The Cincinnati Reds have been tweaking their pitching rotation all season. Not by choice mind you, but by necessity.
Injuries and unbridled wildness have forced manager Dusty Baker to send starters to Louisville for "Base on Ball Therapy."
He has also had to send some to the DL for various and sundry reasons, one (Homer Bailey) on two occasions already.
We were never completely clear on what Baker had selected for his initial rotation as injuries compelled him to start without Bailey and Johnny Cueto.
I do know that the Reds have called up pitchers before they were ripe, and I don't know if they have had their five "best" healthy at one time.
I said all of that to say this. The Reds will be forced to make a move soon that will affect somebody in an adverse way.
Bailey is expected back soon, as he pitched a rehab assignment last night against the Pawtucket Red Sox. In a less than stellar performance, he did get credit for a quality start.
He pitched six innings, gave up eight hits and three earned runs, walked only one and fanned three. The Bats lost the game 6-3, but the loss was tagged on Justin Lehr.
Bailey's arrival to the Reds is going to send somebody to Louisville, the DL, or perhaps somewhere else.
Edinson Volquez, (4-3) is not going to be moving anywhere. He, after losing the long hair, has pitched effectively since returning from Louisville.
Bronson Arroyo, (6-6) will not be going anywhere unless an unseen trade comes along quickly. He pitched eight fantastic innings the other night against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Ace of the staff, Johnny Cueto (4-2), has offered up seven quality starts in eight outings thus far. He is settled in as solid as a rock.
That leaves the two young guns, Mike Leake and Travis Wood.
Leake (6-3), has had five-straight quality starts since serving his time in Louisville. In those five starts he has an ERA of 2.31, has won three of four decisions and has a WHIP of 1.09.
Wood (5-5), the only lefty in the rotation is on thin ice in my humble opinion. Even though he has 10 quality starts sprinkled among his 16 outings, he has not looked great lately.
After a shaky four-run first inning against the New York Yankees, he settled in and pitched well, allowing only four hits over the next seven innings.
The Reds have three pitchers currently on the DL, Bailey, Aroldis Chapman and Sam LeCure.
LeCure claims he is ready to pitch and it is hard to get a good read on Chapman's status.
Baker has several options available. He could relegate Wood or Leake to the bullpen, which of course necessitates sending one or two relievers to Louisville or DFA them.
A trade could be in the works, or some real serious shapeshifting going on up in here.
I look to see Jeremy Horst somewhere else, most likely Louisville or maybe even AA.
The Reds currently have 12 pitchers on their 25-man roster. If they plan on sticking with that number my 12 choices to remain are as follows:
Arroyo, Cueto, Volquez, Bailey, Leake, Coco Cordero, Nick Masset, LeCure, Bill Bray, Logan Ondrusek, Wood, and Carlos (Obama) Fisher.
Holding on to those 12 will mean a place has to be found for Jose Arredondo and Jeremy Horst.
My head hurts from directing these maneuvers. How would you do it?
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