Hunter Greene is virtual lock for Reds Opening Day roster after Luis Castillo injury

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene (21) delivers during a spring training game.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene (21) delivers during a spring training game. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell said on Tuesday that Luis Castillo may miss the start of the 2022 season. If Cincinnati's ace begins the year on the Injured List, pitching prospect Hunter Greene is virtual lock for the Reds Opening Day roster.

Bell called Castillo "a bit delayed". The right-hander was late to spring training due to travel issues leaving the Dominican Republic, and suffered shoulder soreness upon arriving at Goodyear. While Castillo may only miss one turn through the rotation, but this has to be welcome news for Hunter Greene, who'll benefit from La Piedra's absence.

I would make the argument that Greene could make the Reds Opening Day roster on his own merit this spring, but Castillo's slow start coupled with Justin Dunn's absence from the rotation due to injury will only enhance the flamethrower's chances of making the cut.

Hunter Greene should be on the Reds Opening Day roster.

Hunter Greene has appeared in just one game this spring; a one inning outing on Monday versus the Chicago Cubs. But the 22-year-old looked sharp in his Cactus League debut, striking out two of the four batters he faced, allowing just one hit, and throwing just nine pitches. I think it's fair to call that relatively efficient.

David Bell has had nothing but positive things to say, via, about the former first-round pick since spring training began. Bell has praised Greene's maturity and his approach to the game.

He (Hunter Greene) looked like he belongs here. More importantly, he felt that. It’s never going to be easy, for any of these guys. Not even Hunter. But having that confidence that you belong is really helpful.
David Bell, Reds manager

Greene is in competition for a spot in the starting rotation with fellow first-round pick Nick Lodolo, left-hander Reiver Sanmartin, the newly acquired southpaw Brandon Williamson, and right-hander Riley O'Brien.

Next. Nick Castellanos puts Reds' owner Bob Castellini on blast. dark

Hunter Greene will draw his first start of Cactus League play later this week when the Cincinnati Reds battle the San Francisco Giants. David Bell is moving closer to naming his Opening Day starter, which most have to assume will be Tyler Mahle. Mike Minor and Vladimir Gutierrez will likely be part of the starting rotation as well.