Reds: Ranking the most likely replacements for injured starter Wade Miley

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tejay Antone (70) throws a pitch in the second inning of the MLB Cactus League Spring Training game.
Cincinnati Reds At Los Angeles Dodgers Spring Training
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tejay Antone (70) throws a pitch in the second inning of the MLB Cactus League Spring Training game. Cincinnati Reds At Los Angeles Dodgers Spring Training /
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Cionel Perez #43 of the Cincinnati Reds delivers a pitch.
GOODYEAR, ARIZONA – FEBRUARY 28: Cionel Perez #43 of the Cincinnati Reds delivers a pitch. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

3. Cionel Pérez, Reds left-handed pitcher

If you have not had the chance to watch Cionel Pérez pitch this spring, you’re missing out. The former Houston Astros prospect has gone from a borderline bullpen candidate to a near lock to make the Cincinnati Reds’ 26-man roster out of camp. Where he toes the rubber every fifth day or finds a home in the bullpen, Pérez will see action for Cincinnati in 2021.

Pérez pitched in seven games for the Astros in 2020, posting a 2.84 ERA over 6.1 innings of work. However, as is oftentimes the case, the ERA doesn’t tell the whole story. Pérez struck out eight but also walked six batters, which added up to a hefty WHIP of 2.053.

Pérez is a four-pitch pitcher with a repertoire of a fastball, slider, curveball, and changeup. Pérez’s fastball works in the mid-90s and he’s looked fantastic this spring. He’s certainly caught the eye of David Bell, who had this to say via MLB.com:

"“He came into camp and he looks as good as anyone. I think a big key for him is going to be able to throw strikes when he needs to and just master that a little bit more. He’s shown nothing but an ability to do that, so he clearly has the arm. We’re really excited to have him.”"

Cionel Pérez is relatively small (5-foot-11) for a starting pitcher. But that compact frame doesn’t hinder the left-hander’s ability to get batters out. Through four games, including one start, Pérez has allowed just one hit and struck out five while walking just one.