The Reds should reconsider trading Tyler Mahle after horrific start to the 2022 season

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Tyler Mahle (30) walks off the mound.
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Tyler Mahle (30) walks off the mound. / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Tyler Mahle has performed like anything but an Opening Day start in 2022. The right-hander has been rumored to be on the trade block since the offseason, but given his struggles, the Cincinnati Reds should reconsider trading Mahle during the season.

Mahle is 2-5 through his first 10 starts of the 2022 season and has an ERA of 6.32. Mahle's walk-rate, according to FanGraphs, is the highest it's been since his rookie year. Mahle's strikeout-rate has decreased as well, and is at the lowest we've seen since his struggles in 2019.

This is not the time to trade Tyler Mahle. While some fans may argue that the team would be better off if he were no longer pitching, the fact of the matter is that Mahle's horrific start has torpedoed his trade value and the Reds will never see a return worthy of the starter's true value.

Reds RHP Tyler Mahle's trade value is at an all-time low.

The name of the game, if you're the Cincinnati Reds, is to sell high. Cincinnati did that with Jesse Winker earlier this year, but decreased the outfielder's trade value by attaching Eugenio Suárez's contract to the deal with the Seattle Mariners.

Tyler Mahle has struggled this season, there's no denying that. But the California native is a better pitcher than what we've seen to begin the 2022 season. It's eerily similar to the type of start we saw from fellow starter Luis Castillo in 2021.

Mahle has always struggled to put batters away. Of the 211 batters that Mahle has faced in 2022, 46 have worked a full count. That's nearly 22% of the opposing hitters. Half of those batters are reaching base and when Mahle gets to a full count, the opposition is lighting up the right-hander with an OPS of 1.106.

Mahle has to get back to striking out his opponents. The 27-year-old has 50 punch outs through 47 innings of work. Those numbers, over the course of 162-game season would amount to about 170 strikeouts. That's a far cry from the 210 K's Mahle put up in 2021.

The New York Mets are the most recent team to have shown interest in Tyler Mahle. But the Reds should resist the urge to just trade Mahle in order to clear the way for another pitching prospect.

Chances are good that Mahle's trade value has never been lower. The Cincinnati front office should ride out this rough patch that Mahle is currently going through. If it extends throughout the season, so be it. The Reds have Mahle under team control through the 2023 season and could revisit trading the right-hander this winter.

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