Exactly 60 MLB pitchers threw at least 200 innings combined between the 2019 and 2020 seasons, and only 6 had better ERAs in that time than Sonny Gray. You may have heard of them - Shane Bieber, Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Jacob deGrom.
That’s it, that’s the entire list.
While the Cincinnati Reds waived goodbye to a significant portion of their pitching staff from 2020 and the dreams we had - and still have - for Luis Castillo emerging into an absolute dynamo, I think we’ve probably done Sonny a bit of a disservice in how nonchalantly we have rued his absence. The dude is, and has been a bona fide ace in this league, and that the Reds have been without him for a few turns through the rotation should’ve probably been more nail-biting news here.
Fortunately, the Reds have been mashing in his absence, and while nagging injuries have curtailed each of his last two seasons, the hope here is that he’s gotten the 2021 version of that out of the way to begin this one and will have clean sailing from here on. That, of course, will begin today with Cleveland in town, as Sonny will make his return to the rotation this afternoon in GABP.
To make way on the roster, the Reds DFA’d the struggling Cam Bedrosian. The team announced the news earlier Saturday.
Bedrosian is an intriguing arm who simply hasn’t gotten the job done at all this year, but the silver lining is that he has actually struggled so mightily that he might well clear waivers and get to stick with the Reds. That may be wishful thinking, however, as he is a former 1st rounder with ample talent.
Anyway, the Reds take on Cleveland starter Triston McKenzie today with first pitch set for 4:10 PM ET. Lineups are listed below, with former Cleveland OF Tyler Naquin getting a start today in CF against his former club and Tucker Barnhart back behind the plate.