This Reds prospect is the biggest benefactor from Justin Dunn's extended absence

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Brandon Williamson.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Brandon Williamson. / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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Justin Dunn will be shutdown for the next couple of months while he deals with a lingering shoulder injury that's been a problem since 2021.

Dunn was already slated to miss most of, if not all, of spring training following reports of shoulder soreness last month. Dunn confirmed, via MLB.com, that surgery isn't necessary but rest is.

Dunn was in the mix for a spot in the starting rotation, but his absence will certainly give another player within the Cincinnati Reds organization. Brandon Williamson seems like the most likely benefactor.

Justin Dunn's absence cracks open the door for Reds pitcher Brandon Williamson.

Three of the five starting spots are already spoken for. Though it's not yet known who'll take the ball on Opening, the trio of Nick Lodolo, Hunter Greene, and Graham Ashcraft will make up 60-percent of the Cincinnnati Reds starting rotation.

The other two spots are down five players, two of which are prospects. While David Bell has a tendency to lean on the veterans in these types of situations, Brandon Williamson will certainly be given an extended look, especially after his outing on Friday against the Chicago White Sox saw the southpaw strikeout the side in his second inning of work.

Luis Cessa, Luke Weaver, and Connor Overton are in the mix. However, Cessa will be headed to play for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic next week, while both Weaver and Overton really struggled in their exhibition starts this past week.

Cessa, Weaver, and Overton all have experience coming out of the bullpen, but Williamson is ticketed for the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation - whether that comes as part of the Reds Opening Day roster has yet to be determined.

With Justin Dunn out of commission, Brandon Williamson stands to be the biggest benefactor among those pitchers competing for a spot in the Cincinnati Reds 2023 starting rotation.

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