I agree with John Fay: for the Reds to be good this year, Bronson Arroyo could be key:

Arroyo came into camp this year at 198 pounds. He’s still very lean at 6 feet 5, but a little weight can make a big difference. He was sick early in spring training, but it didn’t have a big effect on him.

He went 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA. He struck out 12, walked two and allowed 12 hits in 19 innings.

“I feel now like I felt going into the end of last season,” Arroyo said.

Arroyo’s rough stretch last season coincided with a drop in the velocity on his fastball. His strength is his off-speed stuff, but that slow stuff works better when the fastball is at 90 to 91 mph. He hopes to keep it there this season.

“I worked a little harder this offseason on my shoulder,” he said. “I wanted to see if I could get my fastball a little more consistently stiffer.”

Interesting.

Tonight would be a good time for him to start on his way to an excellent season. How about 7 or 8 quality innings against the D’backs tonight?

About The Author

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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