These Reds' offseason acquisitions have been indispensable after injury-plagued start

The Reds have leaned hard on the bullpen through the first few weeks of the 2024 season.
Cincinnati Reds reliever Brent Suter
Cincinnati Reds reliever Brent Suter / Emilee Chinn/Cincinnati Reds/GettyImages

To say that injuries have plagued the Cincinnati Reds at the outset of the 2024 season would be a massive understatement. Not only have injuries forced manager David Bell to alter his starting lineup on multiple occasions, but a number of players are taking on unexpected roles as well.

With TJ Friedl and Matt McLain on the injured list, the Reds have turned to Will Benson, Jonathan India, and Jake Fraley to help pick up the slack. But even India and Fraley were absent over the weekend as the entire Reds clubhouse is battling an illness.

Over the weekend, two of the most valuable offseason acquisitions brought their A-game to Great American Ball Park. Both Nick Martinez and Brent Suter played key roles in the Reds' series sweep of the Los Angeles Angels.

Nick Martinez and Brent Suter have been indispensable after Reds' injury-plagued start

Martinez was the stopgap option that Bell turned to on Saturday. The Reds had gotten out to an early lead against the Angels, but starter Graham Ashcraft began to falter as he entered the sixth inning. Ashcraft allowed a leadoff walk followed by a home run to Miguel Sanó. The Reds starter then walked the next batter he faced, and Bell had seen enough.

Ashcraft was lifted in favor of Martinez. The right-hander was little shaky at the start, but got the Reds out of the inning with minimal damage. Martinez then worked the seventh and eighth innings before handing the keys to Reds closer Alexis Diaz. Martinez logged three innings and allowed just two hits while striking out another two batters on 42 pitches.

As good as Martinez's performance was on Saturday, Suter's early-entrance into the fray on Sunday might have been even more impressive. After Frankie Montas was forced to leave the game following an injury in the top of the first inning, Suter came on in relief. The veteran impressively threw 51 pitches over 3.1 innings and didn't allow a single run to score. The rest of the Reds bullpen did their job as well and shut out the Halos over 8.1 innings total.

Both Martinez and Suter were brought in this offseason to help solidify the Reds' pitching staff. In terms of relievers, there haven't been two better pitchers to emerge from the Reds bullpen this season than Martinez and Suter. Collectively, that duo owns a 1.99 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 11 relief appearances.

Montas has been up and down, Jeimer Candelario has been inconsistent, and Emilio Pagán has battled through some early-season struggles, but Martinez and Suter have been lights out.

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