Reds: David Bell can only turn to Amir Garrett when the game is out of reach

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Amir Garrett (50) walks to the dugout after surrendering a three-run home run.
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Amir Garrett (50) walks to the dugout after surrendering a three-run home run. /

All of Reds Country is wondering how much longer David Bell is going to stick with Eugenio Suarez in the starting lineup. The Cincinnati Reds shortstop is 3-for-48 over the last 11 games. An even bigger question, however, is how much longer can Bell turn to Amir Garrett?

Last night, with Cincinnati leading the World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers in thee bottom of the seventh inning, Bell turned to his self-proclaimed closer with two outs and one aboard. Corey Seager, a fantastic player in his own right, proceeded to send a gopher ball into center field on Garrett’s second pitch of the at-bat. That home run tied the game.

Reds skipper David Bell can no longer count on Amir Garrett

Amir Garrett entered the Reds compound in Goodyear, Arizona proclaiming himself ready to take on the challenge of being the team’s closer. Raisel Iglesias had been dealt to the Los Angeles Angels over the winter, so the spot was open.

Three consecutive shutout innings in Cactus League play in which AG recorded nine strikeouts seemed to suggest that the left-hander was up to the task. However, that success has not translated to the regular season, and last night’s outing was further proof that David Bell cannot count on AG.

After Lucas Sims mowed down the competition in the sixth inning, the right-hander returned to face the Dodgers in the bottom of the seventh. Sims punched out the first batters he faced, walked pinch hitter Austin Barnes, then induced a line out from Mookie Betts. With the left-handed hitting Corey Seager up next, and Sims sitting on 32 pitches, Bell turned to Garrett.

Garrett’s first pitch, a slider, missed the strike zone down and away. His next pitch registered 84-MPH and was center-cut. Seagere deposited the ball in the center field bleachers and the score was tied 3-3. Thankfully for the Cincinnati Reds, Tejay Antone came in and shut things down for the reminder of the game. A Jesse Winker homer in the 10th sealed the game for the Redlegs.

Reds left-hander Amir Garrett appears to have no confidence.

Were this Amir Garrett’s first poor outing, most of the Cincinnati faithful would just chalk it up to a great hitter getting the better of AG. But this is now a pattern, and I don’t know how quickly Garrett can work out of it.

Garrett should be Bell’s  most reliable left-handed reliever. Last season, Garrett was taking care of business; especially versus left-handed batters. Garrett allowed just .043 batting average against in 28 plate appearances versus left-handed hitters and not a single lefty took Garrett deep.

Garrett has pitched in eight games, covering just 6.1 innings and has allowed four home runs and seven walks. Two of those homers and four of the free passes have come against left-handed hitters. AG has allowed an OPS of 1.563 versus lefties.

Next. Who gets the boot when Moose returns to the Reds?

If I’m David Bell, I have to feel as though no lead is safe when Amir Garrett emerges from the bullpen. AG is in a tailspin right now, but the only thing that’s going to help him is more time on the bump. Unfortunately, Bell doesn’t have that luxury, and since he’s out of options, AG can not be sent to the alternate site without being exposed to waivers.