Reds Starting Pitching Surplus is a Good Thing


Spring Training 2013: Cueto throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning during a spring training game (Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports)

Much has been said since Tony Cingrani was promoted from Louisville in the wake of Johnny Cueto hitting the disabled list. The vast majority of the talk, if not all of the talk, has revolved around the status of Cingrani and Mike Leake once Cueto returns.

(First, Cueto needs to stay healthy, then we can have that discussion.)

This even created a discussion within the BRM staff.

This discussion occurred about a week ago. What fueled that? Scott was asked (and I do not know who proposed the question to him) what would it take to get Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins. Yesterday, the BRM Twitter received a tweet along these lines and the names of Daniel Corcino and Nick Travieso along with three other players were mentioned.

I know why that came about…

FWIW, I don’t think it would be wise for the Marlins to deal Stanton. They do have talent in their farm system, especially from a pitching standpoint. If Miami were to make Stanton available and field offers, I can see a handful of teams that can offer a sweeter deal than the Reds.

No question Stanton would mash at GABP, but got a feeling our dreams end right there. Merely a dream.

You can never have enough solid starting pitching. The Reds have some depth there as shown by Cingrani. Some scouts have opined that Corcino is MLB ready, but he has struggled in Louisville so far this season (1-5, 7.56 ERA, 1.960 WHIP, 12 BB, 20 SO in 25 IP). Pedro Villarreal, who is also on the Reds 40-man roster, has better numbers than Corcino on most fronts (0-2, 4.68 ERA, 1.224 WHIP, 3 BB, 26 SO in 32.2 IP with Louisville).

If you need such evidence, take a glimpse of what has befallen the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Currently have four starters on the DL. Chad Billingsley is gone for the 2013 season after having Tommy John surgery. Zack Greinke is out with a broken collarbone. Ted Lilly has a strained rib cage muscle (his second DL stint). Stephen Fife, who was brought up when Billingsley was put on the DL, is sidelined with bursitis in his shoulder. Chris Capuano, who was activated yesterday, was on the DL with a calf strain.

LA thought they had a major surplus to the extent that they dealt former Red Aaron Harang for another former Red in Ramon Hernandez. While the Reds may not be that deep, again, they do hold some.

If you look at the deals Reds GM Walt Jocketty has made over the past two winters and during last season, only Edinson Volquez (in the Mat Latos deal) and Travis Wood (a trade that brought Sean Marshall to Cincy) were starters. The other pitchers were relievers.

Volquez had worn out his welcome in Cincinnati. A lack of control plus that remark about the offense not scoring enough runs did little to aid his cause. Wood has pitched well for the Cubs this year (not so much last year) with little if any luck.

Plus, some starters can be converted into successful relievers. Needn’t dig around to find one on the Reds roster in Sam LeCure. Looks like J.J. Hoover is displaying some success in the same conversion as well.

With the premium dollars on arms these days, especially starters, you have to keep a firm grasp of those starting arms. Only deal when you must. You never know when you’re gonna need ’em.