The Cincinnati Reds are in a bit of a pickle. Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo are still on the injured list, and now, so is Ben Lively. The 31-year-old landed on the IL with a pectoral injury this week.
With Greene slated to return around mid-August and Lively out for at least two weeks, the Reds will need to find a pitcher to take the ball every fifth day until one or both are ready to return.
While this may seem a bit outside-the-box, should the Reds turn to one of their top prospects who's barely seen the field in Triple-A?
Lyon Richardson could be outside-the-box replacement for injured Reds starter Ben Lively.
Lyon Richardson was added to the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster this past offseason. After recovering from Tommy John surgery, Richardson opened the 2023 season at Low-A Daytona. After nine innings saw him record 18 strikeouts and allow just one run, Richardson was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga.
A bit overshadowed by Andrew Abbott and Connor Phillips, Richardson had success with the Chattanooga Lookouts this season. The right-hander went 0-2 in 15 starts with a 2.15 ERA and 58 punch outs in 46 innings pitched.
But after being bumped to Triple-A Louisville just last week, would the Reds really consider adding Richardson to the active roster? While a bit outside-the-box, it's not the worst idea.
Richardson is already part of the 40-man roster, so his addition to the active roster would simply require that player like Daniel Duarte be optioned back to Triple-A. As far as prospects go, Connor Phillips may be the more logical choice, but it would require that the former Seattle Mariners' farmhand be added to the 40-man roster.
With Vladimir Gutierrez, Tejay Antone, Nick Lodolo, and Hunter Greene all looking to return from the 60-day IL later this month, those 40-man roster spots become extremely valuable.
In order to preserve roster flexibility heading into the offseason, welcoming Lyon Richardson to the major leagues rather than Connor Phillips may be the most prudent move the Cincinnati Reds could make.