May 9, 2011
Transaction Analysis Blog
Reds Get Bailey and Cueto Back
The Reds have a healthy rotation for the first time this season as they added Bailey and Cueto back into the fold. If the early returns are any indication then neither Bailey nor Cueto have much rust to shake off despite missing the first month.
Bailey, recovering from a shoulder ailment, returned to the Reds last Thursday and threw six innings of one-run ball against the Astros while striking out seven batters and issuing a walk. Cueto, who had a triceps injury, returned on Sunday and also went six innings, fanning four batters, walking one, and not allowing a run versus the Cubs.
Sam LeCure and Mike Leake served as the replacements in the interim. LeCure pitched fine whether you look at SIERA (3.49) or earned run average (3.91), but the opinion on Leake varies based on the fancied metric. SIERA has Leake as the Reds second best starter (behind LeCure), while ERA suggests he is below replacement level. Admittedly, it’s a small sample size either way. Moving the pair into the bullpen should raise the talent level and gives Dusty Baker the ability to provide some interesting multiple-inning looks in certain situations.
If there is one thing the Reds don’t lack, it’s starting pitching depth at the big league level and credit them for A) being able to take their time with injury rehabs and B) actually going through with it.