First look: Cincinnati Reds Lefty Reiver Sanmartin

The Cincinnati Reds put Wade Miley on their list of injured with a neck strain this weekend. So they needed a starting pitcher for Monday’s makeup game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. While the move hasn’t officially been made yet, the Reds have announced that left-handed Reiver Sanmartin will be called up and hit the hill for his Major League debut.

The Reds acquired Reiver Sanmartin in trade, who also brought them Sonny Gray in January 2019. At the time, Sanmartin had limited experience on Low-A and made two appearances in Advanced-A and one more in Double-A. Since joining the Reds, he has played in Daytona, Chattanooga and Louisville for the past two seasons.

During the 2021 season, he started the year in Double-A Chattanooga, making three starts and one substitute appearance. He gave up a well-deserved run in 18.0 innings with five walks and 23 strikeouts. He was then promoted to Triple-A, where he spent the remainder of the season. At the Louisville Bats, he made 14 starts and seven missions. In his 82.1 innings, he posted a 3.94 ERA, gave up 80 hits, 6 homers up, went 23, and he knocked out 89 batters. You can see all of his career stats here, but below we have listed what he did in 2021.

Reiver Sanmartin’s scouting report

The left-handed pitcher is a fastball, slider, change-up pitcher. His fastball has some sink and will work in the 89-92 mph range, touching higher from time to time. Both the slider and the move up work in the lower to mid 80s range. His repertoire is solid, but nothing really jumps off the side. He is simply not “bad” in any area. Sanmartin throws strikes with all his punches, he tends to mix things up well, he keeps the ball in the yard, and he gets a lot of grounders.

The ground ball rate is pretty strong too. His groundball rate of 54% in Triple-A is the fifth best in the league among pitchers with at least 80 innings thrown. While the comparison isn’t perfect because Triple-A isn’t MLB, a groundball rate of 54% among pitchers who qualify for the ERA title this season would be fourth best in the major leagues.

As a left-handed pitcher, you’d expect him to do well against left-handed thugs, and that’s certainly true. Among the minors, left-handers have only beaten .196 / .274 / .268 against him this season with 11 walks and 34 strikeouts in 124 record appearances. Right-handers have found a little more success, but the numbers still speak pretty much for Sanmartin. Righties posted a .250 / .300 / .341 line against him in 285 record appearances with 17 walks and 78 strikeouts.

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