I think there’s an outside chance Antone makes it into the starting rotation, I believe he’ll ultimately end up in the bullpen. Jeff Hoffman, who came over from Colorado after the Reds dealt Robert Stephenson to the Rockies, is out of minor-league options and likely makes the squad out of camp.
José De León had a disastrous 2020 season, but after a successful run in the Puerto Rican Winter League, the former top prospect looks to find a home in the Cincinnati bullpen. Noé Ramirez, who came over in the trade with the Los Angeles Angels for Raisel Iglesias, is s surefire bet to be part of the relief corps.
Finally, look for Cam Bedrosian, who was recently signed to a minor-league contract, to battle it out with the likes of Sal Romano, Jesse Biddle, and Ryan Hendrix for that final spot in the bullpen. I’ll give the edge to Bedrosian for now, but don’t be so quick to close the book on Big Sally.