The Cincinnati Reds are about to find themselves with a good problem, and none too soon.
The struggling ball club has battled injuries all season, with Aroldis Chapman, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Jonathan Broxton, Sean Marshall, Skip Schumaker, Devin Mesoraco, Tony Cingrani, Billy Hamilton, and Mat Latos all sidelined at some point in the season.
The team has managed to hover just under .500 while trying to get healthy, and in a few short weeks, the team is likely to re-gain ace Mat Latos.
Herein lies the problem– Latos’ replacement, Alfredo Simon, is currently 6-2 with a 2.31 ERA. To say that the former reliever has over performed is an understatement. Simon has also proven to be a team player, offering to pitch in the Reds 15-inning marathon with the Washington Nationals Monday, while also promising to make his scheduled start on Wednesday.
Simon has been used out of the Reds bullpen for the last two seasons, after being released by the Baltimore Orioles in 2012. The Reds have been active in the free agent market as it pertains to previously released relievers, picking up Manny Parra and Zach Duke in recent years, who both revamped their careers.
The Reds also allowed veteran pitcher Bronson Arroyo to leave via free agency in the offseason to make room in the rotation for young southpaw Tony Cingrani.
Simon will likely join the Reds bullpen upon Latos’ return, as mainstays JJ Hoover, Logan Ondrusek, and Sean Marshall have all been struggling.