This week’s respondents are Nick Doran, Nick Carrington, the inimitable Mary Beth Ellis, and Chad Dotson.

Our Daily Reds Obsession: Which 5 pitchers will start the most games for the 2018 Reds?

Nick D: Well I wish Luis Castillo could start them all, but this isn’t like 1869 when one pitcher was all you needed, so I guess I will have to give somebody else a chance too. Veteran Homer Bailey should be ready to go from day one after shaking off two years’ worth of rust in his 18 crusty starts last year. Much of the Reds’ 2018 fate rests on the barking elbow of Anthony DeSclafani. Brandon Finnegan says his range of motion now is better than it was before he fell off a boat and broke his moneymaker. Robert Stephenson’s natural talent will combine with some experience to help him settle in as a bonafide major league starter. Tyler Mahle will be ready to take over as soon as someone else stumbles. Yes that is six pitchers but my guess is the Reds will go through a lot more than that again this year.

Nick C: The actual answer to this question could be a hundred different combinations, but here’s my best guess.
1. Luis Castillo
2. Sal Romano
3. Homer Bailey
4. Tyler Mahle
5. Veteran pick up

I have too many doubts about the ability of Anthony DeSclafani and Brandon Finnegan to stay healthy. Disco’s elbow seems like a ticking time bomb, and Finnegan’s shoulder issues remind me too much of the abundance of pitchers who went to the bullpen with chronic shoulder injuries. I’m not down on Robert Stephenson either; I just think he has the most to overcome (ridiculous walk rate mostly) in order to stay in the rotation. He’s the most volatile in that he could be a top of the rotation guy or an unreliable bullpen arm.

Mary Beth: Whoever won the silent auction at the St. William summer festival. I live in Cincinnati and write for a Reds-focused site, and I when I try to list five starting pitchers, I have to sit quietly and think very hard.

“What about–”
“No, that guy’s injured.”
“Didn’t he–”
“No, he got injured again.”
“Isn’t the guy we traded for—“
“He got traded.”

Fortunately for you and me, unbeknownst to most of Reds country, the front office quietly arranged for the bulk of the starting positions to go to the fan willing to shell out the most at the silent auction tent, right between the Elder quilt and the right to name the school drop-off lane.

I have high hopes.

Chad: Do you believe that the top two Reds in games started in 2017 were Scott Feldman and Tim Adleman? That’s all you need to know about why the Reds lost 90+ games last season, eh?

For 2018, I choose to be optimistic. The top five in games started will be:

1. Luis Castillo — continues his magic from last year and becomes a dependable top of the rotation guy.
2. Homer Bailey — Bailey was actually third on the 2017 Reds in starts; he’ll be healthy all season and will give the Reds 150+ innings.
3. Anthony DeSclafani — I’m getting really optimistic here. But Disco pitched more than 180 innings in his rookie year.
4. Tyler Mahle — I think Mahle will be the biggest surprise in the Reds rotation, a Mike Leake-type for a new generation.
5. Someone that the Reds acquire in an off-season trade. I prefer Clayton Kershaw, but we’ll wait and see.

15 Responses

  1. scottya

    1. Castillo 2. Bailey 3. Romano 4. Desclafani 5. Finnegan

    With the Bailey, Desclafani and Finnegan injury history it could be who knows what. But we have the depth to still have a decent staff even if. There really isn’t room for everybody!!

  2. The Duke


    in that order

    • larry

      No Bailey? I hope Bailey has a super first half, than they trade him in July for a contender for a few really good prospects.

  3. TR

    Too many hopefuls at this time and the Front Office might surprise us. Spring training should make it clear.

  4. Steve Hanshaw

    Normally an optimist, but;

    Feldman (yes I know he’s a FA)
    Bob Steve

    I’m hoping for Disco…..

  5. cfd3000


    I know, that’s pretty unlikely, especially that last guy. But the only way these are the top five is if Bailey stays healthy, and the other four stay healthy AND pitch really well. So if this plays out the Reds will be playoff contenders. I could easily see Stephenson, Romano, DeSclafani, Finnegan, or a new veteran-y guy displacing anyone on that list. I’ll also say that if whoever is 5th on the list at the end of the year had 18 or more starts then the Reds will have had a very good year. Here’s hoping.

  6. kmartin

    I have no idea which five it will be. However, I hope when the season ends Castillo, Bailey and DeSclafani are in the top five. If these three remain injury free we have a good shot at a decent starting five.

  7. Mary Beth Ellis

    Shhhhh, they’ll just keep giving me more wine and sending me off into a corner with a laptop.

  8. thekidredblog

    1 Castillo
    2 Bailey
    3 Romano
    4 Free Agent Pickup
    5 Mahle
    6 Bob Steve
    7 Amir Garret
    8 Jackson Stephens
    9 Worst case is Micheal Lorenzen

  9. Ethan L


    Romano, Castillo, Mahle, Bob Steve, and Davis

  10. sixpacktwo

    We do not need to get a vet pitcher, as we have one/two in Bailey/Disco. Use are young guys to see who steps up. We have 6/7 starting pitchers and should be able to find 5 out of that bunch.

  11. Michael E

    1. Seaver
    2. Gullet
    3. Rijo
    4. Maloney
    5. Soto