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Andrew Abbott is Super Human


Photo Credit: Minda Haas Kuhlmann from Omaha, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


It’s getting silly at this point. I mean, how many more ways can I say it? Andrew Abbott, the Reds 24-year-old left-hander, is ridiculous, unfathomable, spectacular… pick one.


The point is, Abbott is special – and maybe even more special than we know. After going a career-best 7.2 innings and striking out a career-best 12 batters against a dangerous (albeit, disappointing) San Diego Padres lineup, there’s no doubt anymore. Abbott is for real. The only question now is, how great can he be?


Fortunately, we have the rest of his career to find out. The Reds already locked up Hunter Greene long-term after his rookie season, and they’d be foolish not to do the same with Abbott. Sorry, Nick Lodolo. Apologies to Graham Ashcraft too. Technically, you both might be next in line for a contract-extension, but Abbott is getting bumped ahead. That’s what happens when you have the best start to a career of any Reds pitcher since Tom Browning.


After turning in the longest start by any Reds pitcher all season, the only sad part about the entire Abbott-experience is he can’t pitch every day. Give the Reds five Abbotts and they’re running away with the NL Central instead of in a dead heat with the Milwaukee Brewers. Unfortunately, Abbott isn’t quite at the “rubber-arm” level of a Randy Johnson just yet. Maybe someday…


In the meantime, the Reds will have to continue to try and cobble together competitive starts out of an admittedly less-than-competitive starting rotation. With Greene joining Lodolo on the Injured List until August, it’s going to be up to a hodgepodge of different starting pitchers to hold down the fort, so to speak. Sadly, they’ve been doing a pretty piss-poor job so far.


Since June 1, in non-Abbott starts, the Reds starting pitchers have averaged just over 4.2 IP per outing. That is, in a word, abysmal. I know baseball has changed since I was a kid and starting pitchers aren’t typically expected to go seven or eight innings on a regular basis but come on – that’s pathetic. Incredibly, this stretch includes the Reds twelve-game winning-streak. In theory, that was the Reds at their best, too.


Basically, what Abbott is doing right now is nothing less than superhuman. He is almost single-handedly saving the Reds bullpen from utter collapse. Compared to his fellow starters, Abbott is averaging just over 6 IP per outing. That means, on average, the Reds bullpen has to get almost 50% fewer outs when Abbott is pitching. That’s a big deal, especially when unreliable (to put it mildly) relievers like Ian Gibaut and Lucas Sims make up two of your best options on the back end.


Remember that scene in Spiderman 2 when Spiderman uses his webs to stop that train from careening into the Hudson Bay? Abbott is Spiderman in this situation, the train is the Reds bullpen, and the passengers inside are all us Reds fans who have fallen in love with this young and incredibly entertaining squad.



Since he got the call-up, if Abbott had been anything less than heroic to begin his career, we probably wouldn't be talking about the Reds being in the playoff chase.


So, if you get the chance, make sure to thank your friendly neighborhood Spiderman, I mean Abbott-man, I mean Andrew Abbott. Sorry, I got a little confused there. Maybe it’s those red uniforms… Anyway, now that I’ve written this, I’ve almost certainly condemned Abbott to have the worst start of his career in a few days. Oh well, c'est la vie.

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