I’m away on a golf trip. I had desperately hoped that I would have to pass up this trip so that I could attend some NLCS games in Cincinnati. Alas, that isn’t the case. I will be scarce for the next few days, however. Don’t shoot spitballs at the other editors in my absence.

In the comments, we’ve been discussing the potential starters for the Reds in 2011. The deck is stacked, even if there isn’t a clear ace. How would you rank the options for the rotation next year?

This isn’t a long-term valuation ranking. I want to know how you would rank the options for next year’s rotation, in order. Here’s my initial stab at it:

1. Johnny Cueto
2. Bronson Arroyo
3. Edinson Volquez
4. Homer Bailey
5. Travis Wood
6. Aroldis Chapman
7. Mike Leake

Good grief. What a mess, if everyone stays healthy (and if no one is traded). It’s a good mess, though. It is clear, to me anyway, that Chapman will start the year in AAA. He can continue to develop as a starter, with an eye to recalling him mid-season.

Leake is the tough call. He pitched very well this year, but Wood’s performance was so good, Wood probably has leap-frogged Leake on the depth chart. It will be an interesting dilemma in the spring.

A wise man once told me: if you have ten problems rolling down the street toward you, just wait. Nine of them will roll into the ditch before they ever reach you. It’s good to view roster crunches in that frame of mind. Pitchers get injured, and the Reds are going to need some trade chips to improve in other areas. A solution may present itself before the Reds and Walt Jocketty are ever forced to make a decision.

Still, what an embarrassment of riches. It’s a great situation, no matter how it plays out.