Despite injuries, Reds prospect Lyon Richardson should be added to the 40-man roster

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Lyon Richardson.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Lyon Richardson. / USA TODAY NETWORK

One of the most interesting names among the Cincinnati Reds prospects to follow in the coming days will be former second-round draft selection Lyon Richardson.

Richardson, like so many other Reds prospects, will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft later this year. In order to protect the right-hander from the other 29 teams, Cincinnati must add him to the 40-ma roster prior to the November 15th deadline.

Richardson's professional career has been interrupted by injuries and the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season. Richardson has just 55 starts under this belt since being drafted in 2018, but may yet be added to the Reds 40-man roster.

Will the Reds add Lyon Richardson to the 40-man roster?

Lyon Richardson came to the Cincinnati Reds organization in 2018 by way of the 47th overall pick in the draft. The right-hander was easily hitting the upper-90s on the radar gun as a high school pitcher after spending most of his prep career as an oufielder.

Elbow soreness at rookie-level Greenville saw the Reds shut Richardson as a precautionary measure. The 2019 season was a healthy one for Richardson, and he appeared on track to climb his way up through the Cincinnati farm system.

But, as we all know, the coronavirus pandemic shut down the 2020 season and Richardson, along with so many other promising prospects, was unable to play. In 2021, Richardson returned to the mound and continued to show promise while racking up a 26.3% strikeout-rate in 19 games at High-A Dayton.

Unfortunately, an elbow injury that resulted in Tommy John surgery robbed Richardson of his 2022 season. The 22-year-old hasn't set foot on a mound since August of 2021. Will Richardson's lack of innings pitched in two of the last three seasons give the front office cause to pause, or will Nick Krall and Company add the Florida native to the 40-man roster prior to the deadline?

There's every reason to believe that Lyon Richardson can return to pitching at a high level, and with so much riding on the Cincinnati Reds developing their young players, the team should be willing to part ways with a player like Art Warren, Ian Gibaut, or Buck Farmer if it meant hanging onto a potential middle-of-the-rotation starting pitcher.

While adding players like Elly De La Cruz, Brandon Williamson, and Noelvi Marte to the 40-man roster are easy decisions, the same cannot be said for Richardson. However, Richardson's age and potential should win out and the Reds should add him to the 40-man roster next week.

Next. 5 prospects who'll be added to the Reds 40-man roster. dark