In an odd turn of events, the Cincinnati Reds turned their attention to their current squad rather than the future with the addition of pitcher Mike Minor on Wednesday. In exchange for the left-handed starter, the Kansas City Royals received left-hander Amir Garrett; a mainstay in the Cincinnati bullpen.
While Garrett had a horrendous season in 2021, he was one of the few left-handed relievers in David Bell's bullpen. The addition of Minor to the rotation is nice, but subtracting AG from the relief corps leaves Justin Wilson as the lone lefty in the pen.
Amir Garrett was joined by fellow lefty Sean Doolittle to begin the 2021 season, and Cincinnati added Wilson at the trade deadline while eventually bidding farewell to the former Washington Nationals closer. Who, currently on the Reds roster, will replace Garrett in the bullpen?
1. Reds pitcher Daniel Duarte isn't a lefty, but could replace Amir Garrett
The Cincinnati Reds made five additions to the 40-man roster prior to the MLB lockout. Hunter Greene, Allan Cerda, Alexis Diaz, James Marinan, and Daniel Duarte were all added to the roster. Duarte looks ready for The Show.
Duarte spent last season at High-A Dayton, Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville. The right-hander put up some very impressive strikeout numbers, posting a 31.8% strikeout-rate and a K/9 of 11.71 over 37.2 innings of relief.
More appealing than his strikeouts might be Duarte's penchant for keeping the ball in the ballpark. The 25-year-old surrendered just three round trippers, good enough for a HR/9 of 0.72. There wasn't a lot of luck in Duarte's results either, as his ERA (3.11) and FIP (3.15) were eerily similar.
Daniel Duarte was to be given a chance to join the Cincinnati Reds bullpen prior to Amir Garrett being traded, but with AG off to the Royals, there's one more opening among the crop of young relievers. If Duarte has an impressive spring, look for the former Kansas City farmhand to find a spot in the Reds bullpen. Despite being right-handed, Duarte is very effective against left-handed hitters.