Taking game one of a series on the road against the NL Central leading Milwaukee Brewers should have provided the Cincinnati Reds with a bit of momentum going forward on this road trip. However, if that wasn’t enough, the Reds will see the return of one of their aces Saturday evening as Mat Latos finally makes his long-awaited debut for 2014.
With injuries prolonging the start to his 2014 season, a frustrated Latos joins the Reds with a chip on his shoulder. And as fans have seen in his time with Cincinnati, there aren’t many better in the game of baseball at pitching than a highly-motivated Mat Latos. While he is always throwing Cy Young-caliber innings, Latos takes his game to the next level when pitching with emotion, and that is exactly what the Reds are hoping for with his return.
Joining a team that has been the pure definition of lackluster in 2014, Latos could (and should) provide a much needed shot in the arm of the team. After all, it isn’t too often that teams add an ace to their rotation three months into a season. And having to choose between keeping Alfredo Simon or Tony Cingrani in a rotation is a nice problem to have if you are Bryan Price and Walt Jocketty.
As we have seen in the past, this Reds team lives and dies from momentum (remember the end to 2013, the 2012 playoffs, etc.). For the Reds to make a run, they need a spark. And despite the efforts of players such as Billy Hamilton, Todd Frazier, Devin Mesoraco, Johnny Cueto and Alfredo Simon, the Reds have yet to find something that kicks the team into second gear. Perhaps the return of ace Mat Latos could do just that. And facing the Brewers, the time could not be more perfect.