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Reds: 6-man rotation will benefit veteran Wade Miley

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 09: Wade Miley #22 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 09: Wade Miley #22 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
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It was a topic of discussion prior to the 2021 season, especially after the odd turn of events surrounding the pause, restart, and abbreviation of the 2020 season. However, it now appears that the Cincinnati Reds will go to a six-man rotation coming out of the All-Star break. This extra rest could really benefit veteran pitcher Wade Miley.

Tyler Mahle went for the Reds in Friday’s restart to the 2021 season following the All-Star break. Luis Castillo will toe the rubber tonight, and Sonny Gray is expected to return to the team on Sunday. However, David Bell has yet to name his starters for the upcoming series against the New York Mets.

Also, Jeff Hoffman, who started several games for Cincinnati earlier this season, has been on a rehab assignment for what feels like forever. Last night, Hoffman went three innings for the Dayton Dragons, struck out five batters, but also surrendered three round trippers.

If the Reds go to a 6-man rotation, Wade Miley could gain some added rest.

If the Cincinnati Reds are going to make some noise in the second-half of the 2021 season, they’re going to need Wade Miley at his absolute best. So it should not come as a shock to anyone that David Bell is looking for any opportunity he can to get the veteran some additional rest.

Miley has been Cincinnati’s best starter this season, and one could argue that he’s been the Reds’ best player. Sure, Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker have put together phenomenal performances thus far in 2021, but what Miley is doing may be even more impressive.

Miley is 7-4 with a 2.80 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 16 starts. At 34 years old, Miley has pitched seven innings or more five times this season and has eclipsed 100 pitches five times as well. Miley has logged a total of 96.1 innings this season and thrown 1,498 pitches.

Last season, Miley made just four starts, appeared in six games, and recorded just 14.1 innings. During his first 16 starts with the Houston Astros in 2019, Miley strung together 89.2 innings and totaled 1,499 pitches. During his 2018 season with the Milwaukee Brewers, Miley pitched in 16 games, but logged only 80.2 innings.

Adding Jeff Hoffman to the rotation would certainly help give Wade Miley some extra days off in the coming week-plus. I would expect both Miley and Vladimir Gutierrez to pitch in the upcoming series against the New York Mets, but with an off-day on Thursday, we may not see Miley return to the mound until the Reds’ next road trip.

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Bringing Hoffman along as a starter is not ideal. The right-hander is 3-4 with a 4.61 ERA. But, if the move is temporary with the goal of getting Wade Miley some additional rest, I’m all for it. The Reds’ southpaw has already seen time on the injured list this season, and adding Hoffman could also give Sonny Gray, who’s been on the IL three times, some extra rest as well.

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