There’s been some discussion here and elsewhere about the bullpen, and especially about the roles that have (or haven’t been) established down there. Given that recent discussion, I thought John Fay’s article this morning in the Enquirer about Mike Stanton was interesting:

Don’t be surprised if left-hander Mike Stanton pitches the eighth inning with the Reds leading, no matter who’s due up for the other side.

“We might use Stanton,” Reds manager Jerry Narron said. “Left-hander, right-hander, it doesn’t matter. We’ll see how he feels. I’ve got full confidence in Stanton when he’s out there. Last year, he went over to San Francisco and did a good job closing. That’s not to say it’s in cement.”

Stanton saved eight games for the Giants last season after being traded from Washington on July 28.

He has had success against both left-handers and right-handers this season. Left-handers are hitting .250 off him; right-handers .200.

The eighth inning has been the problem inning for the Reds. They’ve allowed 21 runs in 22 games entering Friday.

So Narron has tried different people in the setup role. Right-handers Kirk Saarloos and Todd Coffey have been used against right-handers lately.

“I’ve got confidence in all of them,” Narron said. “What did we go – 14 1/3 (scoreless innings)? It can happen again.”

But the ERA of the bullpen is 8.39 since that 14 1/3 innings of scoreless pitching to start the season.

Stanton’s ERA is 4.91. One bad outing is responsible for almost all of that. He hasn’t allowed a run in 11 of his 12 appearances.

Don’t know if Narron will actually use Stanton in the 8th inning as the primary setup man, but it can’t hurt. Can it?