Maloney only pitched 17.2 at AAA but threw about 170 innings in High A ball in 2006 and again in AA/AAA in 2007. That's plenty of minor league innings. Again, would only include him if he shows he is ready, he's more of a finesse guy and may not be ready. But he's thrown a lot of minor league innings already.
As for Cueto, he apparently has such a great arm, I think the Reds may really be losing something by having him throw in the minors again. Use him cautiously, sure, but let's get his stuff to the show.
With respect to all the other names being mentioned as "ahead" of Bailey and Cueto on the pecking order, I don't think advancement to the big leagues is by seniority. When you have big time talent, it generally shows in the majors pretty quickly.
Being "ready" to move beyond AA and being ready to join a major league rotation are two very different things.
As for Bailey's stint in the majors in 2007, 45 innings of flailing in the majors does not equal 45 innings of dominating in AAA. If anything can be gleaned from it, it's that he should have spent more time in AAA before making the jump.
And I'd go back to Johan as well. It was his 3rd season pitching in the majors before he had success.
Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.
I'm witchcrafting everybody.
When I think about this whole "ready/ not ready" debate... there have been pitchers pushed into the majors before they are ready.. yes.. and there's been some players who languish too long in the minors to ever reach their potential glory.
The thing is that it takes a real baseball mind to know the difference, IMO, of who will benefit by being in MLB rather than minors and who will benefit the club now even thought it may hamper their development but the positives end up outweighing the negatives in the long run.
I think of the Rule 5 draft: if Hamilton wasn't in the majors w/ special care and superb instruction, if instead in languished in the Rays system (w/o a Johny Narron to hold his hand) would he have ever made in to the bigs and/or stayed off drugs???.... i think he's a perfect example of someone who benefited by being rushed into MLB
Another example, Burton, the kid wasn't ready in the beginning but due to circumstances, Mackanin showed his faith in him and the kid blossomed into a great 8th inning game on the line kinda reliever that hopefully will make a career for himself in the MLB... if he languished in the Oakland farm system and never received the special instruction and special boost of confidence that was needed to keep him on the MLB staff.. would he have ever made it to the MLB?? I dunno... maybe not.
Santana had an excellent WHIP and K9 when he was picked up on a rule 5, but some team trusted him enough to let him get killed in the MLB for a year in order to blossom in to the game's current best pitcher.
Sergio Valenzuella....??? who knows maybe WK sees a diamond in the rough who's been mistreated in the minors and could benefit by special MLB training and special MLB confidence... next Burton? next Santana?
My point is which guys are rushed and which guys aren't is way more contingent on the guy and the benefits vs. negatives type analysis... and it takes baseball minds smarter than mine to determine who's who ...
There's a reason WK didnt rush Bailey (despite tremendous pressure) more than he ended up being rushed.. Bailey took his lumps but then came back from injury and pitched great... what if he's put it together? why further seasoning?
I'm undecided on Cueto and Maloney ... but if the SP is good and BP needs help, I wouldnt be adverse to sliding Cueto into the BP if the benefits/harm analysis adds up.
I'm witchcrafting everybody.
Exactly right. For example, when the Reds promoted Brian Reith prematurely, he was not considered a prospect at the level of a Bailey or a Cueto. That was a mistake. I feel very differently about Bailey/Cueto.
I really do think Princeton said it best in his post. True top level pitching shouldn't languish in the minor leagues. Yes, the guys will have their rough spots but getting the electric arms to the big league team should be a priority. Otherwise, you are wasting their fastballs, curveballs and changeups in leagues that don't count.
Look, I was a big advocate of getting Bedard. I would like nothing better than first rate veteran pitching. But if that can't happen, then the second choice is to get moving with these great young arms.
The third choice -- a staff like last year's -- is unacceptable to me. Only losing teams load their staffs with 5.5 and 6.5 ERA veterans or unproven guys with modest pitching talent.
The excitement of this year, win or lose should be electric. So many stances taken, so many chance to say I told you so. So many chances to admit that we know very little about baseball.
"Is there a problem officers?"
Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun