Reds vs. Cardinals: Pitching preview, prediction, and more

CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 01: Jonathan India #6 of the Cincinnati Reds turns a double play. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 01: Jonathan India #6 of the Cincinnati Reds turns a double play. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Tony Santillan #64 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 08: Tony Santillan #64 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Reds rookie right-hander has been sensational out of the bullpen.

The 2021 season may be remembered as the year of the rookie in the Queen City. Not only has Reds Country been treated to excellent performances from Jonathan India, Tyler Stephenson, and Vladimir Gutierrez, but there’s another young Redleg making a name for himself as of late.

Right-hander Tony Santillan has been brilliant since being moved to the bullpen. Making 14 appearances in relief, the big Texan has brought it when called upon by manager David Bell. Tossing 16.2 innings out of the Reds’ bullpen, Santillan has produced an excellent 2.70 ERA while fanning 24 opposing hitters in just 16.2 innings of work. But wait. There’s more!

Since rejoining the big league club on August 17th, the 24-year-old has yielded only one run in 10 innings. It’s also obvious Bell is growing more comfortable using Santillan in late-game situations. The former second-round draft pick has appeared in the seventh inning or later in five of his last eight trips to the mound.

Prediction

Needless to say, this is a series the Reds need to win the worst way, and there’s absolutely no reason Cincinnati shouldn’t capture their first series victory in three weeks. Over the next three days, the Redlegs will face two left-handers barely clinging to a major league roster and a right-hander who hasn’t won a game in nearly two years.

Next. Reds top free agent priorities this offseason

For the first time in a decade, the Reds will take a season series from St. Louis. When Cincinnati rolls into the Steel City to begin a series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, look for them to be atop the National League Wild Card standings after taking two of three from the Redbirds.