Cincinnati Reds‘ ace Mat Latos is reported to be looking at mid-May for a return to the Reds’ rotation, according to multiple reports.
Latos says he’s targeting mid to late May to be back in the lineup. Doesn’t think it’s fair to Simon or team to come back less than 100%
— Brad Johansen (@bradjohansen) April 28, 2014
Latos says he won’t rush it. Been throwing 75 feet. “If I’m back in mid to late May that would be fantastic,” he said.
— John Fay (@johnfayman) April 28, 2014
Latos: “I’m tired (of being injured). I’ve been on the shelf since October. Haven’t been able to do anything, so…’uncle’ with this.”
— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) April 28, 2014
The reinstatement of Latos off of the disabled list would bring a sense of normalcy to the Reds’ pitching staff. While Alfredo Simon has been pitching phenomenally in place of Latos, the bullpen has suffered with the loss. With a healthy starting rotation, Simon would normally provide mid-inning relief for the Reds. Without him, a few of his replacements have struggled (Nick Christiani, Logan Ondrusek, Trevor Bell, Manny Parra, JJ Hoover).
A healthy Latos brings more to the team than just another starter — Latos brings ace credentials to the table. Pairing a healthy Latos with a dominant Johnny Cueto could prove to complete a rotation that is one weak link away from dominance.
While Latos’ path back to the health has taken longer than expected (which has been very reminiscent of the Sean Marshall and Nick Masset injuries), waiting for a 100 percent healthy Latos is smarter than rushing a less than perfect pitcher to the mound.
With just over two weeks standing between the Reds and mid-May, can the Reds stay afloat until reinforcements (Latos, Aroldis Chapman, Skip Schumaker) arrive?