Untimely outing dooms Brandon Williamson's chances of making the Reds Opening Day roster

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Brandon Williamson
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Brandon Williamson / The Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY

The door was open wide enough for the 6-foot-6 left-handed pitching prospect to walk through, and Brandon Williamson didn't take advantage of the opportunity.

Williamson's performance on Thursday night against the Seattle Mariners was horrific. Yes, it's only an exhibition, but this was Williamson's final chance to prove that he had what it takes to be part of the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster.

Instead, Williamson looked lost. The lanky lefty made it just 2.2 innings before being yanked in favor of Manuel Cachutt. Williamson walked three batters and allowed nine earned runs on eight hits while punching out just three.

Untimely outing dooms Brandon Williamson's chances of making the Reds Opening Day roster.

Brandon Williamson was hoping to leave the Cincinnati Reds coaching staff with a difficult decision, but instead, he may have sealed his own fate. While David Bell hasn't set his starting rotation just yet, Thursday's outing from Williamson will bode well for Luis Cessa, Connor Overton, and Chase Anderson.

Now, it's not as if any of those three pitchers has stood out this spring. Cessa bolted for the World Baseball Classic and only appeared in one game, Overton struggled early, and Anderson just got the call to big-league camp a couple weeks ago.

But Williamson has minor-league options remaining and was always a fringe-candidate to join Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Graham Ashcraft in the starting rotation. But Thursday's performance will all but see Williamson begin the 2023 season at Triple-A Louisville alongside fellow pitching prospect Levi Stoudt.

There's always the outside chance that the number of injuries to the Cincinnati Reds bullpen force Luis Cessa out of the rotation. That would put Brandon Williamson back the conversation to start. But at this point, David Bell likely feels more comfortable with Chase Anderson than he does with Williamson.

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