Shawn, fresh off his look at the best Reds of all time, has taken a look at the starting rotation of our favorite team. His post begins with a very bold statement, and concludes with this:

My take on the Reds’ rotation is that it could very well be the best in the Central, even without Homer Bailey. The Brewers have more depth, but not as many top starters. The Cardinals have potential, but also the potential to tank. Pittsburgh has a lot of talent that has yet to emerge. The Astros still have Oswalt but may have little else. An Astros rotation that includes Roger Clemens could be the best in the division, but that is unsure. And the Cubs are the Cubs. A healthy Mark Prior beats anyone else, but that has been true for years. We are still waiting. I like what the Reds have.

I wish I could agree with that.

9 Responses

  1. GodlyCynic

    I’m not sure anyone in the Central can beat Harang/Arroyo at the top right now. Maybe Sheets/Capuano but that requires Sheets to stay healthy for once. After that, no team in the central has a solid 3-5 and the Cubs, Cardinals, and Astros do not even have a particularly strong #2.

  2. DevilsAdvocate

    Boy, I think Milwaukee is certainly a slightly better rotation. Capuano and Sheets are definitely the top pairing in the division (even if Sheets only plays half a season, which I don’t believe will happen this year), and Suppan at least gives the Brewers an average innings-eater. The back of their 5-man is not pretty, but it seldom is.

    Still, the Reds are certainly in their general area as class of the division, and if Capuano falters at all the Reds should pass them.

    Agree with GodlyCynic on the state of the Astros and Cardinals and Cubs (unless there’s a comeback by Prior . . . which there probably is a reasonable chance of, despite seeming like it would be a miraculous event at this point).

  3. Josh

    I think we’re all being a bit delusional here. The top of the Reds rotation is strong, but without Bailey they won’t be the best. The Cubs have Zambrano and Lilly who I think Harang/Arroyo mathes up well with but if Prior is even a little healthy the Cubs surpass the Reds. Sheets and Capuano are more proven than the Reds’ two and with Suppan thrown in they are clearly better.

    I like the Reds’ chances though, especially if Bailey comes up with success and Milton can (if nothing else) eat innings.

  4. Chris

    I agree that Milwaukee is the best rotation in the division. I’m pretty confident that Arroyo’s ERA is going to see a rise, just from a correction to the mean from his good luck last year.

  5. DevilsAdvocate

    I forgot about Lilly with the Cubs – blinded by the presence of Marquis, maybe. Lilly could be primed for an Arroyo-style break into the NL.

  6. GodlyCynic

    At 31 and prone to give up home runs, I think Lilly won’t surprise anyone in the national league. There’s always a chance he’ll ride the first-half in a new league, first time facing each time boost, but after that, he’s just Ted Lilly. Maybe the biggest question here is why is a 6-team division only capable of finding maybe 10 good starters between them?