A huge hat tip to Doug Gray on this (via Twitter). Just today, I was thinking about this. When I saw this tweet, I was shocked…but not shocked.
If there’s one thing we’ve noticed is that making those final cuts are difficult. Look no further than the status of Mike Leake.
A couple of days ago, John Fay posted that there are 12 healthy pitchers in camp. You would think those 12 (including non-roster invitee Jeff Francis) might be the 12. Well, Francis isn’t one you would think as a delegate for ‘pen, dropping to 11. The speculation two days ago was that Leake was in the clear.
“Why wouldn’t he be?” Baker said. “He’s had two good years. We feel he’s ready. He’s stretched out pretty good. This is more of tune-up. This is more of keeping-him-sharp thing.”
Okay. Leake is in the starting rotation. Er, um, not so fast.
Just today, Fay published another post where it seems there’s a little waffling by Baker.
“We got (Johnny) Cueto, (Mat) Latos, Bronson (Arroyo),” he said
“I didn’t say Leake,” he said.
Huh? Am I making something out of nothing here? One day it appears Leake’s in, two days later, no? Has that much changed in two days?
Maybe so. Aroldis Chapman’s spring has made the starting rotation the “hot topic” of the past couple of days. With the performance he’s authored, it would be extremely difficult to deny him a spot. Also, here’s another possibility.
Mike Leake has options. Homer Bailey doesn’t. It may come down to just that. If you are hesitant to put Bailey in the ‘pen, Leake could go there, but he’s not the same pitcher. You would be better served, both in the short-term and long-term, to send Leake to Louisville to remain a starter if he’s not going to be one of the five in Cincinnati.
And I feel the same about Chapman.
If Dusty’s is making everyone play a guessing game, as it appears he’s done with these quotes, I can’t understand the secrecy surrounding the staff. The sooner these guys know, the better.
When it comes down to it, I don’t see how you can leave Leake out of the Cincinnati rotation. I know last season is over and done, but where would the Reds have been last season without the services of Mike Leake?