I may be going overboard here, but I’m pretty excited about this year’s pitching staff.  It looks more and more like Johnny Cueto will make the rotation, and Voltron has a good shot at either a rotation spot, or more likely, the bullpen.

I’m actually pretty comfortable with the idea of a Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Fogg, Affeldt roation. Especially with Belisle and Voltron ready to fill in if anyone struggles.  For the bullpen, you’ll have Cordero, Weathers, Burton, Belisle, Voltron, Mercker/Stanton, and maybe Coffey.

This is probably the best collection of pitching talent this club has had, coming out of spring training at least, in a long time.  What’s the last rotation this good or better?  maybe 1996? (Schourek, Smiley, Burba, Portugal, Salkeld – with Brantley, Shaw, and Carrasco in the pen). 

The 1999 staff was really good by the end of the season, but remember that Juan Guzman came over in trade, Denny Neagle was hurt to start the season, and Steve Parris and Ron Villone didn’t emerge until mid-season.  The opening day rotation was:  Brett Tomko, Jason Bere, Steve Avery, and Harnisch (they skipped Neagle’s spot the first three times through the rotation). 

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12 Responses

  1. preach

    I was thinking the same thing. Even our ‘bubble guys’ here seem to be a major upgrade from times past. And the youth of the group is exciting. Our starters look pretty solid, and with the additions of Affeldt (he’s a bullpen guy) and Cordero we have really strengthed our pen. Maybe it’s just Spring fever getting the best of me, but I am looking forward to watching this group of guys take the mound.

  2. Matt Birt

    I guess I’m not sure why Volquez is in the pen over guys like Affeldt and Fogg. Doesn’t make much sense to me. Fogg and Affeldt are going to get crushed. Volquez has shown the ability to be filthy, plus we gave up Josh for him.

    I’d hate to see us waste him in the bullpen. That is, unless the plan is to start him out in the pen and transition him to the rotation (like Johan and company).

  3. GregD

    It wasn’t that long ago that Belisle, Fogg would have been the #1 and #2 starter on this team. It’s great to see #4/5 type starters actually being pushed to the bottom of the rotation/bullpen.

    I think Belisle and Fogg are about equal, so it wouldn’t bother me to see either one in the rotation with the other in the pen. I hope Affeldt isn’t in the rotation just because he’s left handed. I’d rather see Volquez starting and Affeldt in the pen, if Volquez continues to dominate.

    With 3 weeks of spring left to play, I’m not ready to declare Cueto as the #3 guy in the rotation.

  4. nick

    I hope this staff is as good as we’re hoping. Hope springs eternal this time of year, but I’m even more excited than usual.

    This is off the wall (seeing Harnisch’s name made me think of it), but I’ve got a fitted Reds hat that, to me, always fit the way a hat fit Pete Harnisch. I always wondered what size his hat was and if I was wrong to say that I’ve got a Pete Harnisch sized head.

  5. Bill

    Greg, I think that Belisle will improve over last year (pitching in bad luck), as I don’t believe Fogg will.

  6. preach

    I think Fogg will improve and so will Belisle. I’ve seen them both a couple of times and I agree that it’s pretty much a toss up, and since both will be better than last year, it will make a nice back end part of the rotation and some quality long relief.

    My five:

    Harang
    Arroyo
    Fogg
    Cueto
    Voltron

    Long relief:
    Belise
    Baily

    short relief/situational:
    Weathers
    Affeldt
    Cordero
    -whoever else steps up

    I’m pretty excited about the staff.

  7. Bill

    Haven’t the Reds talked about not feeling they can use Belisle in relief b/c of his back? I seem to remember that from last year.

  8. Justin

    Me thinks it goes like this at the moment:
    Harang, Arroyo, Belisle, Fogg and either Affaldt/Bailey/Cueto/Voltron and also Livingston when he is back. There will be 1 of those fellows sent to the bullpen in the form of Affaldt to join Bray, Burton, Coffee, Cordero, Merker/Stanton and Weathers. With the youngsters sent to Louisville. Also no Broken Shoulder. McBeth, Salmon, Lehr, Coutlangus and Lincoln also to Louisville. Mercker or Stanton will make the roster Brower is a possibility, but the youngsters will be shipped sadly. But none for long. Josh Fogg must impress in his 1st few starts or else he could be the next Dave Williams.

  9. Justin

    Voltron is a great nickname for Edison 🙂