The Cincinnati Reds were one of the luckiest teams in baseball during the 2012 regular season where the starters were concerned. Not only did they make every scheduled start and stay injury free, they also all showed enough to be back in 2013. While some folks are arguing that Mike Leake should be replaced in the rotation, I am not so sure. Though he struggled in the beginning of the year, he seemed to improve as the season progressed. I think we might should stand pat at the moment and give our stud youngsters a bit more time to fill in the gaps.
It begins with Cueto
Nobody will deny that Johnny Cueto is the number one guy and he should be in that position when the 2013 season starts. His 19 wins kept our club on the cusp of first place during some tough runs early on. It seemed every time the club needing a huge win, Cueto would pop up and nail a big one. Latos gave him a run for his money at the end, but Cueto is the main guy for now.
Keep Aroldis Chapman right where he is
Everybody understands the urge to bring this monster into the starting lineup and it might even work. The problem here though is Chapman is a monster where he is now. No matter what, Aroldis Chapman will not be replaced in the bullpen as a closer. We could possibly replicate his results with him as a starter. Perhaps he should be a starter someday, but 2013 is already built and ready. Keep him mowing them down in the ninth if you ask me.
Bronson Arroyo dipped into the fountain of youth
At 35 years old, Bronson had a fantastic year . I see no reason why he could not give the Reds a similar type of season in 2013. What really amazed me was that Arroyo suddenly cut his home runs allowed to only 26. He has not been in that area since 2005 when he gave up 23. If he can come anywhere close to that type of production, we will contend once again.
Mat Latos, Homer Bailey and Mike Leake will improve even more
This triumvirate provided plenty of wow moments in 2012 and I think that at least two of them will make giant strides in 2013. All three actually could make big moves, but Tony Cingrani is waiting in the wings if they don't.
Either way, I see the Reds starters as being loaded and yet another reason why they should contend in 2013.
*Southern is a life-long Cincinnati Reds fan that grew up watching Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and the boys dominate the Major Leagues. He longs for those days once again in Cincinnati.
More from this contributor:Five Reasons the Cincinnati Reds Look like Champions in 2012: Fan's Take
- Sports & Recreation
- Cincinnati Reds
- Johnny Cueto
- Mike Leake
- Aroldis Chapman