I was looking over the USA today article covering the Reds going into next year and it struck me how dominant our bullpen could be.
Say what you want about Cordero, his save % was still good last year. If he gets around to using his slider up around 30-35% (like he used to in his best years) we should see his K% come back up and BB% go down. Something to look for. That said, who will score on the Reds in the 7th and 8th inning with this:Bullpen
Left-hander Arthur Rhodes (4-4, 2.49 ERA) was magnificent last season in making his first All-Star team at 40, but he left as a free agent. As a result, Nick Masset, Bill Bray and Jared Burton will have to carry the load. The Reds are also looking for a return to form from Jose Arredondo, who went 10-2 with a 1.69 ERA for the Los Angeles Angels in 2008 but missed last season after having elbow surgery. He's also tough on left-handers, which should help ease the loss of Rhodes. Chapman and his triple-digit fastball will be a familiar sight in the eighth and possibly seventh innings.
Chapman - LHRP
Masset - RHRP
Two high K guys with lock-down, awesome stuff. Good morning, good afternoon, and good night.
Bray / Willis - LHRP
Burton / Ondrusek / Arredondo - RHRP
Opponent's avg could altogether be well below .200 vs these situational guys.
6th inning or Long Relief
One of 3 blue chip starters could end up as the long man in the bullpen, effectively closing any possible holes in the bullpen. Suitable in any situation, when needed these guys can deliver.
Basically, this team could ride the bullpen to the playoffs similar to San Diego. Just asking the starters to cross the 6th inning will be all that's required, and on days they go 7 or 8, it's just a luxury. I can't see many W's turned into no decisions, either. In all, it's a perfect scenario to keep young arms happy and healthy.
I'm speaking nothing of the offense, which should be solid, at least, but this pitching staff is in brilliant shape.