For the Cincinnati Reds, they are going as far as their starting pitching will take them in 2014. Luckily for them, their pitching is taking them quite the distance. After Johnny Cueto threw a complete game shutout on Thursday, Alfredo Simon and the Reds’ bullpen combined to shutout the Philadelphia Phillies in another impressive performance.
What Simon has brought to the Cincinnati Reds in 2014 is nothing short of sensational – a 2.89 earned run average, a 4-2 record and 14 runs in 43.2 innings over seven starts. Filling in for injured Mat Latos, Simon returned to the starting rotation since 2011 with the Baltimore Orioles, when he posted a 4-9 record with a 4.90 ERA. So to say expectations weren’t high for Simon’s stint in the rotation would be an understatement.
The ability of Simon to be quickly inserted into the Reds’ rotation is a luxury for Bryan Price and the Reds. What it also does is provide the Reds with a very enticing trade chip just a little over two months until the July 31 trade deadline. While it remains to be seen if the Reds will be buyers or sellers come the deadline, it can be assumed that they will receive many calls regarding the availability of Simon. Making just $1.5 million in 2014 on a one year salary, Simon is incredibly affordable and successful, making him a high commodity among contending teams.
If the Reds are able to turn things around and stay in the playoff hunt as the 2014 season progresses, Alfredo Simon will continue to be an integral part of the team, whether it be as a starter or a reliever. But the success of Simon also gives general manager Walt Jocketty something every GM values – options.