Reds: 3 under-performers who are key to sub-.500 record

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. /
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Cincinnati Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson (37) holds back Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Amir Garrett (50) as the benches clear.
Cincinnati Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson (37) holds back Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Amir Garrett (50) as the benches clear in the eighth inning of the baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Saturday, May 1, 2021, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. /

2. Amir Garrett, Reds left-handed reliever

I tried to warn everyone before the season. I wasn’t buying into the hype of Amir Garrett as the Cincinnati Reds closer. Here we are two months into the 2021 season, and Garrett hasn’t just watched his opportunity to be the closer vanish, but his role as a high-leverage reliever is all but gone.

AG is confident, I’ll give him that. The Cincinnati left-hander loves to talk a big game. The problem is, Garrett has been unable to back that up this season. All offseason we heard Garrett clamoring to be the Reds closer, but all he’s proven thus far in 2021 is that he’s not ready for the bright lights.

The Cincinnati Reds relief corps, as a whole, has been dreadful. Outside of Tejay Antone, there isn’t a reliever with an ERA below 3.50. Garrett’s 9.56 ERA is better than only the recently acquired Michael Feliz. Amir Garrett has allowed 17 runs on 17 hits in 16 innings of work. The southpaw also has 17 punch outs, but also 12 free passes.

At this point, Garrett is barely treading water. The left-hander had a good stretch in May when it looked as though he was ready to turn the corner. But Garrett has now allowed seven earned runs in his last four appearances, and it looks as though he’ll have to go back to the drawing board in order to figure out how to fix what’s gone awry.