2 pitchers who should replace Luis Cessa in the Reds rotation and 2 who shouldn't

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Levi Stoudt
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Levi Stoudt / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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It's just not working. The "Luis Cessa is a Starting Pitcher Experiment" has fallen on tough times. The right-hander was off his game once again on Wednesday in San Diego, and it's time for the Reds to move forward with Cessa as part of the bullpen, not the rotation.

That brings about a quandary, however. Who should replace Cessa in the rotation? With Connor Overton and Justin Dunn on the Injured List, it would appear as though the Reds may have to dip into the minor leagues in order to find a replacement.

While there are some talented hurlers down on the farm, not every one of the Cincinnati Reds pitching prospects is off to a stellar start in 2023. Which two pitchers should be up for consideration to replace Cessa in the rotation, and which two need to stay in the minor leagues for now?

Levi Stoudt should replace Luis Cessa in the Reds starting rotation.

Okay, so his first start didn't quite go according to plan. The Tampa Bay Rays absolutely decimated Stoudt before he got a chance to settle in. It was a spot start for the former Seattle Mariners prospect, but his first experience in the major leagues couldn't have gone much worse.

So, one would think that it can only go up from there, right? Stoudt's minor league numbers are not bad, but they're not great either. The right-hander is 1-2 with a 5.68 ERA and only 16 strikeouts in 19 innings pitched.

However, it's not so much the strikeouts that are concerning. It's the walks. Stoudt has issued at least three free passes in four of his five starts for Triple-A Louisville this season, including a game last week that saw the 25-year-old walk six batters.

On the plus side, Levi Stoudt is part of the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster, so it would require little more than optioning a player like Casey Legumina or Reiver Sanmartin down to Triple-A. Stoudt isn't the best option, but he's an option.