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.
Got contacts today. Doc said it will improve my strikeouts as I should see the glove better…definitely got better today… lol
— CountOnAG (@Amir_Garrett) February 22, 2019
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.