Aaron Harang wasn’t sharp in a couple of important spots yesterday, but he struck out 10 and didn’t walk anyone. That’s encouraging.

I’m starting to get a little excited about this year’s rotation (and I can’t believe I’m saying that):

–Harang will be good this year.
–There is reason to believe that Claussen will be above average this year.
–Bronson Arroyo will likely be average, at worst.
–Dave Williams should be average, or maybe better…he’s at the point in a pitcher’s career where they make a jump.
–Eric Milton is the X-factor. If he really has made strides, he could be average, or slightly below.

At worst, we’re looking at an average rotation, and there is some value in that. With the offense the Reds boast, an average rotation will win a lot of games.

Unfortunately, the Reds have to use relief pitching for 2-3 innings most nights. That’s where they’re going to be in big trouble…but I can see a scenario where the Reds are competitive this year, and it doesn’t take much of a stretch. (Of course, it’s possible that I just have that unrealistic early-season optimism.)

It’s all dependent on the bullpen, however, and that concerns me.

What do you guys/gals think?

2 Responses

  1. Bill Hansing

    The Reds starting rotation will be better — but not enough better to make an appreciable difference. Which means they might finish ahead of the Pirates — but will linger around fifth or fourth in the Division.

    I beleive that the bullpen will be addressed by Krivsky soon. I’m not as worried about it (in the long run) because Narron will either find a guy within the mix now who settles into that role and performs or Krivsky will swing a deal to get someone.

    The offense is solid — particularly when Freel and Aurilia are playing well.

    My concern for this club is their defense. For the Reds to actually become contenders, this club has to get better at catching the ball. When you look at the lineup and ask where can it get better it is scary. Dunn has to be playing but will always be a defensive liability. Encarnacion has to play but is still quite erratic. Lopez is erratic at times as well. Junior is on the downhill slide defensively — with heavier legs than I’ve seen in a while. Whoever plays 1b OR 2b — they are all average at best defensively.

    At the end of the day, the teams that advance into the playoffs are usually the teams that pitch and catch well.

    To me that has to be addressed for the Reds to become contenders, which (canddly) means many more shakeups from the lineup we are seeing even now.

    I hope I’m incorrect about this.

  2. Tom

    I think a trade for Kearns and Womack, etc. is in the works for pitching (hopefully relief) with the Angels or Twins. Denorfia then goes to right field. Freel must stay. He’s a ‘make it happen’ guy in the mold of Pete Rose.