3 ways to solve Brandon Williamson's woes after disastrous start to 2023 season

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Brandon Williamson (55) throws a pitch.
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Brandon Williamson (55) throws a pitch. / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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Brandon Williamson was the prized prospect the Cincinnati Reds received last spring after sending third baseman Eugenio Suarez and outfielder Jesse Winker to the Seattle Mariners.

But Williamson's standing within the organization has taken a major hit. The left-hander owns an 8.46 ERA and is coming off an outing where he allowed eight runs on five hits in less than an inning.

What in the world are the Reds to do with Williamson? They can't just designate him for assignment; that would be crazy. Let's look at three ways the Reds could help Williamson after a disastrous start to his 2023 season.

1. Reds prospect Brandon Williamson should be sent back to Double-A.

Brandon Williamson just hasn't been the same pitcher he was back in 2021 while he was with the Seattle Mariners organization. Back then, Williamson owned a 3.39 ERA and recorded 153 punch outs in fewer than 100 innings pitched.

However, in the 52 starts since, Williamson is 11-16 with a 4.22 ERA. The strikeouts are still there, but his stuff hasn't been near as dominant. The southpaw has 292 strikeouts which equates to a 27.1-percent strikeout-rate. Williamson owned a 37.4-percent strikeout-rate in 2021.

Williamson has just not looked comfortable since making the leap to Triple-A. He currently has an ERA above 5.00 in 19 Triple-A starts, and has been handing out free passes nearly 15-percent of the time he's on the bump. Things just haven't gone well since Williamson arrived in the Derby City.

Perhaps a return to a lower-level of competition would allow Williamson to regain some confidence. Did the Cincinnati Reds promote Williamson to Triple-A too quickly? Perhaps. While it may be a bit of a blow to one's confidence, sending Brandon Williamson back to Double-A Chattanooga may be in the cards.