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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Rotation: It's set

It's no coincidence that the Reds are pitching in the following order:

Aaron Harang
Bronson Arroyo
Johnny Cueto
Josh Fogg
Edinson Volquez

Dusty Baker wouldn't quite say it, but that's how the rotation will line up for the start of the season.

"It's not set," Baker said. "We've still got some action. It's pretty set, except for that fifth spot. I hate to tell young kids that they're there too soon. Then if something happens, you've got to go back on your word. You want to keep them motivated and driven through the end of spring training."

Volquez pitched only two innings Thursday in relief of Homer Bailey because Volquez was pitching on short rest.

"(We did that) in order to get in sync for the rotation," Baker said. "Fogg did the same thing the last time. We figured Homer could handle starting more than coming out of the pen. It takes him a long time to warm-up."

Matt Belisle is out of the picture because of a sore forearm.

"He's going to throw today," Baker said. "He's falling behind."

That means Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Fogg, Volquez and Bailey are the only healthy starters still in the mix. Bailey could theoretically move into Fogg's or Volquez's spot.


at 11:58 AM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Belisle is out of the mix. Surprise, surprise. That is a good sign and there is no way he starts the season on this roster.

at 11:58 AM Blogger Dutch in Richmond, IN said...

Works for me. What a difference 4 weeks make. Also, I give credit to the Reds front office for not trading for Blanton or Bedard. This is a young team that can work together and become a force in the Central. This proves that to build a successful team in a small market, you have to do it through the minors and the draft.

at 12:18 PM Blogger groatdogg said...

Esteemed Mr. Fay,
Do you have any insight to the progress and likelihood of one Jose Capellan making the 25-man as a pseudo-rule 5 pick? I just don't see it happening. I love his potential as a lefty starter in the future. But how could they keep him knowing he has zero experience vs. any competition above A ball?

at 12:40 PM Blogger David Hartman said...

Given Baker's comments about Bailey and it taking him a long time to warm up, I'm guessing that means Bailey's in the next round of cuts. Doesn't sound like a bullpen candidate.

at 12:43 PM Blogger hey hey redlegs said...

i'm liking it, hopefully everyone keeps pitching like they have been all ST

at 1:01 PM Blogger Arden Dulou said...

I think Belisle is above average reliever and would help the bullpen out. Sending him to be a starter at AAA means little since he will never crack the starting rotation outside of a massive amount of injuries.

If Votto doesn't make the team who would? Andy Phillips?

One thing to watch is when/if AGon comes back Castro is now the odd man out for backup infielder.

at 1:10 PM Blogger Marc in Kentucky said...

Let's all hope together, and I'm discounting this year, but if Bailey can develop a little more, just look at the rotation next year.

Plus they are young. This is the healthiest this franchise has been in a long, long, long time.

Now, let's go make some teams miserable this year the NL Central. GO REDS!

at 1:18 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I don't see Capellan making it. You could see a trade for him.

To person on the other post: Mike Lincoln has a shot -- a long shot. He's throwing 94 and they like him. He would go to AAA if he doesn't make it is my guess.

at 1:30 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Arden Dulou:
Who would you rather have making a mid year start:
Matt Belisle or Phil Dumatrait?

Matt Belisle (in AAA) is a great example of improved pitching of the 2008 Reds.

Doesn't mean you trade him, or Bailey. Teams with pitching are sought after.

what a paradox that would be for the Reds...

at 1:45 PM Blogger Grizzlyfox said...

Does anybody else see them skipping Volquez's spot the first time around? I'd hate to see it, but the 5 spot isn't needed until the 2nd time around. The plus side would be you send Volquez to AAA, keep him there til his spot comes up, and then keep either 14 position players or 8 bullpen guys, which allows you to have an extra week and a half to make a decision on a guy.
I'd say the bullpen would be more likely to take the extra guy, would allow for Mercker, Burton, Coffey, and Bray to duke it out for the last three spots.

at 1:54 PM Blogger va.redsfan said...

I like the power arms being broken up by the junkball pitchers. Kinda suprises me though that Cueto isn't the fifth starter at least early on. Just to take a little pressure off the rookie. On my blog I had that rotation the other day with Volquez and Cueto flip flopped.

at 2:08 PM Blogger Ol' Timey Redsfan said...

Fox I would say you could place a bet on it. I see him doing a inning or two out of the bullpen before his first start.

at 2:34 PM Blogger RickDinChicago said...

Grizzlyfox, I too was looking at the schedule and wondering what they would do with Volquez.

My guess is that they keep him on the roster in case he his needed in a lengthy relief role. If one of the other four starters is getting shelled, then it would be nice to have the guy around and getting work.

God bless the Reds for not trading Cueto in the offseason. How much would be hitting our heads right now?

at 3:05 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Gorzelanny has a 11-4 GO-FO ratio today. He also has given up 9 hits and 5 runs...but what a great ground ball ratio!

Those dang stats

at 3:21 PM Blogger Grizzlyfox said...

I brought this up the other day before the whole catcher fiasco thing, but after another bullpen failure last night and Stanton giving up a run following 6 shut out innings today, shouldn't they be in the market for a solid relief pitcher? Freel has got to have some value. If they aren't going to move him for a catcher, then they really need to package him and a prospect for a proven major league arm. Bray right now has got to have the lead to throw in the 7th, and he's pitched what, all of 4 innings this spring?

at 3:28 PM Blogger Ben said...

somebody [re: wayne] needs to get off his duff and sign the recently released john patterson. as in, now. wowza.

at 3:29 PM Blogger Bcbdub said...

Dutch says-"This proves that to build a successful team in a small market, you have to do it through the minors and the draft."

Excepting the fact that only one of the pitchers in the rotation was drafted or brought in through the Red's minor league system!!

We got Harang from the A's, Arroyo from the Red Sox, Volquez from the Rangers, and Fogg from the Rockies...

at 3:33 PM Blogger Chris Sabo said...

why waste the option grizzly fox?

at 3:43 PM Blogger Ashland ATeam said...

I haven't posted in forever because, quite frankly, the back and forth bickering is just too much for me to handle. However, for everyone who's interested in a non-biased opinion on Cueto, Volquez and/or Josh Hamilton, check out this article:


The scouts speak for themselves, I'd say.

at 4:04 PM Blogger Rob Dicken said...

I am satisfied with that rotation. As much as I dislike the Josh Fogg signing and automatic placement in the rotation, I guess I can live with it. We lived with Eric Milton for a few years...what would it hurt putting up with the shelacking Fogg will receive, right?

I'm sorry...I hate to be negative, but for $1 million put Fogg in the pen and let the young guys start. They can't do any worse.

at 4:05 PM Blogger Grizzlyfox said...

What option? Can he only be sent down once? I'll be the first to tell ya I don't know all of the intricacies involved in that stuff.

at 5:03 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Good rotation, (best possible given ST). Maybe Bailey can unseat Fogg mid season.

That Jayson Stark piece was awsome.

Jack in Blue Ash, please see that piece for the definition of "gushing".

at 5:07 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...



at 5:55 PM Blogger HoosierVirg said...

Players can be optioned out for three years, they can be sent up and down as many times as needed each of those three years with a few restrictions such as how long have they been down, is somebody injured etc. Correct me if I am wrong, John

at 6:09 PM OpenID chakes89 said...

I think they would be better off flip flopping Fogg and Volquez.

Volquez 4 and Fogg 5th would make them very solid

at 6:10 PM OpenID chakes89 said...

I like this rotation a LOT more than last years

at 6:40 PM Blogger kingseyeland said...

I'm starting a one-man campaign to NOT bring John Patterson to this town. Look at these numbers and explain why he's of any benefit to this club:


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