The Reds play the St. Louis Cardinals at home this weekend, Friday-Sunday. It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of the series (although I’m sure Thom Brennaman will manage to do that, I said “difficult” not impossible). The probable starters for the Reds in the series are Mike Leake, Mat Latos and Bronson Arroyo.

Allow me to offer an alternative — purely hypothetical — way to handle the rotation:

The Reds call Tony Cingrani up to pitch tonight in the series finale against the Rockies. Slide Johnny Cueto back one day to open the Cardinals series. Mat Latos could pitch as planned on Saturday. With the two days bought by the Cingrani move and the off-day on Thursday, any of the remaining three starting pitchers would be available for Sunday, including Homer Bailey.

If it were me, that’s how I’d stack up the rotation against the Cards: Cueto, Latos and Bailey.

Not that Bronson Arroyo and Mike Leake haven’t pitched well, they have. But if you asked me to rank the pitchers in order, that’s how I’d do it.

This switch would also put a day between Latos and Leake which would mean Devin Mesoraco would no longer have three games off in a row, which is something Dusty Baker mentioned he’d like to do.

The reason this is purely hypothetical is that the Reds let Tony Cigrani pitch on Sunday for Louisville, so he wouldn’t be available tonight to set the reshuffle into action. Plus, as Chad posted early this morning, Hal McCoy is speculating there may be something afoot with an upcoming injury announcement. Back to that breath-holding.