Is Cincinnati Reds’ Rotation Really Undecided?


Despite the general consensus among fans and media who follow the Cincinnati Reds that the team’s starting rotation for Opening Day and beyond is settled, that’s not necessarily so says manager Bryan Price.  As Price told’s Mark Sheldon on Friday, the back three starting slots are still up for grabs. 

More from Cincinnati Reds

Price made noises a couple of weeks ago to indicate that the rotation when the team heads north would consist of Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Jason Marquis, Anthony DeSclafani, and Raisel Iglesias.  While that still seems to be the basic intent, the skipper said Friday that he was still weighing his options and that the choices aren’t as cut and dried as they may seem from the outside:

"This is where the whole statistical thing goes by the wayside. What you can see with DeSclafani is his stuff shows up, his aggressiveness, his ability to consistently pitch inside effectively, how he controls the running game. These are all things that show up even if he had an ERA of 5.00 or 6.00. There are a lot of things he’s doing well."

So, could Price really be waffling about his starting staff?

The fact that the first couple of week of each season are peppered with plenty of off days certainly makes some rotation jockeying a possibility.  If Cueto can’t make his scheduled Opening Day start after being out of camp for more than a week, for instance, the whole shebang could be shifted forward.  Then, Cueto might not start until late in the first week, and Price would have the option of taking a look at someone else in the rotation.

Some like Michael Lorenzen, perhaps, a youngster who has pitched well in Spring Training but is currently slated for the bullpen.  Or maybe even veteran Paul Maholm or the puzzling Tony Cingrani could get back into the starters race after being relegated to bullpen competition earlier in March.

However early April plays out, the rotation is sure to take on a different look come the end of the month when big-contract Homer Bailey is back in the fold.

With Batman holding down the second or third spot on the bump, someone will get nudged from the back end, and whoever performs best between now and then will be the one(s) to avoid elimination.

Next: 3 Things to Watch as Cincinnati Reds Finish Spring Training


More from Riverfront Ball