Luis Cessa is making his case for a spot in the Reds 2023 starting rotation

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Luis Cessa.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Luis Cessa. / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Injuries forced David Bell to get creative with his starting rotation. With Hunter Greene, Robert Dugger, T.J. Zeuch, and Graham Ashcraft placed on the 15-day IL, the Cincinnati Reds manager was forced to turn to Luis Cessa.

Cessa had been a starter while part of the New York Yankees organization, but the 30-year-old had never started for the Reds with the lone exception of being the opener for the Reds during an April trip to Dodger Stadium.

Cessa had his best performance of the season on Thursday afternoon in Chicago. The right-hander allowed one run on just two hits, both of which could have been outs, and tied his career high with eight strikeouts. He did not walk a single batter through 5.2 innings work. Could Cessa find his way into the rotation next season?

Will Luis Cessa force his way into the Reds 2023 starting rotation?

The Cincinnati Reds have three rookies that look to be the future of the starting rotation. Nick Lodolo, Graham Ashcraft, and Hunter Greene have all shown what they're made of in 2022 and will be handed the ball every fifth day next season.

But beyond those three, the other two spots in the Reds rotation are likely up for grabs. Justin Dunn will be given an opportunity to secure one of those spots, but walks have been a problem since he joined the rotation last month. The Reds also have Connor Overton. The right-hander will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville this week and had pitched well before his IL stint.

Cincinnati also has two, young prospects who'll be looking to land a spot in the starting rotation as well. In order to protect both Levi Stoudt and Brandon Williamson from the Rule 5 Draft, expect to see the Reds add both pitchers to the 40-man roster this offseason. But, Stoudt's experience in Triple-A has been limited and Williamson has seen a huge dip in his strikeout-rate.

Luis Cessa will be entering the final year of his arbitration window. Cessa is taking home $1.8M this season, but isn't likely to receive much of a raise next season. Having three young pitchers like Ashcraft, Greene, and Lodolo partnered with Cessa and Overton would give Cincinnati experience and depth in next year's starting rotation.

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