What a great Reds debut today by starting pitcher Edinson Volquez. Just really an outstanding start. When you combine today’s game with Johnny Cueto’s superb debut on Thursday, it’s enough to make even the most jaded and cynical Reds fan get excited.

Here’s John Fay’s reaction:

In some ways his outing was more impressive than Cueto’s. Volquez was facing a much better hitting team; he was facing them for the third time; and he had a to work out of jams.

I’d take either one, however.

I was standing along the third base line when I heard a kid, maybe 9 or 10, say to his dad: “This pitcher is crazy, dad.”


Another reaction: I absolutely agree with CSG’s take.

Consider for a moment the great potential of this pitching rotation. You know what you are going to get from Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo. You have to be optimistic about Cueto and Volquez. Josh Fogg is horrible, but I have to believe that he is going to be shown the door once Homer Bailey (great first start) or Matt Belisle (incredible rehab start today) are ready to join the big club.

It isn’t hyperbole to say that that has the makings of a great pitching rotation.

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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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7 Responses

  1. nycredsfan

    yeah, it’s early, and yeah, there are a lot of ifs, but if cueto/volquez can live up to the potential they’ve shown, and if harang/arroyo are their solid selves, this could be the best rotation in the NL this year, especially if Homer gets it together and replaces Fogg. Don’t want to get carried away, but this is as excited as I’ve been as a Reds fan in 10 years.

  2. GregD

    They were talking about Volquez on the WLW extra innings, and a caller talked about “2nd time around the league” stuff. I knew Volquez had faced the Phillies a few times in spring training, including most of the regulars the final week of spring training. They weren’t able to make adjustments to get to him in this game. That’s a good sign.

  3. Lefty

    What scares me about Homer is that his velocity is way down, topping out at 91? Now you can throw 91 and be a successful MLB pitcher, but the margin for error is much less than when you are throwing 94-97 like Cueto and Voltron. Heck, Belisle, whom I like, throws 91.

    So Belisle in the rotation and Homer out of the bullpen makes sense to me. Maybe Homer can refind his fastball or at least learn how to pitch at the MLB level with less pressure. We know he can pitch at AAA, he will be successful there. But we also know AAA success does not always translate into major league success. Ask Jeremy Sowers.

  4. brublejr

    I am very excited about the prospects of our rotation. So far we have had 4 good/great outings, 1 decent, and 1 horrible. That beats the hell out of 3 horrible ones like we would have had in the past. Not to mention we have beaten 2 division winners from a year ago.

    Hopefully Belisle will be back soon, plug him in Fogg’s spot, send Fogg to AAA for insurance to injury, and then when Homer is ready have him and Belisle in rotation/long relief.

    I cannot remember when we have actually had good options for a solid rotation along with depth. All reasons for hope, that this could be a great year.

  5. Bill

    My concern is the raised expectations. Cueto and Volquez were great, but they are going to struggle at times and “average fan” will lose faith in them b/c they struggle. I hope that the media and especially our radio announcers (who have way too much influence on fan’s perception of players) don’t turn the fans against these young guys.

  6. preach

    …and don’t forget that the trade also brought us Herrera, who I think will be a servicable middle reliever. How good would this deal look then?

  7. GregD

    I think it bears monitoring the trade that wasn’t made. Bedard missed his 2nd scheduled start of season. It’s not his arm, and it sounds like only one game, but this guy just misses too many starts to trade 3-4 top level prospects.

    Re: Volquez & Cueto. Yes, at least one, if not both, will have their ups and downs this year. What is exciting in the potential is having 4 good starters in the rotation instead of 2. That one if/when one of them goes into a funk or gets injured, there’s still 3 good starters in the rotation. Compared to a year ago, Arroyo has his mid-season pitching slump and it’s Aaron Harang shouldering the load.