Cincinnati Reds see their starting rotation for 2017 fall apart

Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cincinnati Reds were hoping that the pitching injuries were behind them in 2016.

Just when the Cincinnati Reds’ fans thought it was safe to turn on the radio again, here come the injures.  Billy Hamilton’s injury is bad enough.  Now Homer Bailey hopes to return this year.  That’s a long way from making every start the rest of the way.

Anthony DeSclafani was just passed over in his latest start with Keyvius Sampson taking his place.  Cody Reed and John Lamb are both slightly injured too.  That means the top two starters going into 2017 and the top two insurance policies in Triple-A are all injured heading down the stretch in 2016.

If the 2017 season started today the Cincinnati Reds rotation would be Dan Straily, Robert Stephenson, Brandon Finnegan, Tim Adleman, and a battle among Amir Garrett, Jon Moscot, and Rookie Davis.  The talent is there, but so is the youth.

This uncertainty in the health of the rotation is how the Reds ended up signing Alfredo Simon at the end of spring training.  Is Simon coming back next year?  In any case the Reds shouldn’t be considering relying on Simon to be a starter in 2017.

must read: Reds set rotation for 2017

Bailey and DeSclafani are supposed to carry the rotation.

Bailey has been injured since May of 2015.  Usually a pitcher can come back to pitch at the one year mark.  Bailey was out a full fifteen months and still isn’t ready to come back.  Look at the names above again and see how many Reds’ pitchers are injured.  Can they count on anyone besides Straily and Finnegan?

DeSclafani has also had his issues in 2016.  He was the cornerstone of the rotation in 2015.  He made all 31 starts and pitcher nearly 185 innings.  That’s close to averaging six innings per game.  This year DeSclafani has made 17 starts and is being skipped over going down the stretch.  The Reds are saying that they are being cautious.  After their history of injuries the past few years, I have a hard time believing that to be true.

Want your voice heard? Join the Blog Red Machine team!

Write for us!

The Reds used to have this under control.

Remember 2012 when the Reds’ starters made 161 of 162 starts with the only exception because of a double header?  In 2015 108 starts were made by the starting five pitchers that were in the rotation the bulk of the year.  This year the number is 98 of 143 including such stalwarts as Simon and Lamb.

Next: Cincinnati Reds have high number of injuries

What happened to the Reds’ pitching?  Some of it is luck.  Simon was signed to replace a suddenly injured DeSclafani.  Much of it, though is the Reds holding back talented pitchers like Stephenson and Garrett.  At some point they need to be allowed to pitch deep into MLB games.  Until then, the starting pitching situation will be shallow and scary.