Some of you have been speculating about the post-season pitching rotation, and I don’t envy the decision-makers when it comes time to make that call. We discussed this issue, at length, in our last podcast. If I were in charge, the Reds would probably be in last place…but this is what I’d do:

Starters:
Bronson Arroyo
Johnny Cueto
Travis Wood
Homer Bailey

That would be my rotation, in that order. I cannot believe that some are suggesting Cueto shouldn’t be in the playoff rotation. He’s been the best pitcher for this team in 2010. The final choice, to me, came down to Bailey and Edinson Volquez. I’m just more comfortable with Homer, but I can see an argument for Volquez in that last spot.

Travis Wood is a no-brainer, as far as I’m concerned. He’s the only lefty, and he’s earned it.

Bullpen:
Arthur Rhodes
Nick Masset
Aroldis Chapman
Logan Ondrusek
Bill Bray
Francisco Cordero
Edinson Volquez

I’m guessing the Reds will go with 11 pitchers, and I think that is wise. None of these picks are exceptionally controversial. I guess you could leave Bray off the roster and take Jordan Smith, but I like having the extra lefty out there.

I agree with Chris’ comment below: “First sign that one of the starters is having an off day (including a “Bad Bronson” appearance), I go to Homer or Cueto or Voltron – whichever didn’t make the cut.”

The benefit to having that starter out in the pen (Volquez, in my scenario), is that you have the luxury of pulling the plug very quickly if someone just doesn’t have it that day. Dusty should do just that; Sparky Anderson would.

7 Responses

  1. Furniture City Red

    All 5 of those guys are capable of taking the ball and shutting down ANY team in the league. The problem is they’ve all shown that they are also capable of stinking the joint up. Definately need that 5th starter in the bullpen just in case.

    Bray or Smith is a tough call. You never have enough lefties, but Smith has shown a knack for throwing DP balls.

  2. Furniture City Red

    Slightly off topic (playoffs), but not really (Dusty) – What is the status of the one year extension offer the Reds made to Dusty a while back? Did he accept or decline and I just missed it, or is he waiting ’til after the season to decide?

  3. mmenke0

    As long as EV doesn’t get shelled in his next outing he is in the rotation no doubt. He’s got the mettle, moxy, and make-up of a true number 1 and you don’t let that type of arm ride the pine in the playoffs. Homer Bailey is still way to stubborn and immature to trust in a big/playoff game.

    Baker, lets be honest, has come a long way this year in breaking his own tendencies. CoCo is still very scary in the 9th, but his management of the lineup and bullpen are stellar compared to years past.

  4. eastcoast redsfan

    If Volquez has 2 great starts this week, I pitch him in the playoffs. He has the best natural stuff of any of the starters. Of course, this is all going to sort out this week. All 5 (Arroyo, Cueto, Bailey, Volquez, Wood) will make the roster. I doubt the starters will be determined until the Reds know who they will be playing and where, so I doubt final decisions probably wont be made until Sunday or later.

    • eastcoast redsfan

      so I doubt final decisions probably wont be made until Sunday or later.

      Sheesh …. imagine that is correct English. Good thing I teach math.

      … so final decisions probably wont be made until Sunday or later.

  5. bho52

    @al: 5 of Homer’s 12 wins over the last 2 years have come against Pittsburgh. I agree with your thinking. Volquez is dominant if on, and given that he has much better stuff than Bailey, has a lot more room for error. I’d rather see Bailey in the pen for the NLDS, regardless of matchup.

  6. Matt

    It’s fine to ponder the Homer/Edinson decision, but we’ll need both of them b4 it’s all said and done. During the national broadcast on Sunday Mark Grace was saying how Cincy “can play some good ball in the playoffs and surprise some teams.” It’s no secret Volquez, Bailey, Wood and even Cueto are the underdogs as far as a starting rotation goes. I think that’s what has everyone outside of Cincy concerned. They know about Votto, but I don’t think there’s a real clear perception of how this team can score runs on any team, any time.

    I’ve said it for awhile now and since it’s the end of the season and these stats have stood the test of time, I can say it with confidence. We’re a five or six inning game team considereing our youth and inexperience on the mound. If the Reds can go to the 7th inning, plus or minus 2 runs, I love our chances. The teams that capitilize on mistakes, execute timely hitting and have solid relief pitching – in that order – will be the two teams standing at the end of October.