Cincinnati Reds’ Pitching Staff Ready to Make Some Noise in 2017

Is the Cincinnati Reds’ pitching staff ready to move on from 2016 and piece together a better year in 2017?

All can clearly see the Cincinnati Reds’ pitching staff severely lacks that championship quality. It’s a running theme throughout the organization. As lackluster as the Reds’ pitching staff is, it could eventually turn into something awesome. They may even be ready to step up in 2017.

The Reds’ starting rotation features a lot of young talent. Youngsters Brandon Finnegan and Anthony DeSclafani enjoyed solid 2016 seasons on a Reds team that didn’t do very much at all in the win column. These two still managed to have good individual seasons with the rest of the team falling down around them.

Finnegan’s performance was especially promising as he is viewed as a future potential ace. As many remember, he was a big piece acquired from the Kansas City Royals in the Johnny Cueto trade back in 2015. The Reds remain hopeful that Finnegan can help them win a championship, too. Unfortunately, this dream is out of reach at the moment as the rest of the roster does its best to catch up.

Meanwhile, DeSclafani enjoyed another productive year for Cincinnati. It was an improvement, too, as he lowered his season ERA from 4.05 down to 3.28. Of course, the biggest downside to his season was a lengthy disabled list stint. The extended time on the sidelines forced him to miss almost half the season. When healthy, though, DeSclafani was incredibly reliable.

Cody Reed is also worth mentioning. He remains a top prospect for the Reds. Even after his 2016 failings, hope remains that he’ll improve in 2017. In his 10 starts for the Reds last year, Reed was 0-7 with a 7.36 ERA. A major reason for this was because of how the home run ball obliterated him.

The bullpen might make the most noise. The Reds have somehow assembled a solid relief core with promise. Notable pitchers returning from last season include ex-starter Raisel Iglesias whose status as a future closer is an interesting one. Iglesias only saw action as the ninth inning man briefly in 2016, but was reliable in whichever inning the Reds placed him in. He finished the year with a 2.53 ERA to go along with a very good 9.5 strikeouts per 9 rate.

Also returning with Iglesias is Michael Lorenzen. The move to the bullpen for Lorenzen may have helped save his career. He was pretty bad in 2015, pitching mostly as a starter. However, last year he pieced things together with a 2.88 ERA strictly as a reliever. Unlike Tony Cingrani who continues to discover what he can do in the Reds’ bullpen, Lorenzen has figured it out.

The Reds’ pitching staff also includes a few veterans to watch. More so, they are hoping to rebound.

Homer Bailey will look to live up to his hefty contract while staying healthy. Newcomer Drew Storen will also hope to have a good year after a disappointing season in 2016. Scott Feldman, who pretty much is what he is, could also provide the Reds with some intrigue. With any luck, he becomes this year’s Dan Straily and they move him for prospects.

The Reds’ pitching staff was one of the worst of all time in 2016. They will not be the best this year, but with some growing pains out of the way they can at least crawl out of the basement and steal a few more wins.

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