Can Reiver Sanmartin become the left-handed specialist in the Reds bullpen?

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Reiver Sanmartin.
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Reiver Sanmartin. / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe being a starting pitcher just isn't in the cards for Reiver Sanmartin. The left-hander appeared in five games for the Cincinnati Reds earlier this season, but was quickly sent down to Triple-A after posting a 13.78 ERA.

Sanmartin got the win for the Louisville Bats last night, but not as a starter. Sanmartin came in for one inning of relief and punched out all three batters he faced in the top of the sixth inning. The Bats defeated the Charlotte Knights 7-3 and Sanmartin got the W.

Sanmartin made one relief appearance in the majors this season. That lone performance was by design as Luis Cessa opened the April 14th contest against the Los Angeles Dodgers on the road. Sanmartin worked five innings and allowed just two hits while striking out two.

Reiver Sanmartin is best suited for the Reds bullpen.

With Justin Wilson undergoing Tommy John surgery, the Cincinnati Reds are left with only one left-handed option in their bullpen. Veteran Ross Detwiler, who contemplated retirement last offseason is the only southpaw David Bell can call upon in relief.

Sanmartin struggled in the majors and was optioned to Triple-A Louisville after giving up six earned runs to the Colorado Rockies before finishing the first inning. The Reds lost that contest 10-1.

Since returning to Triple-A, Sanmartin has made six appearances, two of them starts and has a 7.94 ERA. However, the southpaw does have 22 punch outs over 17 innings of work and only four walks.

While Sanmartin has struggled in both the big leagues and the minors this season, I don't expect the Dominican to stay at Triple-A Louisville for the entire season. Sanmartin is on the 40-man roster, and should injury befall Detwiler, I think we'll see Sanmartin get his chance as a left-handed reliever out of the Reds bullpen.

There really aren't any other options at Triple-A when it comes to left-handed relievers. We've already seen that Phillip Diehl was unable to maintain a high-level of production as the Cincinnati native was designated for assignment after posting an ERA of 11.12 in five appearances.

The Cincinnati Reds must attempt to develop some young, left-hander relievers in the next few seasons. Amir Garrett was traded to the Kansas City Royals this past spring and Andrew Abbott is beginning to look more and more like a starter rather than a reliever. Maybe Reiver Sanmartin can be that guy.

Predicting 3 different outcomes for these 3 Reds stars. dark. Next