This overlooked Reds rookie could fill the vacancy in the starting rotation

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Connor Overton (71).
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Connor Overton (71). / David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds saw a large number of rookies toe the rubber in 2022. Hunter Greene, Graham Ashcraft, Reiver Sanmartin, Nick Lodolo, and Alexis Diaz just to name a few.

While it would appear to be a virtual lock that Greene, Ashcraft, and Lodolo will be in the starting rotation, the remaining two spots seem as though they're up for grabs heading into spring training.

Luis Cessa, a reliever turned starter last season, may have the inside track to one of the two spots. But there's another rookie from last year's team who may be getting overlooked.

Connor Overton could fill the vacancy in the Reds starting rotation.

Connor Overton was a non-roster invitee to spring training last year and was outrighted to Triple-A Louisville prior to Opening Day. The right-hander had a cup of coffee in the major leagues in 2021, pitching in nine games for two different organizations (Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays).

Overton began last season with the Louisville Bats, but a rash of injuries to Cincinnati's starting rotation saw the need to get the 29-year-old rookie to big leagues rather quickly.

Through his first four starts in a Cincinnati Reds uniform, Overton posted an impressive 1.82 ERA and opposing batters were only able to hit .185 off him. Overton also pitched into the sixth inning and beyond during each of his first four starts.

A back injury ruined Overton's rookie campaign. The right-hander returned late in the season, but because he hadn't worked up to pitching more than one or two innings, Overton was relegated to the bullpen.

Provided he's healthy, Connor Overton will be in the mix to start next season. The Cincinnati Reds have been looking for a veteran starter to sign to a minor league contract, but Overton might be a much better candidate and should be able to give Cincinnati's coaching staff at least 100 innings in 2023.

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