1 Reds player who stunk in 2022 and won't be much better in 2023

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Justin Dunn.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Justin Dunn. / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The 2022 Cincinnati Reds roster was not full of elite-level talent, but there were a few who actually put together solid seasons. However, as a whole, the team stunk.

Several players who had poor performances in 2022 are unlikely to return. Hunter Strickland and Mike Minor are both free agents, and there's even the chance that Cincinnati parts ways with Mike Moustakas.

However, there will be a handful of players who struggled in 2022 and will be given a second chance next season. Which player is most likely to see those same struggles repeat themselves in 2023?

Reds RHP Justin Dunn stunk in 2022 and won't be much better in 2023.

Justin Dunn was not good in 2022. While some of that was due to his recovery from a shoulder injury, even once he was deemed healthy, the right-hander struggled mightily. Dunn was 1-3 in seven starts for the Cincinnati Reds last season and posted a 6.10 ERA.

Dunn was part of the return the Reds received for the preseason trade with the Seattle Mariners. The M's sent Dunn, Jake Fraley, Brandon Williamson, and Connor Phillips to the Redlegs in exchange for former All-Stars Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez.

Dunn suffered a shoulder injury in 2021 and hadn't pitched in a major league game since June 17th of that year. The right-hander endured several rehab assignments in the minor leagues and returned to the Cincinnati Reds active roster on August 8th against his former team, the New York Mets.

Dunn sandwiched two solid performances against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies with five subpar performances. Against the Buccos and the Phils, the right-hander went 11 innings and allowed just three runs on seven hits while striking out nine. In the other five games, Dunn threw a total of19 innings, allowed 18 runs on 25 hits, and walked 11 batters.

Unfortunately, Dunn also ended his 2022 on the IL with shoulder soreness. The injury itself is not a good look for Dunn as he enters the offseason, but there's more to it. What will be the 27-year-old's role on next year's squad? While most figured that Dunn would be competing for a spot in the rotation, several others have stepped up their game.

Reds RHP Justin Dunn struggled with his curveball in 2022.

Justin Dunn will have to fight off the likes of Luis Cessa, Connor Overton, Brandon Williamson, Levi Stoudt, and any number of veteran starters the Cincinnati Reds may bring in during the offseason. Dunn may very well begin the 2023 season at Triple-A.

Dunn's primary focus heading into next spring should be to arrive in tip-top shape. If he's healthy, Dunn will have a chance to compete for a spot in the rotation. But there's more to it than that. Dunn's curveball was wildly ineffective in 2022.

After limiting opposing hitters to an expected batting average of just .156 against the curveball in 2021, that number jumped to .339 in 2022 according to Baseball Savant. Opposing hitters were also able to cut loose on Dunn's fastball, as his slugging percentage against rose from .476 to .679. Dunn was getting hit and hit hard.

Justin Dunn hasn't even reached his arbitration window yet, so there's no need to consider non-tendering the right-hander just yet. But he'll have a lot to prove in 2023, and unfortunately, the numbers suggest he's got an uphill climb. Look for Dunn to struggle once again next season.

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