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Cincinnati Reds Reliever Alex Young Suffers Setback, Will Start Season on Injured List

Alex Young enjoyed a breakout 2023 season with the Cincinnati Reds, but the left-handed reliever is hurt heading into 2024 and could be replaced by Justin Wilson.

Cincinnati Reds left-handed pitcher Alex Young is set to start the season on the injured list, manager David Bell told reporters Friday.

Young, who showed up to Spring Training with some lingering back tightness, suffered a setback after making his Cactus League debut on Wednesday. The reliever allowed four hits, two walks and six runs against the Chicago White Sox, failing to retire any of the seven batters he faced.

The 30-year-old southpaw is now expected to miss the next few weeks.

Young began his career as a solid starting pitcher with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2019. Once his production fell off, however, the D-Backs moved Young to the bullpen and eventually waived him in 2021.

Following a failed stint with the Cleveland Guardians, Young enjoyed some brief success with the San Francisco Giants down the stretch in 2022, boasting a 2.39 ERA in 24 appearances. Young then entered free agency and signed with the Reds in 2023, going 4-2 with a 3.86 ERA and 0.8 WAR across a career-high 63 games.

Cincinnati was 28-21 when Young took the mound through July 31, at which point he boasted a 2.18 ERA.

The Reds fell out of the playoff race in the final two months, though, and Young put up a 9.49 ERA in his last 12 outings. He also missed over three weeks due to COVID-19 during that skid, plus another week as a result of back spasms.

Young and Cincinnati avoided arbitration in January, agreeing to a $1.16 million salary for 2024.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer's Gordon Wittenmyer, left-handed pitcher Justin Wilson was in the Reds' clubhouse Friday morning. Wilson opted out of his minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this week, and he is expected to latch on with Cincinnati soon.

Wilson would give Bell and the Reds an additional left-handed option out of the bullpen with Young out.

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