The Cincinnati Reds have been let down by their bullpen this season. The Reds knowingly entered the 2023 season with a subpar bullpen, but the hope is that reinforcements are on the way soon.
Lucas Sims, Luke Weaver, and Tony Santillan are all on rehab assignments at Triple-A. While it's not yet known what Weaver's role will be when he returns, it's safe to assume that both Sims and Santillan will be receiving higher-leverage situations.
While Sims and Santillan will be back soon enough, there's another reliever at Triple-A who's pitched very well for the Louisville Bats. While most Reds fans won't like it, Hunter Strickland could be on his way back to Cincinnati if he continues to put up zeroes in the Derby City.
Reinforcements for the Reds bullpen may not be what fans want.
You've probably heard the expression, "Be careful what you wish for", right? Well, this may very well be one of those instances if you're a fan of the Cincinnati Reds. While the bullpen has not been an area of strength for this year's team through the first week-plus of the 2023 season, it's safe to assume no one wants to see Hunter Strickland back in a Reds uniform.
Unfortunately, this feels like a forgone conclusion at some point this season. Strickland was signed to a minor-league deal during spring training and was one of the final cuts made before the Reds headed back to Cincinnati.
In four games at Triple-A Louisville, Strickland has allowed just one hit and struck out four while walking two batters through 3.1 innings of work. Strickland is still sporting a 0.00 ERA.
If the Reds do intend to select Hunter Strickland's contract at some point this season, they'll need to make a corresponding move as he's not part of the 40-man roster. Cincinnati has already dispatched of left-hander Bennett Sousa, optioned right-handed reliever Joel Kuhnel, and selected the contract of Kevin Herget.
The Cincinnati Reds bullpen is likely to be a bit of a revolving door this season, but perhaps things will calm down once the aforementioned trio of Lucas Sims, Tony Santillan, and Luke Weaver returns. Justin Dunn and Tejay Antone are on the 60-day IL and both are suspected to return closer to the All-Star break.