The Reds announced that left-handed pitching prospect Reiver Sanmartin’s contract will be selected tomorrow, so the 25-year-old can start Cincinnati’s game against the Pirates. A corresponding move is forthcoming to open a 40-man roster spot.
Sanmartin will make his MLB debut following a minor league season that saw the lefty post a 3.32 ERA over 100 1/3 combined innings for the Reds’ top two farm affiliates (18 IP at Double-A, 82 1/3 IP at Triple-A). Starting 17 of 25 appearances, Sanmartin had a strong 27.4% strikeout rate and 6.8% walk rate.
Sanmartin has consistently done a good job of limiting walks over his pro career, though his strikeouts have been on the rise over his two seasons in the Reds’ farm system (sandwiched around the lost 2020 minor league season). The increase in missed bats hasn’t come at the expense of Sanmartin’s quality groundball rates, as he has continued to generate grounders well over half the time.
For all of the positives of Sanmartin’s 2021 season, he also had a rather ignominious distinction as the first player in either the minor or major leagues to be suspended for use of an illegal substance after MLB’s “sticky stuff” crackdown in June. Sanmartin was suspended for 10 games after umpires found a foreign substance under the brim of his cap while conducting a post-inning check.
Neither MLB Pipeline or Baseball America rank Sanmartin among the Reds’ top 30 prospects, but he will nonetheless get his first taste of The Show as the replacement for the injured Wade Miley, who was originally slated to start Monday. Sanmartin was originally signed by the Rangers as an international free agent in 2015, and he and Sonny Gray came to the Reds from the Yankees as part of a notable three-team swap (also involving the Mariners) in January 2019.