Brett Kennedy throws monkey wrench into Reds' plans down the stretch

How will the Reds handle Brett Kennedy over the final month-plus of the 2023 season?
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Brett Kennedy
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Brett Kennedy / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

What more can you say about Brett Kennedy? The right-hander has made three appearances this season and the Cincinnati Reds have won every game in which he's pitched.

Kennedy got the ball in Friday's 1-0 victory over the Blue Jays and kept Toronto's big bats in check. Kennedy allowed no runs on just three hits through five innings of work.

Kennedy has been at Triple-A Louisville throughout most of the 2023 season, and looked to be no more than placeholder until Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo returned to the active roster. But his performance may warrant consideration for a larger role down the stretch.

Brett Kennedy throws monkey wrench into Reds' plans down the stretch.

Brett Kennedy made a spot-start for the Cincinnati Reds on July 4th against the Washington Nationals. Kennedy five innings and allowed four runs on five hits, but looked solid in his first major league action since 2018.

The Reds then decided to add some length to their bullpen a little over a week ago and recalled Kennedy. The 29-year-old made one relief appearance, tossing two scoreless innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 11th.

But with Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Ben Lively all ready to return to the Reds active roster by the end of the month, Kennedy doesn't have a spot in the starting rotation, right?

Well, that remains to be seen. Rosters expand in September, so the Reds could very well keep Kennedy on the active roster. But with Tejay Antone, Justin Dunn, and maybe even Vladimir Gutierrez returning in the coming weeks, even the 28-man roster will get rather crowded.

Even if the Cincinnati Reds go a six-man rotation, it might be difficult to keep Kennedy on the roster. There's also the simple fact that Kennedy has minor-league options remaining, while others within the organization do not. That adds to the flexibility, and could be something that see Kennedy head back to Triple-A.

It wouldn't be a shock, however, to see Brett Kennedy draw another start for the Reds, especially after seeing Ben Lively surrender three home runs and allow 10 runs on 10 hits in two rehab starts at Triple-A Louisville. No one expected Kennedy to even be in the coversation at this point in the season.

As the calendar flips o September, the Cincinnati Reds will have some interesting decisions to make; not the least of which will be Brett Kennedy's role on the club moving forward.