Brandon Williamson makes his case to remain in the Reds rotation once injured starters return

Brandon Williamson seemed like a placeholder earlier in the season, but the rookie has made his case to remain part of the Reds rotation.

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Brandon Williamson
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Brandon Williamson / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The rain came once again, but this time Brandon Williamson's night was already in the books. The Cincinnati Reds game against the San Francisco Giants will pick up where it left off later today after a rain delay halted play with a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning.

But Williamson looked very good. The rookie made it six innings and allowed just two runs on four hits. Though he walked three batters and allowed two gopher balls, Williamson certainly put his team in position to win and did not tax the Reds bullpen.

Williamson has pitched very well in his last three starts. His fine play of late will make things very interesting once both Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo return to the Reds starting rotation.

Brandon Williamson makes his case to remain in the Reds rotation.

Provided Andrew Abbott doesn't reach an innings limit, you have to assume that his spot in the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation is safe. Graham Ashcraft has looked more like, well, Graham Ashcraft of late. If his return to form continues, the second-year hurler will remain in the Reds rotation as well.

But with Hunter Greene on his way back and Nick Lodolo not far behind, what does that mean for Brandon Williamson? Over his last three starts, Williamson has struck out 12 batters over 14 innings and posted a 2.57 ERA with five walks and a 50-percent ground ball-rate according to FanGraphs.

Monday night marked Williamson's 11th start of the season. Combined with his eight starts in the minor leagues this season, Williamson has logged a little over 85 innings of work and threw over 120 innings last season between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville. One would assume that Williamson has enough left in the tank to make it to the end of the year.

Luke Weaver's time with the Cincinnati Reds seems to be in jeopardy. Though the team seems to win nearly every time in which Weaver toes the rubber, his numbers have been awful. At the very least, you have to assume Weaver is ticketed for a relief role once Greene returns in August.

So, if the entire starting staff is healthy once Nick Lodolo returns, David Bell will have a choice to make. Do the Reds go with ever-improving Brandon Williamson or the veteran Ben Lively as the No. 5 starter?

The performances of those two pitchers over the next few weeks and how the Cincinnati Reds handle the MLB trade deadline will likely provide the answers we're looking for. But Williamson is doing his best to remain in the starting rotation.

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