Reds: Reiver Sanmartin should get first major league start vs Pirates

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Reiver Sanmartin (94) high fives with catcher Chuckie Robinson after the final out.
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Reiver Sanmartin (94) high fives with catcher Chuckie Robinson after the final out. /

Many fans forget that when the Cincinnati Reds acquired Sonny Gray from the New York Yankees prior to the 2019 season that another pitcher was part of the trade. Reiver Sanmartin has been in Cincinnati’s farm system since that deal was made and the 25-year-old may well get his first big league start on Monday versus the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Reds and Pirates will makeup last week’s rainout on Monday afternoon at 1:10 PM. But, with Wade Miley, Monday’s scheduled starter, now on the injured list with a neck strain, David Bell will need to find someone else to take the ball.

Cionel Pérez was called up on Saturday afternoon, but the left-hander is a reliever, not capable of going much beyond one inning. While a bullpen-game is possible, Reds relievers have been taxed lately. After Vladimir Gutierrez failed to go three innings last night, the relief corps sent seven of its members to the hill to battle for 6.1 innings.

The Cincinnati Reds will send Tyler Mahle to the bump today, hopeful that the right-hander can give the bullpen a break. The only hurlers who didn’t see the mound last night were Dauri Moreta, Amir Garrett, and Luis Cessa.

Reiver Sanmartin should get his first major league start for the Reds on Monday.

If Reiver Sanmartin does get the call on Monday, the Cincinnati Reds would need to select his contract from the Louisville Bats and made a corresponding move. Sanmartin is currently not part of the Reds’ 40-man roster.

But, with how well the left-hander has performed for Triple-A Louisville this season, perhaps he should be. Sanmartin is 8-2 in 21 appearances with 14 starts. The southpaw owns a 3.94 ERA and 3.06 FIP. Sanmartin began the 2021 season with Double-A Chattanooga, but was quickly promoted to Triple-A after posting a 0.50 ERA in four appearances for the Lookouts.

Sanmartin operates with a low arm slot and delivers a fastball that sits in the mid-90s. The lefty also possesses a sweeping slider that he’ll use to induce ground balls. Sanmartin has been very effective in that way this season, carrying a 62.2% ground ball-rate at Double-A Chattanooga and a 54.0% ground ball-rate at Triple-A Louisville.

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Reiver Sanmartin’s future may be in the bullpen, and with the young prospect eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this winter, it may be in Cincinnati’s best interest to add the left-hander to the 40-man roster. The Reds have seven games remaining this season, and the front office might as well give Sanmartin a chance to prove his worth over the final week of the season.