The Cincinnati Reds have 23 games remaining in the 2022 season, including today's doubleheader against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It may not seem like a lot, but to several players within the organization, the next three-plus weeks could mean the difference between having a spot on the roster or not.
Cincinnati has a lot of decisions to make this offseason. Up-and-coming prospects like Noelvi Marte, Elly De La Cruz, and Levi Stoudt will need to be added to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft.
But it's those players, currently on the Reds roster, who are walking that fine line between being part of the offseason and being non-tendered that will need a special performance over the next weeks in order to stick around. Which three Reds have the most to lose in the next few weeks?
1. Reds RHP Justin Dunn has the most to lose down the stretch.
Justin Dunn's last outing was not good at all, If that's the type of performance we see from the right-hander down the stretch, it's a virtual guarantee that Dunn will begin next season in the bullpen. Over the final few starts that he has in 2022, Dunn has the chance to solidify his standing or as a starter, or find himself headed to the bullpen in 2023.
Dunn was part of the trade with the Seattle Mariners this past spring that sent Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker to the Pacific Northwest. Dunn had been out of action for more than a year with a shoulder injury and rejoined the Reds back in August.
Dunn's performances have been inconsistent to say the least. The former first-round pick has shown promise in one start, only to turn around an lay an egg the following time his number is called. With so many young pitching prospects ready to ascend to the big leagues, Dunn needs to have have a handful of quality starts over the final three weeks of the season or he'll be headed to the pen.