Baseball season is almost over, and, as has been the case for a few years, the question for Reds fans is: Will next year be any better?
Yes. It will.
In fact, I genuinely believe the Reds will be vastly improved next year. They may even contend for a wildcard spot. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll make this case in two columns: Today, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m focusing on the pitching rotation, and in a couple of weeks, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll see one about position players.
Okay, letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tackle this. The starting pitching has been beyond terrible this year. You know this. As has been said in other corners, if Tim Adleman leads your team in innings pitched, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gonna be a rough year (which isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t meant as a put down of Adleman, but heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not a top-of-the-rotation pitcher).
But the season is long and things change. In the first half, the Reds starters had an FIP (fielding independent pitchingÃ¢â‚¬â€basically ERA if you cancel out the fielding) of 5.95; in the second half, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sitting at 4.79. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a big swing. Granted, it took them only from being bad in a biblical way to being bad in a merely below-average way. But itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s something.
Now consider this: Luis Castillo will be in the rotation next year.
Read the rest over at Cincinnati Magazine, then come back and tell me what you think.