When the Cincinnati Reds signed Zach Duke to a contract this spring, it signaled that he was going to be their lefty out of the bullpen. Or so that’s what we thought. The Reds also kept Amir Garrett in their bullpen, as well as Wandy Peralta – giving them three lefty options to go to.
Amir Garrett has been absolute nails this season. He’s dominated all year. His ERA sits at 1.33 and he’s struck out 21 batters in 20.1 innings. Oh, and he’s also allowed just one home run in his 25 appearances. The other two? We can’t say the same thing for them.
Zach Duke has a 6.32 ERA on the season. And while his ERA is 1.17 in May over 7.2 innings, he hasn’t inspired any confidence given that he’s walked 5 batters and struck out 5 batters in that span. For the year he’s walked more hitters than he’s struck out. And he currently finds himself on the 10-day injured list.
Wandy Peralta has a 5.94 ERA this season. He was quite good in April allowing 1 run in 8.1 innings. But May has seen him allow 4 home runs and post a 12.27 ERA on the month. He’s had three bad games during the month, but those games have been big. He allowed 4 runs in a 1-run loss to the Giants on May 3rd. Earlier today he allowed 4 more earned runs. That came in a 2-run loss to Milwaukee.
Cody Reed has been up with the Reds twice this year. He made one appearance in each trip up and was immediately sent back to Triple-A. In 4.1 innings with the Reds this season he’s allowed 1 run and struck out 7 batters. In his 18.2 innings in Triple-A this year he’s posted a 2.89 ERA with 24 strikeouts. He’s allowed 1 home run there, when everyone – including George Washington’s grandmother – is hitting home runs by the dozen.
If the Reds are going to make a bullpen addition, then they need to look at Cody Reed. And they need to do it now. What he’s doing this season is a bit of a unicorn combination. He’s missing tons of bats. Between his two stops this season he’s struck out 34% of the batters he’s faced. And he’s also generating an elite rate of ground balls, too. His 72% ground ball rate this season would rank 3rd best in baseball. Only two pitchers in Major League Baseball have a rate over 67%.