ESPN’s Jason Stark quotes one scout as saying the Reds are already overrated going into the season…what makes that so scary is I haven’t seen where anyone’s picking us to win anything anyway…how bad could that make us? The opinion was based on our pitching, both starting and relieving.

I’m more concerned about our relievers than our starters, believe it or not. The Cincinnati Reds have good to excellent relief pitchers since Joe Beggs on the 1940 World Series championship team (outside of 1983 and 2004). We may have to add 2005 to the list, too. We paid a lot of money to some washed up former starters (and former Reds) trying to extend their careers in the bullpen (and making a lot of money in doing so).

I think we could have done better working on the major league minimum with a rotation of younger pitchers working their way into the big leagues. I kind of like Earl Weaver’s old approach of promoting them from the minors to spend their first year in the bullpen…and then moving them to the rotation. This protects their psyche and their young arms, and gives the team to scout/coach the pitcher and their work habits and skills.

In fact, I’ve been a proponent of running a fullscale relief pitching rotation. Instead of having a designated rotation starter, more or less schedule 3 pitchers to pitch up to 3 innings per game, with about 2-3 guys stashed in the bullpen to help out if needed. Yes, it would pretty much do away with established starting pitcher wins, but if that becomes the issue, rotate the pitchers week to week to determine who comes into the game at certain junctures to get the win.

It would do a sore-armed staff a lot of good to run a program this way; lots of guys (like Luke Hudson) can’t give it all for seven innings; this would maximize their effectiveness.