Cincinnati Reds: 3 players who benefit from injury-plagued roster

The Cincinnati Reds take in the game.
The Cincinnati Reds take in the game. /
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Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jesse Biddle (53) resets between pitches.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jesse Biddle (53) resets between pitches. /

3. Jesse Biddle, Reds left-handed pitcher

This one may be a bit out of left field, but hear me out. Sonny Gray and Wade Miley are likely to be out of action for at least the first week of the season, which means the Cincinnati Reds will have two openings in their starting rotation. We know that Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, and Michael Lorenzen will be part of it, but who gets the last two spots?

That’s up for debate, but so long as the groin injury is minor, I fully expect Tejay Antone to grab one of the remaining spots. You could make the argument he deserves a spot in the rotation regardless of who’s been injured this spring. There’s also two more names to consider; José De León and Jeff Hoffman.

I’m not here to debate who deserves the fifth starting spot, but rather to point out that two players who were ticketed for the Reds bullpen are now likely to start the season as part of the Cincinnati starting rotation. If Antone and one of either De León or Hoffman pitches every fifth day, then there’s a couple openings in the pen.

Sean Doolittle, Amir Garrett, Lucas Sims, and Noé Ramirez are locks to be part of the Reds’ relief corps. Add in either De León or Hoffman and five of the eight spots are spoken for. Cionel Pérez has done nothing but shine this spring and Brandon Finnegan has proven his worth as well. So, that leaves one spot remaining in the Cincinnati pen, and right now, it has to go to Jesse Biddle.

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In five innings of work this spring, the 29-year-old has punched out six batters with an ERA of 1.80 and recorded two saves while walking just one. Yes, that would give the Cincinnati Reds five left-handed relievers, but we’re bound to see players like De León, Finnegan, and Pérez bounce between Cincinnati and Triple-A Louisville this season.