Ok, the headline is probably a bit of a lie. It’s very likely that Cincinnati Reds reliever Amir Garrett won’t strike out everyone during the 2019 season. But his doctor thinks there’s a chance that he’s going to find more strikeouts this season. It’s not that the left-hander was injured last season and is now healthy. Well, not exactly. According to Garrett, he got contacts on Thursday.

In 2018 with the Reds, Amir Garrett had a solid season. He posted a 4.29 ERA in 63.0 innings out of the Cincinnati bullpen. That came with 8 home runs allowed, 25 walks – 3 of which were intentional, and 71 strikeouts. The 26-year-old certainly missed plenty of bats. He struck out 27% of the hitters he faced last season. That was second on the team, trailing just Raisel Iglesias by 0.6%.

If there was one place you would point to where Amir Garrett struggled, even if it’s just a little bit, it was in the walk department. His walk rate was 9.5% on the season. That was exactly league average for a reliever. So it’s definitely not like he was bad in the area. It was just an area in which he could improve upon.

As I wrote a little over a week ago, there are some reasons to think that Amir Garrett could take a step forward in 2019 for the Reds. With his eyesight improving thanks to contacts, there’s now another reason to think it could happen.

Starting pitchers this spring – at least for now

What we do know is that despite some talk about potentially seeing Amir Garrett return to the Reds rotation, that isn’t going to be happening this year. Mark Sheldon of Reds.com, though, did provide a list of the pitchers who will be getting starts this spring. The Reds 5-man rotation was already settled, assuming everyone is healthy, when the spring began.

Beyond those five guys, though, the Reds need to be prepared. It’s possible that someone could get injured before the spring is complete. They will also have some guys in Triple-A who will be starting as depth in case of future injuries, further developmental needs, not enough room in Cincinnati, etc. Here’s the list, via Mark Sheldon, of pitchers who will get stretched out a little bit this spring:

  • Brandon Finnegan – LHP
  • Cody Reed – LHP
  • Michael Lorenzen – RHP
  • Robert Stephenson – RHP
  • Sal Romano – RHP
  • Tyler Mahle – RHP

It’s incredibly likely that some of these guys wind up in the Reds bullpen to begin the year. But some of them are likely to wind up in Triple-A, too. The bullpen seems to have a few spots up for grabs and they are likely to go to guys in this group.

Photo Credit: Hayden Schiff. Licensing for the photo can be found here.

13 Responses

  1. Matt Hendley

    Shame on you for a sensationalist headline lol. Really though, Mahle, reed, Finnegan all go to AAA. Forst 2 for thier rotation, the last….ew…..romanos a toss up, Stephenson, well there is no choice there unless there is a trade avalible. Garrett with the ‘glasses’ sort of a major league match?

    • Doug Gray

      He’s going to come into the game on Opening Day wearing these bad boys.

      • Mason Red

        “Give him the heater Ricky”….

      • Tservo

        I’d settle for the Zig-zag Rick Vaughn haircut…

  2. CI3J

    What we do know is that despite some talk about potentially seeing Amir Garrett return to the Reds rotation, that isn’t going to be happening this year.

    I think you meant to say that isn’t going to be happening EVER. Garrett says he likes relieving, the Reds have a plethora of starting options (and there is a bumper crop of FA starters available next offseason), so I don’t see any reason why Garret would ever end up back in the rotation again. Let’s not go down this “will he, won’t he” road again that we obsessed over with Chapman for far too long.

    Garrett is a reliever, and that’s where he’s likely to stay for his career.

    • IndyRedsFan

      Well ci3j, I’m glad you cleared that up for us. Have you informed the Reds of your decision?

      • TR

        I’m sure someone in the revamped Reds front office regularly checks the opinions of Redleg Nation.

      • CI3J

        Yes, I’m glad I could clear it up for you too.

        More to the point, why would I need to tell the Reds? They have already informed us of their decision as evidenced by the fact there has been zero talk of Garret moving back to the rotation after a full season as a reliever last year. And, like I said, given the plethora of in-house options and free agents next offseason, Garrett would be pretty low on the list of potential starters for the Reds going forward.

        After what we witnessed with Chapman, there’s no point for us as a fanbase going through the “will he, won’t he” spiel each year again. There’s no point thinking of Garrett as a potential starter until the Reds and Garrett himself indicate they are open to it. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that day ever to come.

    • BK

      I would like to see more consistency and see Garrett go from solid to special this season. If he were to establish a habit of tossing multi-inning gems, then the Reds may consider using him as a starter again. I would not read to much into what a player states public publicly about his role preferences. I also think from his demeanor, it’s important for Garrett to fully embrace his role as a reliever. This year, I don’t see his role changing.

  3. KiwiNati

    Are eye tests part of the standard physicals players have to do? There are probably multiple things happening with Cody Reed, but all of that business with his lucky goggles and squinting always seemed pretty dodgy to me. Are there baseball players making many thousands or millions of dollars whose performance is hindered by the fact that they don’t want to acknowledge they need glasses?

    • Matt Hendley

      Has an option remaining, also in the Bats rotation, he will be a productive red but his time is not yet.