The Reds starting rotation as of Opening Day will be:

  1. Johnny Cueto
  2. Mike Leake
  3. Anthony DeSclafani
  4. Jason Marquis
  5. Raisel Iglesias

Per John Fay:

122 Responses

  1. michael

    No complaints if Bailey takes marquis spot

    • Ryan Lykins (@ryan_lykins)

      I can’t believe the team would go ahead and pencil Marquis into a spot so early in the spring. I would have assumed any one of the younger guys would offer much more upside and you kind of know what to expect with Marquis (not much). It seems to me that any one of Axelrod, Homberg, Cingrani, even Lorenzon though I don’t love that, would have been better options. They could at least be a nice surprise where Marquis is probably not going to be very good. Kind of weird thinking to me.

      • DHud

        From comments made by Price it doesn’t look as if they think those guys are quite ready. Price was quoted by John Fay as saying “My feeling is both of those guys (Holmberg and Axelrod) need a little more refinement before they’re ready to be penciled in as major league regulars.”

      • Ryan Lykins (@ryan_lykins)

        Admittedly I hadn’t seen that quote until now however I still can’t believe neither would be better than Marquis this season. Price obviously knows what he’s doing with pitchers so he’s given the benefit of the doubt but it seems he may have been pigeonholed a bit with the quality of arms he was given perhaps

      • lwblogger2

        Price knows more than I do by a million times but I can almost promise that Marquis won’t get the job done. I hope I’m wrong. I’m not at all sold on DeSlafani either. I think he’s a “maybe” #5 starter right now.

      • MrRed

        LW is right. I think if there is going to be angst, it shouldn’t be as a result of Price’s decision. It should be due to the bold-faced reality that the team is going to have a steep drop off in starting pitching quality this year. And that’s not even accounting for injuries. Blame that on the front office if you want.

        The young guys are promising but even at their best, they are greatly limited by inning limitations this year. Marquis and Maholm were always going to be part of the solution. Time to buckle in and hope for the best.

    • azredsfandennis duffy

      The Reds need to sign Ceuto, Leake and Chapman NOW. I cannot imagine the starting rotation without Cueto as our # 1, and Leake as innings eater. Chappie is the most dominate closer in MLB. Fox Sports Ohio has reaped a low price contract and very high ratings which translates to major advertising $. It is time for the Reds to demand a 2 Billion dollar 20 year deal. THAT would expand the payroll where they can afford Cueto, Leake and Chapman.

      • charlottencredsfan

        I pray the team goes to a 180 degree different direction than the one you suggest. Long term deals for Cueto and Chapman would absolutely devastate the future of this team.

        I see very good young talent that should build a foundation for the future, how about we trade Cueto & Chapman and augment that talent?

      • chris

        You meet somewhere in the middle. You wanna know where this team is hurting right now is the lack of production that the reds got from there core players especially votto and bruce. Yes I know both were injured and I’ll give bruce a pass here because he played hurt all year but as as votto goes even before he had his hamstring issues he wasn’t producing. People wanna talk about the reds pitching well the truth is the reds will go as far as there offense will take them. Heres a question how many times were the reds shutout last year? And you people think that pitching is the reds biggest concern? Here is what will happen imo this year. #1 jesse winker will be on this club by no later then june. # 2 Tony Cingrani will dominate out of the bullpen this year and who knows maybe show something to the reds brass and show that he can be a closer. # 3 Robert iglasias will be rookie of the year # 4 Robert Stephenson will be called up in September and he will be a part of this rotation. And last but not least number 5 Jason Marquis will be demoted once homer bailey returns. I just don’t see Jason Marquis doing much for us other then being a stop gap for the reds until Homer returns. I hope im wrong on that because I do want him to succeed. Oh almost forgot Chris Dominguez will be on the opening day roster.

  2. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Boy, Maholm for a bullpen slot. Not that I’m surprised by it. But, I’m just thinking about the pen. I mean, we already have Chapman, a lefty even though the closer. Then, we have Parra still out there. And, TC’s just been sent out there. And, you would have to expect Marshall to be back sometime. I wonder how many lefties we are going to carry out there. I could see carrying two lefties not including Chapman.

    I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing TC being sent back to AAA for a bit more seasoning. I mean, he came up through the ranks real quick. One season in rookie ball in Billings. Then, one season at combined Bakersfield and Pensacola. Then, 6 games in Louisville, then he was up here.

    Last year he was shut down due to injury. I want to say he had some injury problems the season before that. I can’t help thinking he could use a season at Louisville.

    But, then, also, who goes down once Homer comes back?

    Oh, well. At least it’s a good problem to have.

    • lwblogger2

      As far as the pen. I think you’d likely see Maholm in a long role, Parra as a lefty-specialist, Cingrani in more a setup role (kind of the old Marshall role), and of course Chapman closing.

  3. Steve Mancuso

    Surprised this decision was made so early in Spring Training. Marquis has only thrown 9 innings. He hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. He’s 36 and coming off Tommy John and oblique injury. Lousy in AAA last year.

    • lwblogger2

      Lousy in 2012 and 2013 too. He got crushed for 11 HR in 71 IP at Petco. This is not good.

  4. Steve Mancuso

    In 2013, among pitchers who threw at least 110 innings, Jason Marquis had the worst walk-rate (13.1%) of any pitcher in the major leagues. That was his last pitching stint in the majors. Career BB% of 9.0%. Promoted to Reds rotation based on 9 innings.

    • PDunc

      As you mentioned in a comment on another article Iglesias, Lorenzen, Cingrani, Maholm, Marquis, and DeSclafani will all be under innings limits this season.

      Maybe Marquis stays hot out of spring training and can give the Reds a couple good starts before regressing to his old form. In the mean-time Bailey comes back from injury and the workload of the younger pitchers can be controlled in the minors or bullpen.

      I don’t like Marquis being given a rotation spot either but just trying to put a positive spin on it.

      • Steve Mancuso

        That’s the best way to look at it. Hard to reconcile that with Price’s statements that (a) he viewed Marquis as “long-term, start-to-finish” option in role, and (b) the first month is crucial because of all the games with the NL Central. Marquis is a huge gamble if they’re set on him staying in the rotation after Bailey returns. If no better options, that’s a sad statement, too.

      • DHud

        That’s exactly how I’m picturing it PDunc. At least that’s the hope

  5. garym6059

    Why not Axelrod or Homberg? I’m not feeling real swell about Jason Marquis.

    • Steve Mancuso

      With good reason. Marquis career ERA: 4.56; career FIP: 4.86; career SIERA: 4.73.

      He’s 36. Didn’t pitch in majors last year. Had Tommy John surgery since last major league stint. Oblique injury last year when he was bad at AAA for Philly, who released him.

    • DHud

      Price doesn’t believe either are ready. Quoted by John Fay, “With David there’s some room for him to get his delivery down where he’s executing pitches at higher percentage” Price said.

      • MrRed

        Yep, Price’s decision to peg Marquis over the younger options speaks more to their lack of refinement and readiness. Although they certainly have more upside than Marquis, it seems obvious that Price has his doubts about them realizing that potential right out of the gate.

      • beelicker

        Marquis a) doesn’t give up many HRs to be tailored to pitch in the smallpark b) has a very high % of ground balls to take advantage of Reds’ ++ infield defense c) has a high BB rate, likely due to a crafty vet pitcher’s tendency to pitching around trouble by not giving that ‘trouble’ much at all to hit in the strike zone & d) will eat innings early

      • CP

        Uh, no. Marquis has given up 1.5 HR/9 from 2012-2014. 16th worst in all of MLB for pitchers with more than 100 IP. He’s a groundball pitcher, he’s just not very good at it.

      • beelicker

        Wouldn’t surprise me if Marquis pitches laregly opposite his ‘usual’ book early (particularly the early start vs Cards), as some crafty vet Ps can at least make it around the league on fumes & guile (& a C who calls a good game along with them by design, knowing this) a time or two (as teams begin to amass new scouting film on how they operate ‘now’) just by crossing up the other teams’ ‘regular’ book on how they more expect them to pitch … then when the opposition starts to demonstrate adjustments to the ‘new’ book, they will then go back to their old tricks for another time or two around the league until they either prove they can be effective … or it becomes clear they should move on to their ‘life’s work’

        This would be when you stat turning to the kids who have limited innings ceilings as replacements in the rotation …

      • beelicker

        Also, pretty sure the early expanded bullpen will get plenty of opportunity early to be ready the 2nd time through any lineup should Marquis start generating too frequent high-leverage situation baserunners … kind of a high-wire balancing act with Price assuming the role of of Cap’n Hook on those days

  6. BigRedMike

    Great idea to go with an old bad pitcher. There is no upside with Marquis and it is very likely he will be below average at best. There has to be younger options with potential then throwing Marquis out there.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Don’t understand what the rush is. Marquis has pitched only 9 innings. Against minor league players and rusty major leaguers. Why not wait until Reds see a few more starts against major league lineups before deciding. If all the alternatives (Axelrod, Holmberg, Cingrani, Maholm, etc.) are worse, that’s sad, too.

      • MrRed

        I hear what you’re saying. And not to be too pessimistic but all of this angst may become moot if there’s an injury. And if the recent past is any guide, well….let’s just say that the young guys will get a shot whether they’re ready or not.

        With this announcement made, I hope the team has a clear plan to get the young guys ready as quick as possible. They will be needed for sure and the team is going to need their best if the Reds plan on being in contention down the stretch.

  7. Brent Harder

    Maholm to bullpen? Pretty quick decision for a team who couldn’t hit him every time they faced him! Has he declined that much?

  8. WVRedlegs

    Reds fans = Charlie Brown.
    Reds front office = Lucy holding the football.
    And we all know what happens next.

  9. Chris Miller

    Just flat out DUMB!!! Why do organizations have such a thrill up their leg for veterans who were never very good in the first place? I love Price as a pitching coach, but my worst fears seem to have been realized. Price has learned too many habits from Dusty Baker.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Great point that Marquis has never been good in the first place. ERA has been all over the place but only one year under 4.00 in entire career. That was 2004.

    • wkuchad

      “flat our DUMB!!!” is blaming the Marquis decision on Dusty Baker.

      • lwblogger2

        Yeah, this has nothing to do with Baker. Blaming him for everything over a year after he’s gone? This is all on Price and the front-office.

  10. Steve Mancuso

    You have to wonder — and dread — how much of a role the fact that Marquis played for Jocketty in St. Louis played in this judgment. Marquis was a totally different player then.

  11. unc reds fan

    Well maybe this mean Lorenzen is going back to AAA so he can work on his innings count and be a starter in 2016 hopefully with Stephenson…Marquis wouldn’t bother me as much if we knew for sure who would get replaced when Bailey returns mid April…I know it is early and we should wait and see, but as has been said so is this announcement

      • gaffer

        Price said this yesterday too (Iglesius to AA).

      • Wesley Jenkins

        Interesting that they’re making these decisions so far out from any meaningful playing time. I wonder if Iglesias dazzles the first month and Marquis pitches how we all expect him to, will the front office still send Iglesias down? That honestly wouldn’t surprise me at all which is terrifying

      • ProspectCincy

        Possible Wesley

        But Iglesias has never thrown more than 4.1 innings in his career in any one day, so it’s hard to fathom he’ll be lighting it up out there with 6 and 7 inning starts so early in the season.

        I’m not even sure he can build his arm up enough to go more than 5 in April. I mean he only has 2 or 3 turns left before the season starts, and he only threw 2.2 yesterday.

  12. Jake

    I have no problem with Iglesias or DeSclafani. What concerns me however is Marquis. Why oh why Marquis

  13. ProspectCincy

    Once the decision was made to move Cingrani to the pen, you had to know this would be the rotation out of camp (and when Bailey comes back. Rasiel goes to Pensacola or Louisville).

    Pretty sure y’all know how I feel about this, but it’s crazy to think that based off of nine practice innings, the Reds have decided to have Jason Marquis open the season against the St Louis Cardinals. And then the Reds are “hoping” to get 30 starts out of him this season.

    Beating the dead horse again, but pretty sure the Cardinals left handed heavy line-up sucks against that Cingrani guy. Why not peg him into the #5 slot to start the season, so his first two starts are against STL and STL?

    Ohh, because it makes too much sense.

    • lwblogger2

      It’s ridiculous… Look, I’ve always been an upbeat and optimistic poster here but this whole off-season and spring has me feeling very, very pessimistic. I’m flat out unimpressed and if they are as bad as I think they might be, I won’t be renewing my modest season ticket package for several years. I’ll catch the game at home from time to time when I want to.

      • charlottencredsfan

        LW- it might come down to: do you want to see an up and coming club with a lot of youth and inexperience or an older team with no chance, either now or in the future? I can watch a team that “might” have a future rather than just waste a season.

        God if I have to watch a sub .500 team, please at least be young.

      • lwblogger2

        Not even so much a youth thing for me as much as it is that I’m pretty sure, given a large enough sample (say 20 starts) Holmberg, Axelrod, or Cingrani if healthy are very likely to provide better results right here and right now. Heck, I’d hitch my wagon to Maholm before I hitched it to Marquis. He’s a “crafty lefty” who the Reds never seemed to be able to hit and has had a little more success than Marquis in more recent years. He also doesn’t have Marquis’ BB% the last couple years and overall K/BB%. I am so incredibly frustrated. I am not foolish enough to think I know more than Price or Jocketty but dang I do know a little bit about baseball besides the statistical aspects. I’d love to see Marquis with my own eyes to at least try to figure out what the heck they are seeing.

      • lwblogger2

        Heck, I’d really love to step in the box and see what he looks like from there. I could still do that. I couldn’t catch him anymore because my knees are so bad that I can’t squat. And no, I’m not implying I could get a hit off of him. I don’t even want to hold a bat. I just want to stand in there and see why Price thinks he’s the guy.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Exactly Charlotte, let the young ones figure it out, their potential is much more fun option, one we can all root for.

        LWBlogger, I feel you on this offseason. It has made me bitter. But, I was thinking, the weather warmed up, March Madness is here, and baseball is only a few weeks away…I’m going to try the positive route…then this happens. Too much ridiculousness to overcome.

  14. DHud

    Albeit Marquis has only thrown 9 innings, he’s looked crisp and gotten hitters out so far this spring. A 36 year old veteran on a one year contract isn’t someone you have on the roster and not pitch, as Price has stated, so you might as well use him while he’s doing well. Instead of throwing the young arms straight into the fire, this gives them the opportunity to develop a bit longer in Louisville and then you can always bring them in if and when Marquis starts pitching more to his baseball card.

    • ProspectCincy

      But Marquis isn’t “doing well”. He’s shining against AA level players, in practice!

      The move makes little sense; and what makes even less is to have Maholm as a bullpen pitcher. What 7 guys are going to make up the pen?

      It’s just a crazy decision to make about a pitcher nobody wanted, and has never ever ever been good. Literally, never. Anything under a 5 ERA is a blessing for Cincinnati; and in this day and age of baseball, and this team, pitching six innings and routinely giving up 3 runs (on a good day) is not going to lead to many wins.

      • DHud

        9 innings, 3 hits, 1 ER, 2 BB and 7 K’s over three starts. Because he’s started the games, he’s faced as many big league hitters as any pitcher in spring training will have at this point. He has a better stats than Holmberg and Axelrod, who have only one start in six appearances so they have been facing more minor league hitters even

      • ProspectCincy

        Doesn’t work like that D. Some games are split squad where you face nothing but minor leagues. Maquis opened the season and faced some A guys with the Indians opening line-up.

        And what veteran hitter goes into spring training with the same drive as opening day (or the playoffs). So many guys hit .500 in the spring, and then .210 in the major leagues … stats are completely meaningless.

        You look for health in the spring, and you use that time to prepare for a long season. Results are inconsequential, and there are a laundry list of spring training heroes who are cut in May that can tell you why.

      • DHud

        Understood ProspectCincy. My main opinion though is I’ll take the optimists upside of Marquis giving acceptable level starts at least for a bit to by the younger arms time for development/innings control

    • Steve Mancuso

      Hope this is how it goes. But hate to pitch a long-ago washed-up veteran against the Cardinals (twice?) in April. Marquis has no realistic upside. Whereas a few of the other pitchers do. Like you say, hope it’s only temporary and they’ll have a quick hook if he starts to fail.

      Another big worry is injury risk at his age and that this flirtation will waste development opportunity for other pitchers.

      • gaffer

        I dont think we have to worry about him pitching the entire year. How much damage he causes in April is another matter. How did this team get into this situation?

      • lwblogger2

        They traded away two starting pitchers. Look, I wasn’t huge on Simon’s chances of repeating 2014 but he wasn’t going to be horrible either. He certainly will have a better season than Marquis is going to have.

  15. ProspectCincy

    Another point on this, if the Reds do go with a 4 man lefty pen (vs. 3 righties), that’s going to make for a lot of bad late inning match-ups. Since the Reds starters are all right handed, you can presume the bench for most teams facing CIN will be heavy right handed (as the lefties will be starting). Conversely, if Cincy had a balance 12 man squad, the match-ups late would be much more favorable.

    Now, when Parra (for example) comes in to get the lefty, the opposing manager will have the ability to plug in a plethora of RH bats. Not cool.

    • tct

      I don’t think Parra makes it if Maholm does. Seems like it would be Chapman, Diaz, Cingrani, Lorenzen, Lecure, Badenhop, and Maholm or Parra.

      I don’t mind Maholm in the bullpen. He’s been tough on lefties throughout his career so he could be a decent LOOGY. Plus, you could also use him as a mop up guy/long man and leave him out there for a few innings without having to worry about protecting his arm.

  16. ColoREDo

    I don’t like this at all. Way too early to determine the rotation. Way too early to put TC in the bullpen. We are only half way through spring, lets these guys compete.

  17. gaffer

    The starter news is mildy interesting but not surprising. What about the ‘pen, who are they going with? It looks like Lecure and/or Hoover are going bye-bye?

    • ProspectCincy

      It looks like Hoover and Maholm are battling for the spot #7. Pretty sure Parra / Cingrani / Chapman / Diaz / LeCure / Badenhop are set.

      • Hotto4Votto

        They way the’ve been talking all winter, Gregg may be set too. I don’t think Diaz has the lock that some here believe he has. He has options.

    • DHud

      I don’t understand why keep letting Hoover in the clubhouse. How is he not already gone?

      • gaffer

        – Just kidding, he will never pitch again

  18. ProspectCincy

    So what happens if today Marquis goes out there and gives up 6 runs in 2.2 innings?

      • User1022

        Doubt it will make a difference. He has all the veteran-y intangbles, and that’s apparently all that matters.

        I’m suddenly extremely pessimistic about the Reds finishing with a winning record this year if this is the way the front office is going to handle the team going forward.

  19. WVRedlegs

    Walt Jocketty is reaping what he had sown this past winter with his awesome off-season general managing. No GM did more for improving their team than Jocketty did this winter. Jocketty should be the odds on favorite for MLB Executive of the Year 2015. (Extreme sarcasm.)
    This is Walt Jocketty at his finest.

    • gaffer

      He did win the award for “least spent in free agents”. Actually, this is totally true (posted on last week).

  20. Jeremy Conley

    None of this is good news really. I can look for the positive angle (like that Marquis actually had 6 seasons with an above average ERA, it’s just that he pitched in the extreme offense era), but really I just can’t get excited about either of these guys.

    Since most of this thread has been about Marquis, and the sadness of going with such an extreme reclamation project, I’m going to focus on Desclafani.

    I’ve watched most of his innings this spring, and I just haven’t been very impressed. I like his slider, but the rest of his pitches look average or below. His fastball doesn’t seem to have any life, and it’s very straight. He has been very hittable over his career, and I think that’s the reason.

    Prior to last year, this is a guy scouting reports said “probably projects as a middle reliever down the road. He lacks the plus pitch required of a starting pitcher and he doesn’t have a true out pitch.”

    Now, I’m not going to pile on the guy, but it stinks that a pitcher who is probably most qualified to be a 6th starter is now penciled in as our 3rd. I think fans need to really start recognizing that starting pitching is no longer a strength of this team. Not long ago, guys like Mike Leake and Bronson Arroyo were our 4th and 5th starters. Cueto alone is not a rotation.

    Right now we have an ace and a 3rd starter, and a lot of question marks.

  21. reaganspad

    I would rather stretch out Parra than pitch Marquis. Parra was a starter in Milwaukee.

    of course the best solution is stretch out Chapman with TC in the pen

  22. tct

    Bizarre decision on Marquis, but not surprising in the least. Since 2012, this Reds team has consistently ignored the value of getting production from the last few roster spots. Instead of going with Young guys with upside or solid bench players, they have used the last roster spots on guys like Skip, Hannahan, Valdez, Ondrusek, etc.

    While the Rays and A’s have been very successful in upgrading the bottom of their rosters and creating depth, the Reds have spent all their money on the top half of the roster and ignored depth. The only reason this franchise has had any success is because of the job that Buckley and the farm system guys have done.

    • Jeremy Conley

      This is a really good point. I noted the same thing about the outfielders a little while ago. The easiest way to upgrade the offense from last year was to improve the depth, and instead they went in the other direction.

      We actually have good starting pitching depth, but have decided not to use it.

  23. bohdi87

    73…. the combined age of our starting LF’er and 4-man in our rotation…. C’MON WALT

  24. User1022

    What about the whole rotation “battle”? What about telling these guys they are “coming into spring training with a chance to compete for a spot on the big league roster”? How can anyone reasonably make a judgement call on anything so early in Spring Training?

    I mean…

    I’ve never seen anything like this before. It’s just truly baffling. I feel like a Russian citizen after the election and Putin wins with 100% of the vote. Just feels like there was no due process at all and the decision was made long ago and no one was gonna tell anyone anything different.

    • ProspectCincy

      That’s a good point. What happened in the last week that made Price and Cincinnati pull a 180 so quickly? Last week, Price is praising the Cingrani hook; and today, he’s in the pen.

      Why announce a competition or the starting slots, give certain guys the “edge” and then abandon the idea? I could understand if there were reasons behind these changes, decisions, but again I harp on the Cingrani decision. Tony has look uber sharp this spring, his fastball has some zip (hit 95 yesterday) … his control has been very good; and he showed a week ago that his pick-off move is in mid-season form. 4 errors while he’s been on the mound, one run has crossed home plate so far.

      He looks healthy, the numbers seem to show that, and 5 months of “Cingrani is likely our #4 guy” is thrown out because Marquis throws 9 spring innings?

      I just don’t understand the logic.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Hey, Marquis had nine innings! And boy, did he look sharp. Don’t bother looking at the man behind the curtain, I mean, his career numbers, comrade.

      • ProspectCincy

        And it’s not even 9 real innings. I suppose I could understand (although it’s equally crazy) if Marquis had thrown them against the Pirates in April, or the Brewers in June … and you say “maybe we’ve got something here”

        But 9 spring training innings, before St Patricks Day? Is this really how this organization determines the 40 /25 man roster?

      • Jeremy Conley

        I just think you have to understand that it’s not the results of the innings, it’s how he has looked doing it, so it really doesn’t matter who he did it against. I actually agree with the Reds, that Marquis has looked really good, better than pretty much anyone. He’s controlling both sides of the plate, changing speeds, and getting tons of movement on his slider.

        I also agree with Steve though, that research has shown it’s almost always a losing bet to expect a guy to beat his career numbers when he’s had a lot of tries, especially later in life. Every pitcher has stretches where they really have it figured out. This may be one of those stretches for Marquis.

        But if he really is good enough to get major league hitters out consistently, why hasn’t he figured it out until now?

  25. Jeremy Conley

    Based on pure stuff and upside, here is my ranking of my excitement about the pitchers not named Cueto, Baiely, or Leake that could have been put in the rotation.

    1. Chapman
    2. Lorenzen
    3. Iglesias
    4. Corcino
    5. Travieso
    6. Cingrani
    7. Desclafani
    8. Marquis
    9. Axelrod
    10. Holmberg
    11. Maholm

    Arguments can be made for or against any of them base on anything. For me, as a fan, it’s too bad that the guys they picked are just not very exciting.

    • Nick Carrington

      Marquis is number 11 for me on this list. I would have taken Holmberg above Marquis easily. Corcino is probably a bullpen guy at this point, but I still would have had him starting over Marquis.

      • Jeremy Conley

        I really like Corcino, more than most on this site. He was fun to watch starting last year, and he still has really good stuff. He’s my darkhorse this year if there are any injuries.

        I think Marquis has looked WAY better than Holmberg. Holmberg may eventually figure something out, but he just looks atrocious to me at this point. His best pitch is a hanging curve.

      • Nick Carrington

        I’m not down on Corcino, but he has struggled for two years in the minors. Mainly control. I agree that he has the stuff if he could ever find some consistency. This year may be his last chance to start, and I’m hopeful that his time in the majors last year helped him.

        Marquis has no upside. He is just bad at this point. I’m not high on Holmberg, but he at least has potential value left where Marquis has nothing to offer.

  26. Andrewpky

    This could be a case of motivating the younger pitchers. Price has eyes and he knows how these pitchers behave, and what motivates them. Maybe this is similar to my theory of why he’s moving Cingrani to the bullpen. Saw Cingrani pitch in relief yesterday. WHOA, was he mad! Price maybe trying to stir the pot…

  27. Nick Carrington

    I’m so discouraged by this news. I just can’t figure out a reason why the Reds would put Marquis in their major league rotation. I’ve never been a big critic of Walt (even though I’ve disagreed with some decisions in the past), but I’m losing faith. I’m concerned about Price as well.

    Waiting for the announcement of the lineup where Phillips and Byrd bat ahead of Bruce. It’s coming.

  28. jdx19

    Marquis has been worth -1.3 fWAR since 2010. That’s bad. His upside, I think for the season, is something like -0.5 WAR. Which, if you believe in WAR, means he’s worse than an average “free” replacement.

    Why not try an “upside” guy? Marquis has no upside.

  29. Kevin J. Brown

    Best decision possible under the circumstances. Marquis has pitched well and looked pretty good in ST and his ERA in NL stints in 2011, 2012 and 2013 was around 4.00 which is acceptable for a 5th starter. If he blows up early in the season, he’ll get released. Management clearly doesn’t think the young arms are ready yet.

    • User1022

      This has been said before with regards to other aspects of the roster (most notably the outfield), but if management wasn’t 100% sold on the young guys coming into the spring, shouldn’t they have brought in better place holders than Jason Marquis?

      I have no doubt they tried, but in this business there are no moral victories. It’s results or bust.

      • DHud

        Like whom? Just curious who you had in mind as better place holders. Undoubtedly there were much better pitchers on the market, but who particularly in the Reds price range/role they needed to fill?

      • User1022

        Just off the top of my head, here are a few “place holders” that I know were free agents this past off-season that the Reds could have looked at:

        Josh Johnson (signed for $1M)
        Chris Young (signed for $675k)
        Roberto Hernandez (minor league deal)
        Brad Penny (minor league deal)
        Johan Santana (minor league deal)

        I would have taken just about any of those guys over Jason Marquis.

      • Kevin J. Brown

        There’s not an infinite amount of money available. The Reds essentially had to trade 2/5 of the starting rotation for salary and other reasons and had to address their lack of a decent bat in LF as well as pay increased arb figures to a number of players. They signed a couple of veteran pitchers to minor league contracts to see if they had anything left and seem to be pleasantly surprised by Marquis so they’re giving him a shot. With Bailey out at the start they are already giving two of the rotation spots to rookies; I can see why they might be reluctant to use another.

        Sure, it will be “results or bust” but if Marquis can pitch like he did in his NL stints in 2011-13 that would be fine for a 5th starter.

  30. DHud

    Even with all of this, I think it’s a good point to keep in mind that this rotation is still only penciled in. In his press comments, Price seemed to give the impression that he realizes nothing is set in stone yet. He talked for awhile about concerns with stretching Iglesias out and gave the caveat of “we still have 2 1/2 weeks of spring training games to go to make sure No. 1 – we’re healthy, No. 2 – how we feel now remains the same.”

    • User1022

      If that’s true, why bother announcing it so early? What purpose did it serve?

      • DHud

        Don’t know. An earlier comment was made about this possibly being used as a motivational ploy for the younger guys. That’s the best answer I could give

      • Kevin J. Brown

        From Fay:

        is there a reason for announcing the rotation only halfway through ST?//you’ve got to line guys up, only so many innings

      • Frogger

        Glad I bought tickets for game three instead of game 4. Maybe I’ll get some outfield seats for when Marquis pitches.

  31. vegastypo

    i’m not crazy about this news either, but I’m not surprised. Because Marquis is a veteran, it appeared the job was his to lose. By giving him starts very early in spring training, starting with the first game, when teams had so many minor-leaguers in camp, his chances of success were only increased. The Jocketty-Cardinals connection only adds to the situation. … The only real surprise to me was Iglesias getting a few starts until Homer comes back.

    By the way, the Reds broadcasters made the comment several days ago that Maholm had made it clear that he wasn’t interested in a bullpen slot.

  32. Tom Reed

    I hope this starting rotation can help the Reds win at least four or five of the seven inter-divisional series in April, or else it’s going to be a long year.

  33. Steve Mancuso

    Marquis facing White Sox, half starters, half minor leaguers, second time through:

    4th inning: Walk, groundout, Walk, Double, base running out, Single, groundout
    5th inning: Walk, balk, double, single, double, pop out, groundout, fly out

    • Hotto4Votto

      It will be like Bronson’s bad games….except every 5th game…….

  34. Kyle

    This was a terrible offseason for the Reds. The fact that the speculation through spring training is that they are moving young guys like Cingrani and Lorenzen to the bullpen, possibly stunting their development, and making way for someone like Marquis is even worse than them expecting Marlon Byrd and Scott Schumacher to be their 3rd and 4th outfielders. Does this organization not believe in aging?

    I have to say that I am not optimistic for this season. If these are their final moves, the Reds made a mistake not trading their assets and trying to get young prospects in return. Dusty gets all of the flak for playing old, washed up veterans too much but it seems like a lot of wishful thinking. This is an organization wide problem.

    On a plus note, it will be fun to watch Marquis get hit hard over the next two weeks and see if the Reds are too stubborn to reverse this decision.

    • Ryan

      Come on guys. Marquis, Skippy, Byrd, these saavy vets play the game the right way! While we’re at it, how about we trade Cueto and Leake for Allen Craig and Joe Kelly. Now that’s a Cardinals team to get excited about! Err…Reds team, I mean.

  35. JB WV

    I was surprised when they traded both Latos and Simon. Then I assumed they had a firm plan in mind, mainly with Cingrani in the four spot and letting the youngsters fight for the 5. I’m in shock right now. What was the strength of the team last year is now a weakness. This is Price’s year to prove himself, have to give him a mulligan for all the injuries last year. But putting such faith in Marquis…I hope they know something we don’t.

  36. Vanessa

    What all this sounds like to me is that the Reds are building more for 2016 and not going to be competitive in 2015. This is a bad scenario no matter how you look at this Cingrani to the bullpen until he proves health and another pitch I get that. But this starting rotation? How many fans going to show up on the nights Marquis is scheduled to pitch? Not me!!!

  37. Bob

    If Marquis, Maholm, Boesch,Dominguez make the major league roster,. who are the candidates that are going to be removed from the 40 man roster?

  38. Drew

    Wow…like when the Reds decided to put Simon in the rotation….

    • charlottencredsfan

      Except, IMO, Simon is late bloomer and a very good pitcher. Actually, he has been for a while now. Marquis, nor Maholm, have Alfredo’s stuff. Simon wil probably surprise everyone and have another good season, possibly without the second half wear down.

    • lwblogger2

      Sorry Drew… I’m normally pretty positive but the rotation looks really bad to me. Simon was the #5 last year. I was not sure about it but the stuff was there and he has 3 quality pitches so I figured “why not?” … He’s also not 36 and coming off 2 bad seasons and an injury… Lastly, this rotation right now features a #1, #3, and a trio of “potential” #5s … If/when Bailey comes back, at least you have a 1,2,3 and 2 potential #5s but one of those will still be Marquis. Given say 12-15 starts, Marquis is going to show why this isn’t a good idea.

      • Drew

        I see no reason to panic on March 19th. Lets see how the first month or so goes, if things then are in titanic mode then I will jump on board so to speak, but I am much more concerned with the performance of our RF and 1st basemen coming out of ST then SP.

      • Jeremy Conley

        No, there’s no reason to panic. But I think the point is that we’ve been spoiled the last few years with our starting pitching, and that’s let us say things like, as long as Votto and Bruce do well, we’ll be fine. That was true when we were 5 or 6 deep in the rotation.

        Now we have question marks up and down the rotation, and the Reds decision making isn’t making me feel any better about it.

      • Drew

        with the trading of both Latos and Simon we knew there would be some questions, the only thing right now is “when” will Bailey rejoin the rotation.

  39. Kyle Farmer

    More than anything else, this decision completely convinces me that Phillips will bat in the top half of the order.

    • lwblogger2

      Right… He’s not going to be hitting 7th.

    • Grand Salami

      Ouch, fair presumption.

      But that pushes Super Todd or Mes to 6th. No way right?

  40. Grand Salami

    Marquis’ last outing was so bad and the outcry to Price naming him to the fourth spot in the rotation has risen to such din that I am not convince he proves us all wrong for at least few weeks pulls and Alfredo Simon to start the season . . .

  41. Berdj Joseph Rassam

    Definitely not the best rotation in MLB, but plenty of talent.