The Cincinnati Reds have three quality starters ready for 2017, but don’t have their last two spots filled.
The Cincinnati Reds have three spots in their rotations set for the next several years by Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan, and Dan Straily. The Big Three have shown the ability to pitch an entire season and to pitch deep enough into games to be viable. Finnegan and Straily allow too many home runs, though. DeSclafani has health issues, missing his first opening day start and beyond last season.
The other two spots in the rotation are one hot mess. Homer Bailey will have one of them saved for him if and when he is healthy enough to consistently pitch five plus innings. He hasn’t shown the ability to do that for two seasons.
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While Robert Stephenson has a leg up on the rest of the competition, he was unable to go deep into games at the big league level. He is penciled into the number five spot in the rotation, but his hold on that is tenuous at best. He needs to be able to go deep into games for him to hold onto the spot.
The other starting pitcher hanging out there is Tim Adleman, who pitched admirably down the stretch in Bailey’s spot in the rotation. He pitched well enough to be an MLB number five starter. While the Reds wait for Bailey to regain his health and for Stephenson to mature, Adleman is in limbo.
The Cincinnati Reds have more pitchers on the way to solve the rotation woes in future years.
The pitcher that is closest to the majors is Amir Garrett. He may open the season in the Stephenson spot in the rotation or as the last member of the bullpen. As the top ranked pitching prospect, the Reds want to see him start wherever he begins the season.
The most exciting prospect is Keury Mella, who is the pitcher that came over with Adam Duvall in the Mike Leake deal. At this point the Reds only project him as a big league starter. The Reds hope he can make it, though. He has some of the best stuff in the organization.
Right alongside Mella in the timeline is Nick Travieso. He was the first round draft pick back in 2012, but he still only 22 years old. Both Mella and Travieso are on pace to reach Cincinnati sometime in 2018.
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That means that the Big Three needs to hold it down for another year or two with potentially mismatched others. Even then, Finnegan will lose his rotation spot, if he can’t solve to the home run issue. When someone presses Finnegan for his rotation spot, then the rebuild is finally over.