Prior to this afternoon’s 1-0 win over the Brewers, the Reds placed left-hander Amir Garrett on the 10-day injured list due to a left lat strain. The placement was retroactive to July 3. Outfielder Josh VanMeter was called up from Triple-A to take Garrett’s spot on the 25-man roster.
Formerly a top-100 ranked prospect in 2016 and 2017, Garrett struggled as a starting pitcher in his 2017 rookie season but has since blossomed as a reliever. Garrett has a 1.70 ERA, 13.1 K/9, 51.9% grounder rate, and 2.70 K/BB rate over 37 frames out of Cincinnati’s bullpen this season. His walk rate (4.86 BB/9) is a bit high and Garrett’s 93.5% strand rate is likely unsustainable, but he has been a very solid weapon overall out of the Reds’ pen, dominating both right-handed and left-handed hitters. Garrett’s signature pitch, a slider that he has used 58.8% of the time this season, has been virtually untouchable — batters have a .098 average and a .146 slugging percentage against Garrett’s slider.
The injury isn’t considered to be too serious, as Garrett told MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon and other reporters that it was only a case of “regular soreness,” perhaps due to throwing more fastballs than usual in Tuesday’s outing. Between Friday’s off-day on the Reds schedule and the All-Star break, Garrett might end up missing only five games if he requires only the minimum 10-day IL stint.
As Shelton notes, however, the Reds still have a short-term issue in a lack of left-handed relievers in the pen with Garrett and Wandy Peralta both on the IL. Alex Wood and Cody Reed are the only other southpaws on the 40-man roster, and they are both working their way back from their own injuries. With Cincinnati increasingly looking like they’ll stay close enough in the NL Central race to be deadline buyers, one would think the team will target left-handed relief help even if Garrett is back in pretty short order.