There have been a few times throughout Major League Baseball history where a player has basically come out of no where and had success. Cincinnati Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon has been one of those players so for in 2014.
Known by some as the "Big Pasta" Simon started 2014 in the Cincinnati bullpen, but due to some injuries earlier on this season to some of the Reds starting rotation, notably Matt Latos, who has still yet to make a start, but is likely to return from the disabled list in the near future, along with Tony Cingrani who had a short stint on the disabled list as well, Simon got a chance in the Reds starting rotation and has took advantage of the opportunity.
Simon came into the league back in 2001 and has been with a few different ball clubs throughout his career, mainly as a middle reliever out of the bullpen. Simon got his chance to prove he can be a valuable piece in a starting rotation with the work that he has done so far this season.
Simon has a record of 9-3 this season and has an ERA under 3.00, which is not easy pitching in the hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.
The Reds played host to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday afternoon. Simon took the hill for the Reds and went up against Zack Greinke who has been dominant thus far, not to mention, going into Thursday's game Greinke had never lost a game at the Great American Ballpark.
Simon out-dueled Greinke to earn the win and hand Greinke his first loss in Cincinnati. Simon went deep into the game, pitched eight innings and only allowed one run, while picking up win number nine on the year. Prior to this season, Simon only amassed three wins total in his career.
With Latos nearing a return it is going to make for a difficult decision for the Reds to figure out which pitcher in the rotation will be removed. Simon has made this decision difficult, and likely has locked himself into the starting rotation for the time being. It is also likely that when Latos does indeed return to the starting rotation, Cincinnati will option to move Cingrani to bullpen.
Despite injuries, the Reds have been able to stay around the .500 mark. Cincinnati has been without Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Aroldis Chapman at certain points this season, but the starting pitching led by Johnny Cueto and the surprise of the "Big Pasta" has certainly benefited Cincinnati's chances to stay in the National League Central division mix.
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