The Cincinnati Reds starting rotation has been a bit of a mess for the better part of two weeks. Since Hunter Greene, Ben Lively, and Brandon Williamson have all spent time on the COVID-19-related injured list, the Reds have had to turn to Connor Phillips, Lyon Richardson, and even Carson Spiers.
While the illness that swept through the clubhouse seems to be on its way out, Andrew Abbott is being given an extended rest according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Abbott would normally be in line to pitch today, but that start will instead go to Phillips. If the Reds do indeed skip Abbott altogether, who will fill the left-hander's shoes for Thursday's series finale against the Detroit Tigers?
1. Christian Roa could start for Reds on Thursday while Andrew Abbott gets extra rest.
A pitcher who many Reds fans have probably forgotten about is former second-round draft choice Christian Roa. With the right-hander needing to be added to the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster this offseason in order to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft, the team could just accelerate the process.
Roa has spent most of the 2023 season at Double-A Chattanooga, but was added to the Louisville Bats roster in late-June. Roa has made 10 appearances at Triple-A and owns a 3.62 ERA with 63 punch outs in just over 50 innings of work.
Roa has gone four or more innings in his previous four outings. The 24-year-old racked up nine strikeouts during his last start, but also walked five batters. Free passes have been a problem for Roa all season, as the right-hander owns a walk-rate of nearly 16-percent since moving to Triple-A.
Seeing as how Thursday's contest is a day game following Wednesday night's game, it seems unlikely that manager David Bell will use his bullpen to cover all nine innings for the series finale. The Reds skipper could, however, roll out an opener on Thursday afternoon and then turn the game over the Christian Roa in the second or third inning.