In preparation of the 2011 MLB Fantasy Baseball season, The Fantasy Fix team will preview a team's pitching rotation each day.
Tyler's second preview in the National League Central looks at Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, Bronson Arroyo and a trio of young Cincinnati Reds fighting for two rotation spots!
Last season, Cincinnati was able to make the playoffs after 15 years of missing the postseason. Led by 17-game winner Bronson Arroyo, the Reds’ pitchers were a big part to the team’s success. Once again made up of some young guns, the 2011 Reds will look to get into the postseason for two straight seasons.
Reds’ veteran Bronson Arroyo has been a successful starter in four of his five seasons with Cincinnati. In the last two seasons, Arroyo’s strikeouts have decreased by about 30-40. However, while his punch-outs have declined, his ERA has also gone down in 2009 and 2010, posting ERAs in the high-3.00 range (in 2007 and 2008, his ERA was 4.23 and 4.77 respectively). In 2011, we can most likely expect the recent Arroyo, the one with around 16 wins, 125 Ks, a 3.85 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 60 BB.
Cincinnati’s second starter, Johnny Cueto, had a terrific start to 2010. Going 8-2 with 79 strike outs and a 3.42 ERA, Cueto looked to be in line for a stellar year. In the final two months of the season, though, he went 4-5 with a similar K/9, ERA, and WHIP. Cueto continues to be a productive fantasy starter, averaging a 12-12 record, 196 IP, 4.27 ERA, 158 K, and 1.35 WHIP in three full seasons with the Reds.
His 12 no-decisions was among the most in the majors (leaders had 13), so the chance of Cueto winning 15+ games is a definite possibility in the near future...