Grading Luis Cessa's transitional 2022 performance from reliever to starter

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Luis Cessa.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Luis Cessa. / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

It's time to pass out grades for the 2022 Cincinnati Reds and Luis Cessa will start things off. The Reds acquired Cessa last season from the New York Yankees at the trade deadline and the right-hander was expected to be a key piece of the bullpen this past season.

But, a rash of injuries to the Reds starting rotation forced Cessa from the bullpen into the starting rotation. Cessa had previous experience as a starter while pitching for the Yankees, but hadn't started a game since 2018.

Cessa made 46 appearances on the season, 10 of which came as a starter/ opener. Let's dive into Cessa's 2022 season and put a grade on the right-hander's performance as both a starter and reliever.

Reds RHP Luis Cessa split his time between the bullpen and starting rotation.

Luis Cessa began the season in the bullpen. From Opening Day until the end of June, the right-hander did not look at all like the same pitcher Reds Country saw in 2021. Cessa made 28 appearances, 27 of which came in relief, and posted a 5.97 ERA. As always, Cessa kept his walks down, but opposing batters were hitting nearly .300 against him.

Cessa landed on the IL in mid-July and returned to the bullpen in early-August. Upon his return, the 30-year-old looked much more like himself. In six relief appearances, Cessa struck out three and walked just two while allowing the opposition to hit just .095. Cessa didn't allow a run during that timeframe.

With Hunter Greene and Graham Ashcraft sidelined with injuries, David Bell needed another starting pitcher. The Cincinnati Reds pitcher turned to Luis Cessa, who made his first start of the season on August 22nd.

In his first five starts, Cessa posted a 4.84 ERA while striking out 21 batters and walking just four. However, over his final four starts, the right-hander went 1-1 with a 2.61 ERA while allowing just one home run.

Luis Cessa was asked to do a lot in 2022, but he proved that he was more than up to the task. Heading into the offseason, Cessa will have his sights set on improving his standing with the club and making a run a spot in the Cincinnati Reds 2023 starting rotation.

Reds RHP Luis Cessa's final grade for the 2022 season: B-

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