What are the keys to improved starting pitching by the Reds this coming season?
Obviously, everyone needs to pitch well, but which pitcher or pitchers should be monitored most closely.
To me, the answer is undoubtedly Bronson Arroyo. Thing is, he pitches so many innings that a bad season has a huge impact on the ballclub. Last year he did poorly but pitched, as I recall, 199 innings.
If Bailey pitches poorly the Reds won't likely leave him out there every fifth day. I think it would be an upset if Cueto, Latos, or Leake bombs out this season. Bronson remains a key.
Arroyo's contract is a factor. The Reds have seemed unwilling to remove from the rotation pitchers, like Harang in the past, and Arroyo, even when not performing.
There is of course reason to expect Arroyo to do better this year, most notably his health, which should be better.
But, even after all the changes, the Reds need a decent season from Bronson to succeed. They can't afford 200 innings of pitching like Arroyo's of last season.