Entering the 2021 season Reiver Sanmartin was the forgotten part of the Sonny Gray trade with the New York Yankees. By the end of the year he was teammates with Gray at the highest level and performing well.
When the year began the Cincinnati Reds sent the lefty to Double-A Chattanooga. His first appearance of the year came out of the bullpen on Opening Night when he threw 2.0 shutout innings against Rocket City. He moved into the Lookouts rotation the next time out and fired out 5.0 innings of 1-hit, shutout baseball. Sanmartin would make you more starts in the next two weeks, allowing just one earned run over 11.0 innings against Montgomery and Mississippi where he walked two batters and struck out 17.
Cincinnati pushed him to Triple-A at the end of May and at first he had some struggles. In his first four starts he allowed 12 earned runs in 20.2 innings (5.23 ERA). On June 22nd he moved into the Louisville bullpen and things turned around. Over the next month he mostly remained on a starters schedule, but he did pitch in one or two inning stints, throwing 8.0 innings with just one earned run.
In late July Reiver Sanmartin returned to the Bats rotation, outside of one relief appearance, for the rest of the season. He had a hiccup against Gwinnett on August 21st where he allowed seven runs in 5.0 innings, but in his other nine games he posted a 2.51 ERA in 43.0 innings. That stretch led to his being added to the 40-man roster and called up for the final week of the season with Cincinnati. Sanmartin dominated against the Pittsburgh Pirates in both starts he made, allowing a run in each while throwing 11.2 innings with 11 strikeouts.
For all 2021 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).
Reiver Sanmartin Scouting Report
Position: Left-handed pitcher | B/T: L/L
Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 160 lbs | Acquired: Trade (Yankees, 2019)
Born: April 15, 1996
Fastball | At times his fastball worked in the 89-92 MPH range, but late in the year with the Reds he was throwing more in the 87-90 MPH range.
Slider | A solid offering that works in the low 80’s.
Change Up | An above-average pitch that he throws in the low-to-mid 80’s.
Nothing inherently jumps out at you when you see Reiver Sanmartin pitch. He doesn’t throw hard, his breaking ball isn’t other wordly, and while his change up is a quality offering it’s not one that is going to truly wow you. But the entire package of pitches works well together, he can throw strikes, and there’s a little bit of deception in his delivery, too.
Ground balls have been a staple for Sanmartin for the most part of his career. In 2021 he had a ground ball rate of 56% in the minors, helping him limit the opposition to just six homers in 100.1 innings. He didn’t give up a home run in either of his big league starts either.
In the long run it’s tough to see exactly where Sanmartin fits into the rotation, though he has enough stuff and stamina to be a starting pitcher – he profiles more towards the bottom of the rotation and has a better fit as a reliever out of the bullpen. In today’s game where more guys are going more than an inning at a time he could be valuable in that kind of role even if he’s not going to be viewed as a potential shut down, back-end of the bullpen reliever.
Interesting Stat on Reiver Sanmartin
There were only two stolen bases against him all season, and there were only five attempts.
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