Overton has earned a spot in the Cincinnati rotation in recent weeks. Signed to a minor league contract over the offseason, he was selected onto the big league club on the final day of April. The 28-year-old has since taken four turns through a rotation that has been without rookie left-hander Nick Lodolo due to a lower back strain. Overton has averaged north of six innings per start, tossing 24 2/3 cumulative frames with an impressive 1.82 ERA.
That run prevention mark was sure to rise, as the soft-tossing Overton isn’t missing many bats. He’s fanned only 11.2% of opposing hitters on a minuscule 5.3% swinging strike rate. The Old Dominion product has filled up the strike zone and induced a fair amount of harmless infield fly balls, though, leading to some early success. Overton was also excellent over four appearances with Triple-A Louisville, posting a 2.84 ERA with elite strikeout and walk numbers (29.7% and 2.7%, respectively) across 19 innings.
Cincinnati is soon to welcome back veteran southpaw Mike Minor from an injured list stint that has cost him the entire season to date. Minor is on a rehab assignment with Louisville, where he’s taken the ball three times. Manager David Bell told reporters (including C. Trent Rosecrans of the Athletic) that Minor will need one more start with the Bats before returning to the big leagues.
The Reds play on each of the next seven days, so they’ll need to cover one of Overton’s scheduled outings with a bullpen game or a spot start. By next week, it seems Minor might be able to step into the starting staff alongside Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, Hunter Greene and Vladimir Gutiérrez.