What would the Cincinnati Reds look like with a 4-man rotation?

GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 19: Trevor Bauer #27 poses during Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 19: Trevor Bauer #27 poses during Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Trevor Bauer is the key to the Reds employing a 4-man starting rotation?

According to Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson sees the possibility of a 4-man rotation in 2020 with Trevor Bauer going every fourth day. Johnson would, no doubt, have to get creative, but the Cincinnati Reds have the horses to employ a 4-man starting rotation. What might that look like?

Bauer, Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray would certainly be part of any 4-man rotation David Bell would run out there. That trio represents Cincinnati’s best chance for success. But, the depth of the team’s starting pitching affords Bell and Johnson thee ability to utilize an unconventional rotation.

Bauer has spoken before about his desire to pitch every fourth day. However, would his teammates feel the same way he does? Perhaps, but if they don’t, the Reds have options. The backend of the rotation (Anthony DeSclafani and Wade Miley) would be the No. 2 or No. 3 starters on a lot of other teams.

The presence of Tyler Mahle makes the idea of Bauer going every four days even more intriguing. Whether the Reds used a four-man rotation of Castillo, Gray, Bauer and DeSclafani, or peppered in the occasional start from Miley or Mahle, Cincinnati has options.

If Bauer went every four days, after the right-hander completed his ninth start of the 2020 season, Castillo would have only toed the rubber in seven contests. Imagine how fresh the likes of Castillo and Gray would be when the final weeks of September surface and the Reds are making a push for the postseason.

This upcoming season will be anything but conventional. A 60-game schedule will lead to a tight divisional race. Unless the Reds stumble out of the gate, which we’ve seen the past two seasons, they’re likely to be in a fight down the stretch with the likes of the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers for the division crown.

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Trevor Bauer is a free agent at season’s end, so anything the right-hander can do to elevate himself in the eyes of Cincinnati’s front office or other teams’ general managers could help him on the open market when the offseason rolls around.