There hasn't been this much anticipation for a Reds season in years, but for anyone who has been paying attention to spring training, the news hasn't been very good and it continues to get worse as starting pitcher Homer Bailey was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder impingement.
For Bailey, who has shown flashes but is still seeking consistency over the course of an entire season, it's another setback.
The injury is only supposed to sideline him for a few starts, but it's always something with this guy, who has a great competitive zeal but keeps getting injuries that always seem to sidetrack any progress he's trying to make.
Suddenly, a probably Volquez-Arroyo-Cueto-Wood-Bailey rotation has turned into Volquez-Arroyo-Wood-Leake-LeCure.
Sam LeCure has league average stuff, and can help a team out for a short stretch at the bottom of the rotation, but suddenly, the staff doesn't look nearly as fierce, and a quick glance at the Spring Training numbers reveal that not a single starter has an ERA below 4.00.
Some may dismiss that, and say "oh, it's just spring training." However, outside of Arroyo, all of these guys have short track records, so we can't assume that they will be able to "flip the switch" once the real games get underway.
The Reds had a lot of things go right last year, one of those being remarkable health. Even in a watered down division that doesn't nearly have the firepower of, say an AL East, it's still a relatively bad sign.
As I mentioned in a prior article, never trade away what may be perceived to be "excess" pitching, for the word truly doesn't exist as it pertains to the marathon known as the Major League Baseball season.