When pundits turn in their predictions in the coming weeks for this year’s version of the MLB postseason, our guess is the Reds aren’t going to be crowned as champions by many scribes.
Maybe part of that has to do with the club’s lack of playoff experience, and maybe part is based on Cincinnati’s generally lackadaisical attitude toward the team. Others will point to the Reds’ starting rotation, which is now without stud rookie Mike Leake and probably the least talented among baseball’s playoff-bound teams.
Cincy’s three-man October rotation will most likely consist of Bronson Arroyo, who has a 4.05 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 30 starts this season, Johnny Cueto, 12-5 with a 3.31 ERA in 28 starts, and, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Edinson Volquez.
Volquez spent a large chunk of the 2010 season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and serving a 50-game suspension for a positive PED test. But he threw seven shutout innings and struck out 10 batters last week against Pittsburgh and allowed just six hits and fanned seven in 6 2/3 innings today against the Diamondbacks.
“He’s throwing it as well as anybody we have right now,” Reds manager Dusty Baker told the Enquirer Thursday. “That’s a positive sign. … His endurance is up. His velocity is up. … His tempo, rhythm and overall delivery are
better. He’s not forcing it. He’s letting it flow.”
The Reds are currently eight games up on the Cardinals in the National League Central. Within the next week or two, they will be celebrating the organization’s first playoff berth since 1995.