Reds turn to Reed against Phillies

Cody Reed is getting an audition to stick in the Cincinnati rotation on Monday night as the Reds open a three-game set on the road against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Reds, who have the worst team ERA in baseball, could use a quality start. Cincinnati’s pitching staff has a collective ERA of 6.13 through eight games, just two of which were wins.

Reed, a 24-year-old left-hander, has pitched for the Reds as a starter and reliever during the last two seasons, but Monday will mark his 2018 debut. Reed was set to start last Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs, but the game was rained out.

As Reed makes a start at Citizens Bank Park, Reds left-hander Brandon Finnegan will take the mound in a rehab appearance for Triple-A Louisville as he works back from a strained biceps. The Reds will have a decision to make about which starter gets the next turn in the rotation.

“I will just go out there and compete and hope for the best,” Reed told MLB.com on Sunday. “I can only control what I can control. I can control the game tomorrow. After that, it’s not really in my hands.”

In 22 major league appearances (11 starts), Reed is 1-8 with a 6.75 ERA and 1.776 WHIP. All but one of his 12 outings in 2017 were out of the bullpen, including his only career appearance against the Phillies. Reed got a win with two scoreless innings against Philadelphia as he worked around four walks on April 6, 2017.

Reed will be facing a Philadelphia offense that cooled off Sunday after erupting for 20 runs against the Miami Marlins on Saturday night. The Phillies were shut out in the final six innings of Sunday’s 6-3 loss to the Marlins, but left fielder Rhys Hoskins continued his hot start at the plate.

Hoskins is hitting .440 with a 1.319 OPS through eight games. Five of Hoskins’ 11 hits so far have been doubles, including an RBI two-base hit on Sunday.

“He’s very talented. He knows how to look over a baseball,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told reporters of Hoskins after Sunday’s loss. “He’s really talented at working deep counts and obviously has great barrel accuracy and power. We’re not surprised by Rhys’ hot start.”

The Phillies are sending Ben Lively (0-1, 3.18 ERA) to the mound Monday night. It’s the second start of the season for Lively, who struck out five and gave up two runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings against the New York Mets last Tuesday.

Lively was selected by the Reds in the fourth round of the 2013 MLB Draft, but the second-year major leaguer has never faced the club.

The Reds will be without one of the biggest pieces of their offense for the foreseeable future. Third baseman Eugenio Suarez fractured his right thumb when he was hit by a pitch in Sunday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Suarez, who had two homers and seven RBIs in eight games, will be placed on the disabled list Monday.

The Reds have yet to win a series in 2018, but they went 4-2 with two series victories against the Phillies in 2017.