Cincinnati Reds hope Bronson Arroyo can be the man this year despite setbacks

Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY Sports /

The Cincinnati Reds are hoping that after only two games into his spring audition that Bronson Arroyo can lead this staff.

The Cincinnati Reds named Scott Feldman the opening day starter because, frankly, it was he or Brandon Finnegan.  The Reds are going to need to lean on Finnegan this year, but asking him to start the opener would have been tough.  The Reds hoped it would be Bronson Arroyo, but he has only had a chance to pitch in two spring games so far.

In his first two games Arroyo has looked very much himself.  He has only pitched 3 2/3 innings over his two starts, but he has a normal 4.91 ERA.  He also had a WHIP of 1.09 pointing to his usual control.

Unfortunately, last time out Arroyo had to leave the game after getting hit in the head by a ball thrown by catcher Devin Mesoraco.  Arroyo was examined by the medical staff, but seems to come out without a major injury.  Even worse than the injury, though, is that it forced him out of the game early.

With Arroyo not on pace to pitch a full five innings come the first game of the season, the Reds turned to Feldman to be the opening day starter this year.  Feldman was the opening day starter for the 2014 Houston Astros who went 70-92.  He was also the opening day starter for the 2010 Texas Rangers who went 90-72 creating a window for this Reds’ season.

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Bronson Arroyo needs to get ready as fast as he can for the Cincinnati Reds and get into the rotation.

Beyond Feldman, the Reds have three pitchers that are close to locks to make the rotation.  They are all young guns in Finnegan, Amir Garrett, and phenom Sal Romano.  The fifth spot in the rotation is up for grabs.  Entering camp Robert Stephenson and Tim Adleman both appeared locks for the rotation.  However, both have taken a step back during soring training.

If the season started today, Cody Reed would probably be in the rotation.  He has had a bit of an up and down spring, but definitely more ups than downs.  He also has gotten better throughout spring with his most recent start being his best.

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Hopefully, Arroyo can get into the rotation in time to let Reed work on his craft at the Triple-A level.  Having Adleman, Reed and Stephenson in Louisville can only help a snake bit team.  Besides, without Arroyo three of the starting pitchers will be true rookies.