Tyler Mahle will take the mound tonight versus the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cincinnati Reds right-hander is slated to go again next Monday. Given that pitchers typically have four days of rest in between starts, it stands to reason that Mahle will be the Reds Opening Day starter.
The Reds starting rotation suddenly has more questions than answers. Luis Castillo and Mike Minor are nursing minor setbacks and one or both could miss their first start of the 2022 season. Sonny Gray is now in a Minnesota Twins uniform and Wade Miley is pitching for the division-rival Chicago Cubs.
Tyler Mahle will likely be the Reds Opening Day starter.
The only other pitcher, in addition to Mahle, who's a virtual lock to begin the season in the Reds rotation is last year's rookie Vladimir Gutierrez. The right-hander went just one inning on Tuesday, his first start of the season, and will need to gain some more work in the coming weeks leading up to Opening Day.
The MLB lockout has taken its toll on pitchers all across Major League Baseball. With the abbreviated spring training, very few pitchers have had the necessary time to get stretched, so you can almost be assured most starters will only be going four or five innings early on in 2022.
Tyler Mahle has appeared in one game so far this spring and pitched just one inning. The California native had two punch outs in his first outing this spring, allowed one hit, and threw just eight pitches. It'll be interesting to see how deep Mahle goes in tonight's Cactus League game versus the Brew Crew.
After Mahle and Gutierrez, it's anyone's guess as to who will be part of the Cincinnati starting rotation. Obviously, once healthy, Luis Castillo and Mike Minor will be slotted back in their rightful spots. You have to assume that Hunter Greene is in the mix as well.
Perhaps Nick Lodolo might actually make the cut, especially with the rosters expanding from 26 to 28 players. Non-roster invitees like Ben Lively and Kyle Zimmer could be called upon as well. This is a very fluid situation at the moment.