What do you think about this suggestion for 2018’s starting rotation?

1. Yu Darvish
2. Anthony DeSclafani
3. Luis Castillo
4. Homer Bailey
5. Brandon Finnegan/Tyler Mahle/Sal Romano

Would that rotation be enough to make the Reds competitive in 2018?

A couple of thoughts. Darvish’s name in that list is mostly just a stand-in for whatever starter the Reds go out and acquire in the off-season. Add in the name of whatever free agent pitcher you prefer (Dallas Keuchel?) or someone that the Reds might be able to acquire via trade. The point is that the acquisition of just one good starter can immediately make this rotation look a lot better.

Also, there are other names that could be added to the group competing for the #4 and #5 spots in the scenario above. Robert Stephenson has looked better lately. Cody Reed could return to being the pitcher we thought he was. Amir Garrett could get healthy. Rookie Davis is a legit option. Perhaps Michael Lorenzen will get a look, as suggested by Bryan Price recently.

So here’s what we need to happen:

–The Reds need to acquire a front line starter in the off-season.
–DeSclafani needs to be healthy all year long.
–Castillo just needs to continue to develop.
–The Reds need to find two good pitchers for the last two slots in the rotation, out of a group of nine pitchers listed above. Just two out of nine.

I dunno, none of that seems out of the question for next season. (Well, besides asking Disco to stay healthy. That may be too much to ask.) And I think a rotation that shapes up like this would be enough to make this club competitive.

(Wild card, perhaps?)

Just daydreamin’ on an off-day…

36 Responses

  1. james garrett

    Would love to just talk about the offense next season.We are going to have an injury free pitching staff with bunch of guys that can start.We are due a break so why not next year.I think we will be just fine without signing a big name guy but it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if we do.

  2. kmartin

    Chad, I am glad you say Darvish is “mostly just a stand-in …”. I am definitely opposed to going after him. There is already considerable uncertainty with Bailey and DeSclafani in terms of injury. If you add Darvish, then 3/5 of the rotation are pitchers that have had major injuries and already missed a considerable playing time. Far too much risk.

    • Chad Dotson

      He was just the first free agent that came to mind. I put his name in there as a placeholder. Insert whatever starter you wish in that particular blank.

      • kmartin

        Is Mat Latos available? Just kidding.

      • David

        Yes he is, and no, we’re not. 🙂

        Know you are kidding.

  3. Ryan

    I like the idea of trying to secure an anchor in the rotation for 2018. I still wonder what it would take to get Michael Fulmer from the Tigers. Free agent starting pitching is so risky. But so is banking on prospects. I would also be open to truly committing to sorting some of the young pitchers in the rotation for another year and if there isn’t enough there, taking a chance on the free agent market after the 2018 season when there are so many more options available, which would drive the price down on the contract. I’d like to have Drew Pomeranz out of free agents available after 2018.

    • james garrett

      We would certainly know more if we hadn’t wasted the first half of the season as Cossack said but going forward we will be much better next year from a starter standpoint,Barring a third year in a row with injuries which the odds say won’t happen we have some guys with experience in Disco,Homer and Finny and the young guys with some upside to lean on.All should be able to compete next year.

    • JB WV

      Right on…right on…right on…right on. How cool would it be to bring back that Johnny Cueto magic. Castillo could follow him in the rotation as his protégé.

  4. bouwills

    The Reds have 5 more weeks to figure this out. If Castillo, Romano, & Stephenson continue to mature & show progress this season, then you want to have rotation slots open for them next spring. If Bailey is healthy, then that’s 4 sp for next April. Finally, if DeSclafani can get back on the mound before the end of the season, then acquiring another ML starter is not cost effective. A good lefty reliever, catching help, & perhaps a cf who can hit lhp could help more than purchasing (or trading for ) a pitcher who would have to beat out DeSclafani, Castillo, Romano, Bailey , Mahle, & possibly Finnegan for an sp job.

  5. george

    Good thoughts (Bailey, Castillo, Romano, Mahle and Stephenson). Adding Darvish would be asking for another starter on the DL. To be really be forward looking let’s just go with the 4 rookies and audition for the fifth starter next spring. With the maturing of the 4 and the search for the fifth. spring training and April will let us know where the Reds will be,

  6. Andy

    Your list counts Bailey and Disco as holding down spots… I think those 2 and Finnegan may only start enough to count as one slot. My list:
    1.Free agent/trade acquisition
    2. Castillo
    3. Bailey/Disco/Finnegan
    4-5. Romano, Stephenson, Mahle, Reed, Garrett, Lorenzen, Davis

    Feeling like Bailey only on this list because of dollars…. I have very low confidence that he can be both healthy and effective. He’s been tough to watch this year. Haven’t seen Disco or Finnegan in ages. I might have to move these guys to #5.
    Can we have a free agent AND a trade?
    Pretty please?!

  7. Tom Mitsoff

    I am in agreement that the Reds need an established starter from another team. No need to spend the $20 to $30 million per year it’s going to take to get someone like Darvish to sign. I think they should offer Hamilton, and should target a pitcher who has an equal number of years of team contract control (two). In that case, both teams have the possibility that the player they acquire can grow and develop. I have not done the research to see what deal like that is out there, if any. Just thinking conceptually what would be attractive to both teams.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      How about Dan Straily? 🙂 Or old friend J.C. Ramirez, now of the Angels? Dylan Bundy of the Orioles? I’m trying to be realistic about the kind of pitcher Hamilton would yield. If I was an opposing team, I would not give up a front of the rotation starter for Hamilton, who just can’t get on base.

  8. Bill

    Looks like a few like me have no confidence in Bailey or Disco being very effective. Let the young pitchers be the rotation before they get old. And please get the Reds a manager and some coaches.

    • Scotly50

      They have a ton of money tied up in Bailey. He will stay in the rotation: Bank on it.

  9. Scotly50

    I doubt the Reds trade Hamilton for an established starter. I am thinking Ervin or Winker. Which is opposite what they should do, but, this is the Reds we are talking about.

  10. bouwills

    Bailey (if healthy) will begin the 2018 season in the Reds rotation even in your wildest daydreams.

  11. Nick Carrington

    It’s anyone guess and hard to be right with all of the injuries and guys competing. Here’s what I think right now, which will change tomorrow I’m sure:

    1. Disco
    2. Bailey
    3. Free Agent/ Trade Acquisition
    4. Castillo
    5. Romano/Mahle/Stephenson

    I fear Finnegan ends up in the bullpen, but if he’s healthy, they probably just hand him a spot. The next three are Lorenzen, Garrett, and Reed.

  12. bouwills

    Nick Ahmed suffered a broken wrist last night, Dbacks may want to do a last minute Cozart deal. Anthony Banda would look good in a Bats uniform. Jared Miller could help the Reds bullpen next year.

  13. Craig

    I think you can use the Latos deal as a guide. The Latos-trade equivalent would be something like Mahle (No. 3 prospect/Alonso), Trammell (No. 5/Grandal), Jose Iglesias (No. 12/Boxberger) and Adam Duvall (former AS MLer/Volquez) for Luis Severino (example purposes only, i.e. entering Age 24 season with team control). In my opinion, 2018 is premature to pull the trigger on a deal of this magnitude and deplete the farm system you spent 3 years building.

    Now, if Archer or Stroman can be had for Duvall or Schebler, one top prospect (not named Senzel or Castillo) and a lesser prospect…..now we are talking. I just don’t see the Rays or Jays agreeing to such a deal. I am in agreement with what has been said above, sign a mid-rotation free agent (think Andrew Cashner or Alex Cobb) to a 3-4 year deal and use 2018 to further evaluate the young arms before attempting to deal for another No.1/2 going into 2019.

  14. IndyRedMan

    I don’t expect much in the way of free agency. A big trade for Marcus Stroman or a solid #2-#3 is unlikely as well. What Dick Williams could possibly do, is to find a guy that could fill a role as a spot starter and reliever. The Cubs picked up Mike Montgomery last summer and didn’t have to give much. He lowered his era to 3.29 last night and has decent stuff….plus he’s a lefty! Add a guy like that, plus all the rookies from this year & Disco, Finnegan, and Lorenzen. That’s a middle of the road rotation atleast and gives them a chance to be competitive!

  15. TomN

    I’m a believer.


  16. TR

    If the Reds decide to acquire a starting pitcher in the offseason let it not be, as in recent past seasons, one ‘whose best days are in the rearview mirror.’ I quote from a previous post by Shchi Cossack.

  17. Nick Carrington

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the Reds package a young starter or two with Duvall or Suarez (please no!) to get a more established arm. I have no idea who that might be.

    • scottya

      Please no x’s 10, Suarez is my favorite player next to Votto. They need to make an espn commercial with Votto on a computer attached to Suarez brain. Saying “you are a machine.” “Like Me.”

  18. Matthew Habel

    Woah, had a dream last night that we traded Disco back to the Marlins. Woke up before I could catch the return though…

  19. RedWard

    So who do the Reds give up? As Tom mentioned earlier, I’m a big Hamilton fan, but at this point, I’m okay seeing what the offers would be for Billy.

    The Reds should look for another low-cost free agent signing, too. A full season of Dan Straily and Scott Feldman together in the same rotation sounds pretty good right now. There’s another “bargain” out there somewhere to plug in with a trade acquisition, Castillo, hopefully Ramono and one of Stephenson, Bailey, Disco and Mahle.

    It’s highly unlikely the whole group makes it through the entire season injury free, we’ll need them all.

  20. TomN

    Someone on this board or another suggested what the Reds should be looking for is a good, young, controllable SS. I kind of agree. Keep Suarez at 3B. Package WInker/Gennett and either Stephenson-Garrett.

    If Senzel comes along like we hope, Peraza become a utility (INF/OF) player, Herrera maybe off the bench or he also becomes an INF utility player if his shoulder is good. If Senzel takes longer, Peraza/Herrera starts at 2B with the other and/or Blandino as a utility INF.

    Bring up Ervin to compete with BH. Keep the corners as they are.

    I have to think for Winker/Gennet and a young pitcher, we can get a good MLB SS with good OBP at least. With the power we already have at corner INF/OF, we now need guys who can get on base (plus Senzel is starting to show power).

    • IndyRedMan

      Why does everyone want to deal Scooter? Slide Suarez back to SS, Senzel to 3B, and Scooter/Peraza can platoon 2B. I can also tell you that Schebler is going to hit the 440 ft bombs that Winker can’t, but he’s also never going to have a good K/BB ratio with that long swing of his. Winker is a guy that will work atbats and get on base at a good clip plus he’ll still hit 15+ HRs a year. They could keep Kivlehan and Ervin around to platoon if needed.

  21. scottya

    I think a trade for a pitcher is not necessarily the best thing this offseason (I’ve changed my mind), unless we are blown away by the offer. So I’m prepared to be satisfied with a rotation of:

    1. Castillo
    2. Hopefully at least on of Finnegan/Bailey/Desclafani
    3. Romano
    4. Stephenson
    5. Mahle

    This rotation will allow us to finish sorting the pitching prospects if a few fail then move them to the bullpen and pull from AAA, AA:

    1. Cody Reed
    2. Jackson Stephens
    3. Rookie Davis
    4. Amir Garrett
    5. Jose Lopez
    6. Jesus Reyes
    7. Jon Moscot

    I would only trade if someone makes us an offer that we feel really good about! certainly a trade should be on the forefront of the FO’s mind’s this offseason, but there is no rush I believe. Also, We need a #1-2 starter and not a #3-4 starter.

    • IndyRedMan

      Castillo is as close to a #1 as we’re going to get! A 3.26 era would give him the 13th best era in mlb if he had enough innings! They can’t get an established 1 or 2….maybe a guy like Disco that could develop? I guess they could pull a Latos trade for a top guy, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  22. bouwills

    In my opinion because the Reds have so many other needs & Scooter has some trade value. I doubt Gennett could be the center piece in a trade that would yield the Reds the kind of sp that they really need. He could however possibly bring in return a decent to pretty good lefty reliever (plus a prospect), a good to very good back-up catcher , perhaps a young outfielder who can defend cf & hit lefties, or even a couple of good prospects (1 of which would be a top 50). The Reds can’t fill the holes they have & keep everybody w/o spending a lot of money (which isn’t happening.

  23. Chad Dotson

    My opinion: the idea that the Reds can’t or won’t go get a frontline starter because of money is probably not accurate. Dick Williams has said specifically that at some point in the rebuild cycle, the Reds will take that money they’ve been pouring into other areas and distribute some of it back to the big league payroll.

    There’s good reason to believe that this winter will be the time to do that.

    Now, maybe they can’t acquire someone for a dozen different reasons. But I don’t think money is going to be the primary factor.