Matthew McAdow

Matthew McAdow

Can we just stop after the 7th inning?

As I am writing this article on the 16th of June, The Cincinnati Reds bullpen have managed to yet again disappoint Reds fans. I feel like nearly every game I am tweeting “Pain” regarding the bullpen anymore, as it has become a daily occurrence. Trust me, I disagree with many David Bell decisions, but honestly, he has nothing to work with out of the pen.

Diaz, Strickland, Warren, Santillan, Kuhnel, Sanmartin, and Cessa have all shown that they cannot be trusted in big situations. At what point does Reds ownership and front office understand that the bullpen is a legitimate role and that you cannot simply place failed starters into a bullpen role and just cross your fingers they can make three or six outs to close a game?

With the late dominance from Mahle, Greene, and Ashcraft, I am more than tired of watching the bullpen give up wins after dominant starter performances.

  • Alexis Diaz: 2.40 ERA
  • Luis Cessa: 4.97 ERA
  • Art Warren: 7.66 ERA
  • Tony Santillan: 5.49 ERA
  • Reiver Sanmartin: 12.74 ERA
  • Hunter Strickland: 5.73 ERA
  • Joel Kuhnel: 3.31
  • ERA

On the Rise

Despite a historically bad start to the 2022 campaign, the Reds currently have a better record than the Nationals in the National League. The Reds are sitting at 23-40 with -56 run differential. Cincinnati is a half-game back of the Cubs and 2.5 games back of the Pirates. I believe we will soon pass both of these clubs, but we still remain 13 games back of the Cardinals and 11.5 games back of the Brewers.

The most disappointing thing about this season is how winnable this division is this year and how we managed to not put a contender on the field. As everyone knows, the NL Central is weak this year and this could have been the year to capitalize on the typical Brewers’ and Cardinals’ dominance and flip the script.

The Return

The 2022 Reds have been plagued by injuries. As Tyler Stephenson was having an All Star season, he recently was injured and is out 4-6 weeks with a broken thumb. He has already had a few concussions and joins a very long list of players who have been on the IL so far this season. Despite this horrific news, Jonathan India made his return to the club this week and looks to get back into the swing of playing like he did in 2021. The Reds are also looking forward to the return of Donovan Solano and Max Schrock in the near future. Jake Fraley looks to be out longer than expected and I don’t see a quick return for Lucas Sims, despite the bullpen desperately needing his presence.

Field of Dreams

Looking in the future, one bright spot this year is Cincinnati playing in the Field of Dreams game in Dyersville, Iowa on Aug. 11. This season’s trade deadline is Aug. 2, so I believe some familiar Reds faces will possibly not be playing in this game.

With this game bringing together all baseball fans, I truly hope the Reds plan to have Hunter Greene take the mound on this day. I hope they even treat this game like a playoff game and maybe even throw in Ashcraft out of the bullpen if we are in a tight game, as winning this game will go down in the history of yearly games in Iowa. I think Reds fans everywhere deserve not watching the bullpen for one game, don’t you?

Last year, six million baseball fans watched this game, which is the most watched regular season game since the late 1990s. Showing the world our young talent and displaying the talents of Stephenson, India, Greene, and Ashcraft would be a good way to show that the Reds are heading in the right direction and plan to build around these players.

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