5 overreactions to first week of Reds' spring training: Frankie Montas is Cincy's ace

With the return of baseball comes many overreactions.

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Frankie Montas (47) throws in the bullpen during spring training workouts.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Frankie Montas (47) throws in the bullpen during spring training workouts. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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Frankie Montas is the Reds' ace

The term "ace" is thrown about nowadays as if every team has one. There's probably 10-15 pitchers in Major League Baseball would deserve to be called an ace. Frankie Montas, the Cincinnati Reds' prized free agent signee has the ability to fit that role, but he's not there yet.

The Reds would love for Hunter Greene to achieve to such heights, but the former first-round pick needs to prove that he can stay on the hill for 30-plus starts before fans start attaching the term ace to their $53 million man.

Montas, however, has proven himself at the highest level. Though a shoulder injury slowed his ascension to the top of the major league ladder, the right-hander has the makings of a top-of-the-rotation pitcher.

But there's a reason why Montas isn't making "ace" type money. Montas signed a $16 million contract with the Reds to prove that he can stay healthy over the course of a season. The last time Montas surpassed 150 innings pitcher was with the Oakland A's back in 2021. That season, Montas struck out nearly 10 batters per nine innings pitcher and made 32 starts and had over 200 strikeouts. That's an ace.

If Frankie Montas is able to find the magic that brought him that leve of success in 2021, then the Cincinnati Reds may truly have an ace in their rotation. While Montas oozes confidence and is ready to prove himself in 2024, he's got a long way to go before laying claim to the No. 1 spot in the Reds starting rotation.