After the break, what will the Reds' rotation look like? That's a good question. I thought going after Cliff Lee was an absolute no-brainer, even though the Reds have depth in the rotation. Seattle apparently insisted on a top position player prospect with one year or less of major league experience. You have to think that Justin Smoak, the guy they got from Texas, is a better bet than Yonder Alonso, so the Reds just didn't have exactly what the M's wanted.
Without Lee, the Reds are left with more quantity than quality. Right now, Arroyo, Cueto, Leake, and Wood are all pitching well and I don't see any of them getting bumped from the rotation. So after the break when Volquez is ready, you have to assume he takes Harang's spot, which is currently occupied by Maloney, who has also pitched pretty well.
With Lee gone, Ted Lilly is in the rumors. But I think the Reds should sit tight. Lee was so good and the situation was perfect for a trade. But no other available pitcher will be enough to justify good prospects from the Reds. Should they try a modified six-man rotation? Why not? Let Arroyo throw every fifth day, but then rotate Cueto, who tired at the end of last season, Leake, Maloney, and Wood, all of whom need to watch their innings, and Volquez, who's coming off Tommy John. A fresh staff during the dog days will also help the bullpen. And if one guy slips up, move him to said pen.
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