Over the past few days, I feel like I've read at least ten separate posts in different threads about how Arroyo is "no longer a major league average starter," about how Wayne's move to get him is "no longer working out," and about how we should "trade him immediately in order to get back a RH bat" or "replace him with Matt Belisle as soon as possible" (not direct quotes, but I think you are familiar with these complaints). While I don't necessarily disagree with trading Bronson for the right return, I can't help but think that our group brain is going a little bit batty right now.
Arroyo is only two starts into his season so far. He is 0-1, but has also struck out 14 batters in 15 innings, and has posted similar peripheral numbers to his underrated 2007, when a 9-15 record obscured the fact that, minus a bit of luck, he was performing very similarly to 2006. That year, if you remember, we all loved him and nearly crowned him prince of Cincinnati.
Starting pitching is not this franchise's new calling card. Not yet. Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez might dominate the rest of the season, but they also might implode and get demoted for more seasoning. Matt Belisle might come back and perform like Bronson's easy replacement, but he also might not come back at all. Homer Bailey isn't ready and Josh Fogg sucks.
Yes, the Reds do need a few more things on this team to make it go. However, I don't think unloading one of the two proven, steady performers in the rotation is a wise way to go about it--and certainly not when we're only 14 games into the season. Arroyo is not Johan Santana. He's not even Aaron Harang. But he's also not Josh Fogg, he's reasonably young, and he's signed to a fairly decent contract for a few years. Let's not rush to get rid of him. Not yet.