Anthony DeSclafani and Homer Bailey are both not going to be ready to go when Opening Day begins. This is not ideal. Correspondingly, I have been tasked* with writing a worst-case scenario for the rotation. And that’s harder than you think.
* Editor’s note: who’s the dumb editor that assigned this topic to Jason? csd
There are a lot of moving parts in the rotation this year. Lots of prospects trying to gain a foothold. Lots of innings limits to worry about. Just lots and lots of lots. So many lots, that I was having a hard time figuring out how to define the worst case scenario. And then it came to me.
In the worst case scenario, Bronson Arroyo and Scott Feldman combine to make 65 starts.
In terms of play this year, there are certainly worse things that could happen. One can dream up all manner of nightmarish scenarios. But this is supposed to be the year things Get Sorted and we find out who’s Good Enough. Arroyo and Feldman are meant to be filler. They’re good guys who have had good careers, but at this point, they are innings-eaters who allow the sorting to happen, but who can also be put aside when the team is firing on all cylinders.
We already know, of course, that the Reds won’t open the season firing on all cylinders, but if Arroyo and Feldman spend the entire year in the rotation, it means things have gone horribly wrong. It means Disco and Bailey have been hurt all year. Or it means that something happened to Brandon Finnegan. Or it means that Amir Garret or Cody Reed or Robert Stephenson (or some combination of the three of them) really haven’t panned out. Or it means that several or even all of these things are true.
In short, the worst case scenario for the 2017 rotation is that the 2018 rotation is still a giant question mark at the end of the season.