The Cincinnati Reds starting rotation is a bit of a mess, and it has nothing to do with performance. Several Reds pitchers are on the COVID-19 injured list, and another was just placed on the IL this past week.
Hunter Greene, Ben Lively, and Brandon Williamson will all miss at least one start after being placed on the COVID-19 IL last week. Fellow starter Graham Ashcraft will miss at least two weeks with a toe injury.
This forced the inexperienced Carson Spiers and Lyon Richardson into action in the previous series against the Chicago Cubs, and Brett Kennedy came on in relief during Sunday's series finale at Great American Ball Park.
Reds will send surprise starter to the mound for today's series opener vs. Mariners.
With all of this a backdrop, Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell will rely on Tejay Antone to get the party started on Monday against the Seattle Mariners. The right-hander returned to action last week after missing the past two years following Tommy John surgery.
But don't expect Bell to leave Antone in the game for very long. In fact, it would be rather surprising to see the 29-year-old go past the first inning. According to Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Antone will be used as an opener for the holiday affair with Seattle.
It wouldn't be surprising to see the Reds add another arm to give the team some length from the second inning on, but Levi Stoud, Randy Wynne, and Christian Roa all pitched the past two days for Triple-A Louisville. Casey Legumina could be an option to give David Bell some length.
Regardless of who comes out of the bullpen, Tejay Antone will be making his first start since September 12, 2021. It'll be a special moment when Antone toes the rubber for just the second time this season after a two-year absence.