Originally Posted by SMcGavin
Go down the list you just made.
Harang's recovery: 3.75 ERA
Cueto's improvement: 4.00 ERA
Bronson staying even: 4.75 ERA
Volquez not regressing: 3.25 ERA
Solving the fifth starter dilemma: 4.75 ERA
Average those five ERAs (a little inaccurate since in reality your top pitchers throw more innings thus should be weighted more, but it's just an estimate): 4.10 ERA from the rotation. League average starter has a 4.41 ERA. If all those things you mentioned come true, the Reds won't have a league average rotation, they'll have a very good rotation. Of course, all those things happening are unlikely - but we shouldn't act like the Reds need all of them to happen to have a solid rotation.
(other prominent candidates for the 5th spot: Bailey 7.93, Thompson 6.91, Ramirez 2.67)
I stick to my original point. The likelihood of this group putting up the numbers you project for 2009 seems to me extremely slim.