The Cincinnati Reds fans erupted on Monday as Joey Votto was activated from Triple-A and moved to the Reds starting lineup. The excitement only grew after watching the former MVP go deep in his second at-bat.
But lost in the commotion was the roster move that allowed Votto to rejoin the team. There was plenty of speculation surrounding this decision. Who was going to lose their roster spot? Stuart Fairchild? Nick Senzel? One of the three catcher?
The news, unfortunately, was much worse than fans anticipated, when the team announced that starting pitcher Hunter Greene had been moved to the 15-day IL and Kevin Herget was designated for assignment.
The Reds bullpen is going to be tested like never before after Hunter Greene was placed on the IL.
Hunter Greene had been pitching through hip stiffness and pain for the last few starts; it even caused him to skip his normal day in the rotation two weeks ago. But despite the injury, the Cincinnati Reds starter has pitched well.
Greene was incredible for the Reds during his last couple of starts. The right-hander has taken some stress off the bullpen, going six or more innings in four of his previous five starts. The same cannot be said for the rest of the Reds rotation.
If Greene returns after the allotted 15-day timeline, this bullpen is going to have to cover a lot of innings over the next two weeks. At the moment, the four hurlers remaining consist of Andrew Abbott, Luke Weaver, Ben Lively and Brandon Williamson.
Abbott, a rookie who's only made three starts, is the only one of these four that hasn't struggled this season. In fact, Abbott has yet to allow a runner to dent the plate.
The Cincinnati Reds bullpen has been a major strength this season, but they can only withstand so much. The next few weeks, without Hunter Greene, will really test this Reds bullpen. Cincinnati's lineup is going to need to score runs in bunches if the team hopes to continue their winning ways.