Part IV of my prediction of the Cincinnati Reds’ 2012 season will focus on the rest of the pitching rotation. In Part III, I spent most of the blog on Ryan Madson and Mat Latos. Completing the rest of the pitching staff is a collection of young arms, a couple of veterans and unproven or unheard of players.
Let’s start with my favorite Red and that is Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo came to the Cincinnati Reds via the Boston Red Sox back in 2006 and has been a solid contributor for the Reds since that time. Not only does he have a raspy baritone voice (I have his cd) but that trademark high kick is a sight to behold. (I am always amazed at his balance throughout the delivery. But I digress.) Unfortunately, he’s clearly not the pitcher he once was and is pitching in the wrong ball park, for the style of pitcher he is. He has double digit wins in three of the last four years. On the flip side, however, he also has double digit losses too.
Johnny Cueto is the Ace of the Cincinnati Reds’ staff. His ERA last year of 2.31 was simply unreal to come from someone pitching in Great American Ball Park. He had a solid Spring Training this year and, despite the addition of Latos and a bad outing against the Colorado Rockies, he will have the honor of taking the mound on Thursday against the Miami Marlins.
Mat Latos will be second in the rotation, and then it’s the aforementioned Arroyo.
Rounding out the starting rotation is going to be Mike Leake and, another one of my personal favorites, Homer Bailey. I truly believe that Bailey will have a great year and be a far better pitcher than his fifth spot in the rotation suggests.
Coming out of the bull pen for the Cincinnati Reds to start the season are: the flame-throwing Aroldis Chapman, new comer Sean Marshall (brought over from the Chicago Cubs), Sam LeCure, Bill Bray, Logan Ondrusek, and the always scary for me, Jose Arredondo. Of those in the pen, the biggest wild card is Chapman. His inconsistency drives me crazy. Some days he cannot be touched. (For that matter, for some hitters he cannot be touched.) Other days (or hitters), well, he can’t find the plate. One of these guys will have to step up and become a consistent closer in the place of the injured Ryan Madson.
We are only one day away from baseball time in Cincinnati. I will post my final prediction tomorrow as to how the Cincinnati Reds will fare in the upcoming season. Stay tuned to tomorrow for Part V.