By Danny Mehigan
After a disturbing and digusting year on the mound in 2008, the Cincinnati hurlers are primed for a return to glory in 2009. Well, maybe not glory, but at least a return to being professional players worthy of their salaries.
Among the seven pitchers that started at least five games in ’08, only Edinson Volquez had an ERA below 4.75. The team ERA was a ghastly 4.55, which was 13th in the National League of Baseball Clubs.
But before I get into a team preview of sorts (that’ll come next week-ish), there have been some fabulous pitching performances in Sar-a-so-ta as of late.
Aaron Harang (pictured above), who clearly could double as a male model if he needs some extra cash, shrugged off a slow start to the spring with six no-hit innings on Monday. Not to be outdone, Volquez tossed five shutout innings on Tuesday. The bullpen threw a combined seven scoreless innings to complete the back-to-back shutouts. Homer Bailey has a 2.45 ERA in five games and Johnny Cueto has only given up three runs in 12 innings (2.25 ERA for the non-math majors out there).
Now don’t get me confused, Bronson Arroyo has a spring ERA of 6.00 and Francisco “Coco” Cordero‘s clean inning on Tuesday afternoon dropped his ERA all the way to 15.43 for the spring. So it isn’t all fun and games. Well, it’s all games. But you know what I’m saying.
If you don’t, I’m saying that the Reds should be much improved on the hill this year. And with an offense like theirs, that could mean trouble for the rest of the NL Central.