The Cincinnati Reds could use some relief (no pun intended) for their exhausted bullpen. In a season with mixed results from the starting five, the bullpen has been solid picking up the rotation when needed.
However, the relievers have looked exhausted in the second half of the season. Ian Gibaut, Buck Farmer, and Alexis Diaz lead the team in appearances and have all pitched over 50 innings.
Additionally, the Reds have played a lot of baseball since the Midsummer Classic, playing 26 games in 27 days. The Reds received just their second day off since the All-Star break this past Thursday before heading to Pittsburgh.
Brett Kennedy fills a need for the Reds bullpen.
According to FanGraphs, the taxed Cincinnati Reds bullpen has the second highest ERA since the All-Star break at 6.69. To provide support, there is a need for a long reliever who can come in and give manager David Bell multiple innings. This past week, the Reds recalled Brett Kennedy to fill that role.
Kennedy has been a starter for the Louisville Bats this season and had a spot-start with the Reds back on July 4th. The right-hander is stretched out and can pitch several innings in a game. In certain situations, with big leads or blow outs, Kennedy can eat innings to save some of the high leverage arms.
His first appearance as a relief pitcher came on August 11th with the Cincinnati Reds leading the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-2. Kennedy got the call and pitched both the eighth and ninth inning to close out the game.
After Andrew Abbott’s quality start, Derek Law and Brett Kennedy were the only relievers used. Coming in after a scheduled off day and Saturday's postponed contest against Pittsburgh, seven relievers have now had three days of rest. Of course, there's a doubleheader today.
Tejay Antone, Casey Legumina and Vladimir Gutierrez are scheduled to return to the Reds soon. Until then, Brett Kennedy is a welcomed arm that can provide multiple innings and fills a need for the Reds bullpen.