This top Reds prospect should start on Monday vs. Cardinals

Cincinnati Reds non-roster invitee pitcher Brandon Williamson.
Cincinnati Reds non-roster invitee pitcher Brandon Williamson. / Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY NE

After Mike Minor pitched a gem on Friday night, the Cincinnati Reds will turn to Luis Cessa for Saturday's game in Washington D.C. against the Nationals. Nick Lodolo will toe the rubber for the series finale on Sunday before the team returns home.

Justin Dunn is slated to to take the mound on Tuesday versus the St. Louis Cardinals, but the Reds have yet to name a starter for the team's return to Great American Ball Park on Monday.

Injuries have decimated the Reds rotation of late. Both Hunter Greene and Graham Ashcraft are on the Injured List and neither is likely to return anytime soon. T.J. Zeuch has been downright awful in his three starts and Cincinnati recently placed the right-hander on the IL with a back injury.

Brandon Williamson should start for the Reds on Monday vs. Cardinals.

It felt as though the Cincinnati Reds were trying to avoid this moment, but the team cannot wait any longer. It's time to give Brandon Williamson his first career start in the major leagues. The key acquisition in the trade with the Seattle Mariners earlier this year, Williamson has 23 games in the minors this season.

Williamson, who was dominant for the Mariners' minor league affiliates in 2021, has had a solid season at both Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville. Last season, Williamson posted 153 punch outs through 98.1 innings and owned a 3.39 ERA. This season, the left-hander has a 4.16 ERA with 111 strikeouts in 110.1 innings pitched.

Williamson will need to be added to the team's 40-man roster later this year anyway in order to protect the former third-rounder from the Rule 5 Draft. Williamson will turn 25 years old just after Opening Day next season, so it's high-time the Redlegs give him a taste of the big leagues over the final month-plus of the 2022 season.

If this becomes little more than a two or three game audition for next year's starting rotation, so be it. But the Cincinnati Reds fanbase deserves better than seeing the organization select the contract of a player like Randy Wynne or Deck McGuire. Brandon Williamson last pitched on Sunday for Triple-A Louisville, so he'd have plenty of time in between starts if the club tabs him to start on Monday.

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