Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ken Rosenthal cautions the Reds not to "sacrifice pitching to improve offense"

The bow tie offers its advice.
It seems certain that after the disappointing finish to 2013, the Reds will look to upgrade their offense. That could be tough though with what seems like the impending trade of second-leading run producer Brandon Phillips and the lack of funds available to re-sign Shin-Soo Choo. Cincinnati will have to dig deep and may have to make some difficult decisions to improve the team.

Ken Rosenthal, of Fox Sports, advises them not to give into the temptation of giving up pitching for offense. I agree with him.

Among his suggestions, he says that the Reds should keep Homer Bailey around even if they can't sign him to a long term deal, unless the return on his trade brings back much greater value. You'd hate to let Bailey walk with nothing in return, especially for a team that doesn't have a lot of assets with which to work, but at the same time, there is no one in-house who can replace Bailey at this point.

Rosenthal also mentions that the Reds are already losing Bronson Arroyo and replacing him with Tony Cingrani. Arroyo isn't the best pitcher in the world, but he stays healthy and he's mostly consistent, giving you lots of quality innings. Cingrani has been great so far, when he has stayed on the mound. Can he stay healthy and effective for 30 starts?

Another point Rosenthal touches on is Aroldis Chapman. He says to keep him in the bullpen as it is just too late at this point for this team to transition him back to starting. Plus he likes it, and removing him from the bullpen, not only weakens the 'pen, it also weakens the starting rotation for 2014 and that's if he's successful as a starter. If he didn't work out as a starter, it would be a disaster.

It seems nearly impossible to improve the offense through free agency with a limited budget, but the Reds should definitely preserve their pitching. It has been a huge part of why they have been successful over the last few years.

What do you think?

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