Originally Posted by Tadasimha
They have a veteran starter in Arroyo for at least one more season - after that, all four of the young starters will have had several seasons as starters (and more post-season experience as well): this staff will have evolved into a veteran staff. Arroyo probably being gone after 2013 means I think you see Mike Leake still on the team as he becomes the "change of pace" guy in between the hard throwers. This presumes he gets back to being the double digit winner he was in 2011.
Of course they could still make a move for another starter but I really think the GM is going to be looking to improve the offense before the rotation.
Chapman should stay as the closer - he's dominant out of the pen and it would be a wasted season for him to stretch out as a starter, plus we've already seen what happens when the velocity goes down, which was after stopper innings and pitch numbers. Imagine what happens two-thirds of the way through the season when he's over 100 innings - wouldn't be pretty.
Guys only "evolve" into a veteran staff one year at a time. By my count, the 24 year old starters on the Reds will still only be 25 next year.
Down the stretch and in the playoffs, it's good to have some experience on the roster. Good players who have been there before sometimes have an advantage.
The Cardinals win a lot in the post-season. They tend to have veteran starting pitchers, mostly. I think it helps them. I don't see a lot of 24 year old starters in the playoffs for some of the other top teams.
I am aware that Arroyo is a veteran. A good mixture on a starting staff would include another solid veteran starter. A veteran starter might have been a good alternative for Game four of the NLDS.
And, yes, I think it's quite apparent that offense will be a priority this off-season. But that doesn't preclude one change in the rotation.
The Keppinger suggestion by Marc D is a good one although he is another righty hitter who feasts on lefties. The bench is another place for some veterans, although they have to hit more than Valdez and Cairo did this year.