3 players Reds fans should lower the bar for in 2023

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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3. Reds fans should lower the bar for Justin Dunn.

It's difficult to be too harsh when it comes to Justin Dunn. The right-hander was part of the trade that sent Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez to Seattle last spring. But while the Cincinnati Reds front office and coaching staff claimed to be aware of Dunn's injury, the fanbase wasn't expecting it.

Dunn was sidelined in 2021 and that injury carried over into the 2022 season as well. Dunn didn't even step onto the field until August 8th against his former team, the New York Mets. Dunn's Reds' debut saw the Boston College alum go 4.2 innings and strike out two batters.

Dunn then started six more games for the Reds, and was placed on the injured list once again. The 27-year-old finished his first season in the Queen City with a 6.10 ERA in 31 innings of work while striking out just 21 batters.

How will the Reds handle Dunn in 2023? After so much time on the IL, one has to wonder if Dunn's future is in the bullpen rather than the rotation. The Reds already have a trio of young starters (Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Graham Ashcraft) who will be taking the ball every fifth day in 2023.

Cincinnati just signed veteran hurler Luke Weaver to a one-year contract. The team also has Connor Overton, Luis Cessa, Brandon Williamson, and Levi Stoudt - all of whom will be vying for a spot in the Cincinnati Reds rotation in 2023.

The fanbase should probably lower the bar for Justin Dunn heading into 2023. If healthy, Dunn could be an important piece in either the rotation or the relief corps. But his track record isn't the best.

Next. Alejo Lopez has survived the Reds roster crunch so far. dark