This week’s respondents are Steve Mancuso, Jackson Thurnquist, and yours truly.
Our Weekly Reds Obsession: If Anthony DeSclafani can actually return to the Reds in late May, whose spot in the current rotation — presuming all are healthy — will Disco take? And what will the Reds do with that pitcher?
Steve: Anthony DeSclafani should take Sal Romano’s place in the rotation. Romano should be sent to AAA to work on his control and third pitch. This isn’t giving up on Romano. There’s a good chance the Reds will trade Matt Harvey in the next month or so and could call Romano back then. On the other hand, given his dependence on one or two pitches, maybe Romano is a better fit in the bullpen.
Jackson: If everyone is healthy and performing at the levels we’ve come to expect from them, you’d like to think that DeSclafani would take the spot of either Bailey or Harvey. Neither of those two have a future with the Reds – Bailey will be a free agent after next year and has not proven himself to be even a passable starter after years of injury, and the best case scenario for Matt Harvey is that he is flipped at the deadline for a prospect or two.
However, there would be no sense in trying to flip Harvey if he’s not played, and Bailey, though currently sporting a handsome 6.11 ERA and baseball’s second worst FIP (6.07), is being payed $21MM this year and $23MM the next, and the Reds are not immune to the sunk cost fallacy. With that in mind, I have to imagine Sal Romano is the odd man out – he’s played at the lowest level so far of the three young starters, and has never represented much of a prospect for the Reds in the past. My best guess is that DeSclafani would replace Romano in the starting rotation, and Romano would spend a few weeks or months in Louisville until the Matt Harvey experiment ends — either by trade or meltdown.
Chad: I’ve already gone on record as saying that Homer Bailey needs to be sent to the bullpen at some point:
So why not try Bailey in the bullpen? I like Homer more than most Reds fans—and I think the Reds were justified in offering him that big contract all those years ago—but 2019 will be his final year in Cincinnati (unless the Reds pick up his option and pay him $25 million for 2020, which is as likely as the chances of me starting at shortstop on Opening Day). The club needs to see if they can get some value out of him before he fades off into the sunset.
Maybe a move to the bullpen will help Homer Bailey finally reach his potential as an ace; it’ll just be as a flame-throwing relief ace. That’s not what we envisioned back in 2012, but it might be the best we can hope for today.
So that’s what I think would be the most interesting choice. What do I expect to see happen? I think Sal Romano will get sent to Triple-A for a little while. I’m still high on Romano, but that wouldn’t be the worst decision in the world.
Actually, you know what I’d really like to see happen? I want to see the Reds get creative like the Tampa Bay Rays.
What do you think?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.