This Reds rookie is finally returning after being on the shelf since mid-April

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Daniel Duarte.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Daniel Duarte. / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds made five additions to the 40-man roster this past winter. Among them were Alexis Diaz, Allan Cerda, and Daniel Duarte. Diaz has secured the Reds' closer job heading into next season, Cerda has been hammering baseballs at Double-A Chattanooga, and Duarte has been on the IL since mid-April.

According to Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Duarte is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville on Thursday. Perhaps the right-hander will show that he's healthy enough to return the active roster before the 2022 season comes to a close.

There's going to be a battle for those elusive spots on the 40-man roster during the offseason. Cincinnati has at least six, and possibly eight or more, prospects that will need to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft. A strong showing from Duarte over the last few weeks of the season could help him secure a spot as well.

Daniel Duarte may return to the Reds roster before the end of the 2022 season.

Daniel Duarte pitched in just 2.2 innings this season before being shut down with an elbow injury. The right-hander allowed three runs on three hits while striking out two and walking three batters in his limited time with the Cincinnati Reds this season.

Of course, as dismal as the Reds relief corps has been this season, you have to imagine Cincinnati can't do much worse if Duarte enters the fray. Duarte, who was on the Opening Day roster, was optioned to Triple-A this season, recalled before Cincinnati's April series on the road in Los Angeles against the Dodgers, and then landed on the 60-day IL.

The Cincinnati Reds bullpen has been without Tejay Antone for the entire season. Both Lucas Sims and Justin Wilson had a handful of outings before landing on the 60-day IL as well. Tony Santillan is unlikely to return this season, and both Jeff Hoffman and Vladimir Gutierrez will miss the remainder of 2022 as well. Daniel Duarte needs to perform well in September in order to maintain his roster spot.

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