MLB Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds’ 2015 Pitchers: Starting Rotation Predictions

Cincinnati Reds' 2015 Pitchers: Starting Rotation Predictions

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The Cincinnati Reds' 2014 season is a wash, so there's no better time than now to begin making predictions for next year. Cincinnati will finish their dismal 2014 campaign with all but a few positives, one being an outstanding starting rotation. Let's take a look at the guys who are in the running for one of the five starting spots in 2015.

13. Dylan Axelrod

Dylan Axelrod
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13. Dylan Axelrod

Dylan Axelrod
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Prediction: Zilch

Dylan Axelrod threw an emergency start in Colorado and looked good. But let's face it, he's a future journeyman whose best season saw him hurl a 5.04 ERA.

12. David Holmberg

David Holmberg
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12. David Holmberg

David Holmberg
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Prediction: Slim-to-none

Some baseball publications tout this 23-year-old lefty as a decent prospect. It's a safe bet David Holmberg has some relatives who work for those preseason media guides.

11. Raisel Iglesias

Raisel Iglesias
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11. Raisel Iglesias

Raisel Iglesias
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Prediction: Very Slim

Raisel Iglesias has a shot to make the Reds out of spring training. Reds' brass says they're going to turn him into a starter even though he was strictly a relief pitcher in Cuba. With all the problems in the middle of the Reds' bullpen, that's where his immediate future will begin. His arm is too good to waste time trying to extend his innings in the minors.

10. Daniel Corcino

daniel corcino
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

10. Daniel Corcino

daniel corcino
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Prediction: Very slim

Daniel Corcino was compared to Johnny Cueto before his 2013 season. He quickly turned that crystal ball to mud -- Corcino is currently with the Reds as a long reliever. If the 24 year old makes the team next season, he will remain in the same role.

9. Ben Lively

ben lively
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9. Ben Lively

ben lively
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Prediction: Not yet

If this list is made at the end of next season, he'll have a much better shot. The 6-foot-4 righty throws a mid-90s heater, and three other pitches with high upsides.

8. Tony Cingrani

Tony Cingrani
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8. Tony Cingrani

Tony Cingrani
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Prediction: Less than maybe

Tony Cingrani, a member of the 2014 Opening Day rotation, has seemingly gone AWOL. After 11 completely incompetent starts, he was shipped to triple-A where he promptly hit the DL with shoulder issues. Until Cingrani learns to throw a couple of secondary pitches to complement his wicked fastball, he's destined for bullpen duty.

7. Alfredo Simon

alfredo simon
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

7. Alfredo Simon

alfredo simon
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Prediction: Hopefully not

Alfredo Simon made the All-Star team as a 2014 starter, but unless the Reds dramatically improve their bullpen, Cincinnati should move his reliable arm back into a middle-relief role.

6. Robert Stephenson

robert stephenson
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

6. Robert Stephenson

robert stephenson
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Prediction: Possible

Cincinnati would be much better trading Robert Stephenson while his stock is high. If the Reds get a new GM who doesn't sit on his duff all season, it might happen. If current GM Walt Jocketty remains in the Reds organization, Stephenson will likely be in the bigs at some point next season where he will likely walk seven per nine innings and allow more home runs than a batting practice machine.

5. Michael Lorenzen

Michael Lorenzen
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5. Michael Lorenzen

Michael Lorenzen
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Prediction: Hopefully

Michael Lorenzen has loads of talent -- more than Stephenson. He displays great mound presence with a plus-fastball and a plus-curve ball. The right-hander's change-up was a question mark coming into the 2014 season, but it has improved and now falls into the above-average category. If he has a hot spring, the Reds will be able to move Simon back to the pen and have a Rookie of the Year candidate in their rotation.

4. Mat Latos

Mat Latos
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4. Mat Latos

Mat Latos
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Prediction: No doubt

Mat Latos is a no brainer. He will be in the rotation but possibly for a team other than the Reds. Due to some ugly free-agency issues up for negotiation after 2015 and 2016, the Reds will likely trade one of the four players not currently under contract. With two more years of team control, Latos is the top candidate to go.

3. Mike Leake

Mike Leake
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3. Mike Leake

Mike Leake
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Prediction: No doubt

Mike Leake, like Latos, is one of the guys who may be dealt. The Reds might keep them all in hopes of a 2015 title run. At the 2015 trading deadline, when the team notices they are 10 games out of the division lead, they will finally figure out that it may be time to start rebuilding a totally inept offense.

2. Johnny Cueto

johnny cueto
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2. Johnny Cueto

johnny cueto
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Prediction: Definite

Even though Johnny Cueto will be the first to walk into the greener pastures of free agency, an offseason trade is highly unlikely. If he puts together another healthy season while pitching anything close to his 2014 numbers, he will be the 2015 trade deadline darling. They should have traded him at this season's deadline where they would have received a Blackbeard's booty full of top prospects.

1. Homer Bailey

Homer Bailey
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1. Homer Bailey

Homer Bailey
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Prediction: Lock

Before the 2014 season, Homer Bailey signed a six-year deal worth enough money to feed a starving country. He's going nowhere.