Will the Cincinnati Reds’ New Starting Rotation Be Enough?


Not that long ago, we were all spoiled by the Cincinnati Reds’ starting rotation. In 2012, the Cincinnati Reds had the outstanding starting rotation of Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, Bronson Arroyo and Mike Leake. But those days now seem like a distant memory, with Cueto and Leake being the only familiar faces left in the Reds’ starting rotation this year following the recent loss of Bailey.

By now, we all know that Bailey is having Tommy John surgery and won’t be back until next summer. Coming into the 2015 season, the Reds had high hopes for the returning Bailey, but will now certainly miss his presence on the mound. Following the injury to Bailey, the Reds called up Michael Lorenzen in hopes of filling the void in their starting rotation.

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Lorenzen, a first round draft pick by the Reds in 2013, pitched well so far this year with Triple-A Louisville, earning two wins and posting a 2.84 ERA. Unfortunately, Lorenzen wasn’t as sharp in his major league debut last Wednesday, giving up three runs off of eight hits to the Milwaukee Brewers. Given that it was his major league debut, it might be too early to push the panic button on Lorenzen as Bailey’s replacement, but he certainly isn’t guaranteed a spot in the rotation.

And I’m not so sure that Jason Marquis is guaranteed a spot either. Marquis, who has a career ERA of 4.57, has been hot and cold this year with the Reds, winning three games, but giving up a lot of runs. Marquis seems to be settling in a little more lately, winning back-to-back starts. Two years ago with the San Diego Padres, Marquis won only 9 games. The Reds are certainly going to want a little bit more out of Marquis, hoping he can at least hit his career average of 12 wins a year.

The Reds will also have high hopes for newcomer Anthony DeSclafani, who rounds out the Reds’ new rotation. DeSclafani, who came over from the Miami Marlins in a trade for Latos, seems to be a pleasant surprise for the Reds. He has gone 2-2 in his starts and has posted a 2.03 ERA. Though he was roughed up by the Atlanta Braves in his last outing, he has pitched very well overall in his other four starts. If he continues pitching this well, he could be a great addition to the starting rotation.

So will the new rotation of Cueto, Leake, Marquis, DeSclafani and Lorenzen be enough for the Reds? Anything could happen, but I don’t think many people will see this as one of the top starting rotations in the MLB. Going into this year, it was well known that the starting pitching may not be as good with the loss of Latos and Alfredo Simon, but the additional loss of Homer Bailey is particularly difficult. It’s hard to say whether or not the rotation will be good enough for the Reds to contend this year. But right now all we can do is watch and hope for the best.

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