Scoreless outing proves Phillip Diehl should have been on the Reds Opening Day roster

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Phillip Diehl (63) delivers during the sixth inning.
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Phillip Diehl (63) delivers during the sixth inning. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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Phillip Diehl's homecoming on Wednesday evening was something to behold. In a season where it's difficult to smile at the Cincinnati Reds performance on the field, it was great to see the Moeller High School product find success.

Diehl, with his family in attendance, pitched two scoreless innings in relief at Great American Ball Park last night in what the left-hander called "a dream come true."

Diehl was, well, dealing. The southpaw was promoted to the active roster after fellow left-hander Justin Wilson hit the 10-day IL with elbow soreness. Diehl's performance calls into question why the 27-year-old wasn't part of the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster to begin with.

Phillip Diehl should have been on the Reds Opening Day roster.

There wasn't much more that Phillip Diehl could have proven during spring training. While at Goodyear, Phillip Diehl appeared in four games, pitched 5.1 innings, and didn't allow a single earned run while punching out five batters.

This was after Diehl put up very impressive numbers at Triple-A Louisville in 2021. The left-hander made 58 appearances out of the Bats bullpen last season and owned a 2.47 ERA over 54.2 innings of work. Diehl posted a very impressive 33.0% strikeout-rate in the Derby City during the 2021 season and only a 5.6% walk-rate.

All of that, coupled with the fact that Justin Wilson was the only other left-handed pitcher in an 11-man bullpen should have been enough to see Phillip Diehl's name among the 28 players selected to the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster. Manager David Bell spoke about Diehl's outing with MLB.com.

"It hasn’t been easy to get to this point, so it all came together for him tonight. He has been pitching really well now for a while so it’s nice to have him here. He’s going to get chances to keep going."

David Bell, Reds manager

Phillip Diehl is out of minor league options, so if comes about that the left-hander is sent back to Louisville, he'll first be exposed to waivers. But if Diehl performs like he did on Wednesday night, he should have a pretty secure place to call home; the Cincinnati Reds bullpen.

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