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As good as Cincinnati's bullpen was, the starting rotation was just as good.
With a 3.64 ERA, the team's rotation ranked fifth in baseball. None of the teams ahead of them played in a place quite like Great American Ball Park for 81 games.
The Reds had the only rotation in baseball to have all five starters make every start—with the exception of a doubleheader late in the season.
The rotation was also the only one in baseball to have every starter throw at least one complete game, a feat that was accomplished before the All-Star break. Cincinnati's rotation ranked behind only the Philadelphia Phillies for the most innings pitched, and four of the five starters topped 200 innings.
Only Mike Leake had an earned run average above 3.75, and he was also the only one not to top 200 innings. He took a step back in 2012, but he has shown that he can win 10 games. Despite not looking great, an 8-9 record isn't too shabby for a No. 5 starter.
Johnny Cueto went 19-9 with a 2.78 ERA and finished fourth in the NL Cy Young voting. He turned into an ace after adding a twist to his windup and is starting to get more recognition.
Mat Latos recovered after a rocky April to 14-4 in his first season with the team. Bronson Arroyo returned to his usual form, and Homer Bailey had a breakout season. He set career highs in just about every category, including wins, strikeouts and innings. Oh, he also threw a no-hitter.
Latos and Arroyo both suffered scares by getting hit by comebackers on back-to-back days last week, but it looks like they will be ready to go.
If Chapman made the rotation and the team made the postseason, who gets left out of the rotation in October? Cueto is the ace of the staff, and Latos came up big last season in the playoffs. Arroyo and Bailey threw back-to-back gems, with each pitcher only allowing one hit in seven innings.
When a rotation has four guys to throw 200-plus innings, win at least 12 games and have an ERA below 3.75, there's not much to fix. As long as Leake come back with a stronger performance, there is no need to put Chapman in the rotation.