Should Brett Kennedy join the Reds bullpen once Ben Lively is back?

Brett Kennedy's performance on Tuesday was impressive, but will it be enough to keep his roster spot once Ben Lively returns?

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Brett Kennedy
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Brett Kennedy / Jess Rapfogel/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds saw one of their most heartwarming storylines of the season play out on Tuesday, courtesy of Indy Ball veteran Brett Kennedy.

Kennedy, who took the ball in a spot start for Cincinnati, showed true perseverance as the right-hander appeared in his first major league game since 2018.

Kennedy threw five competitive innings and earned the win with a performance that was much better than the Reds probably expected. Unfortunately for Kennedy, his spot in the rotation isn't going to last with Ben Lively set to return from the injured list this week.

Should Brett Kennedy join the Reds bullpen once Ben Lively is back?

So, should Brett Kennedy go to the bullpen or head back to Triple-A once Ben Lively rejoins the Cincinnati Reds rotation? The answer to this question rather simple, the Reds bullpen has far too much talent for a journeyman pitcher like Kennedy to take up space.

While remaining on the Reds 40-man roster is on the table, a place in the bullpen should not be in the cards for Kennedy. The Reds just welcomed back Derek Law, and Tony Santillan's return in imminent. In fact, don't be shocked if Cincinnati activates Santillan as early as today and send Kennedy back to the minors.

Not only are Law and Santillan back with the big league ball club, but all signs point to Tejay Antone making his return in August. In addition to Law, Santillan, and Antone, the Reds could very well be active in the reliever market at the trade deadline, pushing Kennedy further down the list of options.

Brett Kennedy isn't part of the Cincinnati Reds long-term future, and therefore should not take opportunities from young relievers like Eduardo Salazar and Casey Legumina. While Kennedy's story stirs up some emotions, the Reds cannot allow that to dictate their decision making.

Baseball is a business, and business is not always kind to the heartwarming stories. This doesn't necessarily mean the Reds are done with Kennedy for good, as having a spot starter stashed away in the minor leagues is never a bad thing.

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