This Cincinnati Reds pitcher was better than you think in 2021

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Jeff Hoffman prepares to throw.
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Jeff Hoffman prepares to throw. / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

When the Cincinnati Reds made the decision to trade Robert Stephenson and Jameson Hannah to the Colorado Rockies for Jeff Hoffman and Case Williams, I didn't think much of it. It was a chance for two former first-round picks to change scenery and hopefully find success.

With both Sonny Gray and Michael Lorenzen on the injured list to begin the 2021 season, Hoffman was given the opportunity to start. HIs first couple appearances gave fans hope that Hoffman had found the magic that saw him go No. 9 overall in the 2014 MLB Draft.

But, it was unsustainable. Hoffman's first four outings that saw him punch out 16 batters over 20.1 innings and post a 2.66 ERA. Unfortunately, Hoffman's next seven starts yielded a 7.30 ERA over 24.2 innings. Walks haunted Hoffman during that stretch when he posted as many free passes (23) as punch outs.

Jeff Hoffman had success out of the Reds bullpen.

Jeff Hoffman suffered an injury in late-May and hit the IL. Hoffman went on a rehab assignment in late-June, throwing 18.1 innings and struck out 25 batters. He did, however, allow five round trippers, including three in his final rehab start.

When Hoffman returned to the Reds, he became part of the Cincinnati bullpen. Hoffman's first 12 appearances showed what the right-hander was capable of. Hoffman hurled 18 innings, striking out 24 and posting a 1.00 ERA.

His 13th outing once he returned from the injured list was quite unlucky. Hoffman allowed four earned runs, two via the long ball against the Detroit Tigers on September 3rd at Great American Ball Park. Hoffman redeemed himself over his final eight appearances, punching out 13 in 8.1 innings of work.

In total, Jeff Hoffman pitched in 28 innings of relief, struck out 40, and posted a 3.54 ERA. Hoffman also had a K/9 of 12.86 and strikeout-rate of 23.6%. Hoffman's biggest bugaboo, however, was his 1.48 HR/9.

Next. Looking at the Reds short-term and long-term RF options. dark

Jeff Hoffman was a nice addition in the latter part of the season to the Cincinnati Reds bullpen. On nine occasions, Hoffman went more than just one inning. The former starter isn't a sure thing heading into spring training, but Hoffman is only projected to take home $1.1M in 2022. He could be a solid piece of Cincinnati's bullpen next season.