The Cincinnati Reds posted a winning record in 2023 and were in the hunt for a spot in the MLB Postseason until the final weekend.
Unfortunately, the Reds fell short of the playoffs and starting pitching was a big reason why. Cincinnati's starting pitchers ranked 28th among all 30 major league team in terms of ERA (5.43) and their WHIP of 1.47 was the fifth-worst in the league.
Obviously president of baseball operations Nick Krall and the Reds front office will work to make some changes to the starting rotation this winter. Would former Cleveland Guardians pitcher Zach Plesac be a good fit in Cincinnati?
Former Guardians pitcher Zach Plesac could be a good fit for the Reds
The Cleveland Guardians "pitching factory" is pretty well regarded. Cleveland has produced some top-notch starters over the past several seasons including Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale, and former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer.
But Zach Plesac is a name that many baseball fans are likely aware of as well. The right-hander had success during his first few seasons in Cleveland, but ran into trouble in 2022. That only got worse this past season, and after spending most of the year in the minors, Plesac elected free agency.
Plesac isn't necessarily a hard thrower. His fastball typically sits in the low-90s. The right-hander does possess a slider, changeup, and curveball as well. One thing thatt Plesac has always done well is keep the base paths clear. His walk-rate throughout his career is just 6.2-percent.
It was last season, however, when things just got away from Plesac. His expected batting average and expected slugging percentage both ranked among the bottom five percentile according to Baseball Savant, and his ERA sat a 4.31 with an expected ERA of 5.28.
While Plesac didn't pitch well enough to qualify this season, his numbers in the seven starts he made in 2023 were in line with what fans saw in 2022. But, Plesac fits the mold of what the Reds tpyically target in free agency.
Zach Plesac has minor league options remaining and is under team control for two more seasons, as he doesn't become a free agent until 2025. The Cincinnati Reds should definitely put Plesac on their shortlist heading into the offseason.
Plesac is an Indiana native and went to school at Ball State, so the proximity to his hometown could be a selling point for Cincinnati. The Reds desperately need some arms this offseason, and after back-to-back subpar seasons, Plesac would come relatively cheap. This feels like a deal the Reds should make.