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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The Reds starting rotation will be the best in the NL Central

This has become a popular take. The Cincinnati Reds have an incredibly deep starting rotation. In fact, heading into Friday's game, none of the supposed eight pitchers who are vying for a spot in the Reds rotation have allowed a single run.

Brandon Williamson, Frankie Montas, Hunter Greene, Graham Ashcraft, Andrew Abbott, Carson Spiers, Nick Martinez, and Connor Phillips have put up zeroes in every inning they've pitched. Top pitching prospect Rhett Lowder also pitched a scoreless outing as well.

But does that mean that Cincinnati has the best rotation in the division? They certainly have the deepest, but the best, that could be a bit of a stretch. Montas is returning from pitching in just one game last season, both Greene and Ashcraft spend time on the 60-day IL last season, Abbott ran out of gas down the stretch, and it's questionable as to whether or not Martinez is a starter or a reliever.

The rest of the NL Central do not have near the number of starting-caliber pitchers the Reds do, but Sonny Gray was a Cy Young finalist last season and just joined the St. Louis Cardinals this offseason. The Chicago brought in Shōta Imanaga to a rotation that includes Justin Steele and Jordan Wicks. Even the Pittsburgh Pirates are trotting out a formidable group headlined by Mitch Keller.

The Cincinnati Reds starters look the part through the first week of spring training. But once the regular season begins, will they hold up. Can Greene and Ashcraft avoid the injured list? Will Nick Lodolo be ready for Opening Day? There are still plenty of questions after just a handful of Cactus League games.

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