Robert Dugger to get 1st start for the Reds on Friday vs. Brewers

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Robert Dugger (76) pitches.
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Robert Dugger (76) pitches. / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Luis Castillo's spot in the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation will be taken by, ahem, Robert Dugger. According to Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Dugger will get the nod on Friday night versus the Milwaukee Brewers.

Dugger, along with outfielder Stuart Fairchild and Ryan Hendrix had been on the Reds taxi squad as the team hit the road barreling toward the trade deadline. Both Fairchild and Hendrix returned to Triple-A Louisville and the Reds optioned Dauri Moreta and Mark Kolozsvary back to Triple-A as well.

Perhaps Austin Romine will be Dugger's battery mate on Friday at American Family Field. The former St. Louis Cardinals backstop was activated. Cincinnati acquired Romine earlier this week.

Robert Dugger will replace Luis Castillo in the Reds rotation...for now.

Don't expect Robert Dugger to get the bulk of Luis Castillo's starts going forward, but at the moment, the move makes sense. Dugger was already part of the taxi squad, so he's already with the team on the road.

With Mike Minor having pitched last night, Graham Ashcraft went eight-plus innings on Tuesday night, and Nick Lodolo and Hunter Greene pitching in the final two games of the upcoming series, Dugger gets the nod.

One would assume that Justin Dunn will join the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation soon enough. But the right-hander went five innings for the Louisville Bats on Wednesday night, so there was no way he'd be in line to pitch on just one day's rest.

Dunn went five innings and allowed three runs on six hits while walking four batters and striking out three. It was Dunn's longest outing since returning from injury. The former Seattle Mariners starter owns a 6.92 ERA in seven starts at Triple-A Louisville.

The Reds may eventually turn to Connor Overton once he returns from his stint on the IL. The 29-year-old rookie injured his back in May and may be able to return to the starting rotation closer to September.

Until then, Robert Dugger appears to be up for the challenge. Dugger has appeared in two games for the Reds this season, all in relief. The right-hander has 10 punch outs in 6.2 innings of work and has started seven games for the Louisville Bats this season. It's not ideal, but not much about the second-half of the Cincinnati Reds 2022 season will be.

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