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Reds: Reiver Sanmartin adds another twist to offseason roster construction

CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 27: Reiver Sanmartin #52 of the Cincinnati Reds walks across the field. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 27: Reiver Sanmartin #52 of the Cincinnati Reds walks across the field. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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How the Cincinnati Reds front office assembles next year’s starting rotation will be one of the most intriguing stories to follow this offseason. Does Reiver Sanmartin‘s performance alter their plans at all?

Sanmartin, a left-hander making his major league debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday afternoon, went 5.2 innings, struck out five batters, and allowed just one earned run. During his time in Triple-A Louisville this season, Sanmartin posted an 8-2 record with a 3.94 ERA and 89 punch outs over 82.1 innings of work.

How might Reiver Sanmartin factor into the Reds 2022 rotation?

Will Reiver Sanmartin be part of the Cincinnati Reds 2022 starting rotation? Eh, there’s a slight possibility, but is seems doubtful. Unless the Redlegs are bitten severely by the injury during spring training, I have to squint pretty hard to see Sanmartin as part of the Cincinnati rotation next season.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t view Sanmartin as part of the team’s Opening Day roster, because I certainly do. The Reds rotation could undergo some tweaks this winter, but all five pitchers who’ve served as starters for the majority of the 2021 season are under team control heading into the offseason.

I fully expect Tyler Mahle to be back on the hill for Cincinnati next season, and I’m sure Vladimir Gutierrez will get a chance to redeem himself after struggling over the final few weeks of the 2021 season.

The other three starters are a mystery. Will the Reds pick up Wade Miley’s $10M team-option? If they do, will he still be on Cincinnati’s Opening Day roster? Might the front office look to deal Sonny Gray or Luis Castillo? Both were rumored to be on the trade block last offseason.

Then, you’ve got the dynamic duo of Nick Lodolo and Hunter Greene. The Reds’ top two pitching prospects look the part and both are likely to be competing for a spot in the starting rotation next spring. All of the sudden, that room looks a bit crowded, and Reiver Sanmartin might need to look to the Reds’ bullpen in order to find a spot on next year’s roster.

Look for Reiver Sanmartin to be part of the Reds bullpen next season.

Reiver Sanmartin has relief experience. The left-hander made eight appearances out of the bullpen for Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville this season. With how poorly Amir Garrett has played this season, it’s debatable if AG will even be part of next year’s roster, meaning that David Bell could use another lefty out of the pen.

Justin Wilson is under contract for one more season, but the other left-hander’s Bell could call upon don’t cut the mustard. Garrett has been a train wreck this season, and the Reds’ should cut bait and non-tender the southpaw this offseason. Cionel Pérez possesses elite-level stuff, but his command and control are questionable.

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Sanmartin would seem to fit the mold of what the Cincinnati Reds front office was looking for this past winter; a young, controllable reliever. Sanmartin will have minor league options available next season, so if the left-hander underperforms or is need of more seasoning in the minors, the Reds can keep him on the 40-man roster.

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