This under-the-radar left-hander has a good shot to make the Reds Opening Day roster

Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Phillip Diehl (64) delivers a pitch.
Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Phillip Diehl (64) delivers a pitch. / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It was quite surprising that Phillip Diehl never set foot on a major league field last season. The left-hander spent last season at Triple-A Louisville, and despite the fact that the Cincinnati Reds' bullpen was an utter disaster, Diehl remained with the Bats throughout the entire 2021 season.

Diehl spent time in the New York Yankees farm system before being dealt to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for outfielder Mike Tauchman. Diehl's contract was selected by Colorado during the 2019 season and the southpaw made his big league debut versus the Chicago Cubs on June 11th that year.

Reds LHP Phillip Diehl is a Cincinnati native.

Phillip Diehl is from the Queen City. The 27-year-old attended Moeller High School before heading off to University of Evansville for college. Diehl transferred to Wabash County College in 2014 and played baseball for Louisiana Tech University in 2015 and 2016. Diehl joined his hometown Reds in May of last year.

In 58 appearances out of the Bats' bullpen in 2021, Diehl went 54.2 innings and posted a 2.47 ERA and 3.73 FIP. The left-hander recorded three saves along the way and had a sparkling 11.69 K/9 and 33.0% strikeout-rate.

Furthermore, Phillip Diehl had great command of the strike zone. In those 54.2 innings of work, Diehl allowed just 12 free passes, which translated into a 1.98 BB/9 and a walk-rate of just 5.6%. Diehl did, however, surrender nine round trippers (1.48 HR/9).

The Cincinnati Reds are a little thin on left-handed relievers. After saying goodbye to Sean Doolittle midway through last season, the only southpaws on Cincinnati's 40-man roster are Amir Garrett and Justin Wilson. Reiver Sanmartin is on the Reds roster as well, but he'll be in the mix for a spot in the starting rotation.

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Phillip Diehl is a two-pitch reliever who can spin his fastball in the mid-90s and use his slider to get swings and misses. With major league spring training in limbo, Diehl will get plenty of opportunities to prove that he's worthy of a spot on the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster.