The Starting Pitching Will Be Worse
Jul 4, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Alfredo Simon throws a pitch during the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Often washed away in the wake of the Reds’ lost season is the fact that their rotation was surprisingly good, particularly in the first half, when Alfredo Simon emerged from the bullpen to make the All-Star team as a starter. Predictably, Simon cooled in the second half and ended up at 3-7 with a 4.52 after the break. There seems to be very little chance that he will give the Reds another 12-3 run as he did in the first half of 2014.
Johnny Cueto is a bona fide ace and racked up 20 wins this season, but he also pitched 243 innings, besting his previous high by more than 26 innings. He won’t win the Cy Young award thanks to the all-world performance of Clayton Kershaw, but Cueto is golden trade bait and could very likely end up with another team before the spring. Even if he does remain with the Reds, there seems to be very little chance that Cueto can repeat this year’s performance, particularly given that he has battled injuries in the past.
In all, the Reds finished third in the NL in starters’ ERA (3.37), and first in batting average against (.236). Nobody saw that coming, and it’s not reasonable to expect it to happen again.