Pitching depth important early for Reds
With Arroyo ailing, Bailey, Owings may play bigger roles
DAYTON, Ohio -- Pitching depth will be a key component of the Reds' success this season, but it might pay important dividends earlier than expected.
With projected No. 3 starter Bronson Arroyo battling carpal tunnel syndrome in his pitching hand, the Reds are faced with a difficult decision just two days prior to Monday's season-opener against the New York Mets.
"There's some concern," said Reds general manager Walt Jocketty prior to the club's spring finale Saturday at Fifth Third Field. "If something were to happen to one of our starters, we feel the depth in our pitching will help keep us competitive."
Arroyo, who went 0-3 with a 5.95 ERA in five Spring Training starts, had his hand evaluated on Saturday in Cincinnati.
On Friday against the Reds' Futures Team in Zebulon, N.C., Arroyo allowed six runs on seven hits, including two home runs and two walks in three innings.
Placing Arroyo on the 15-day disabled list could help solve the club's dilemma in choosing a fifth starter.
Right-handers Homer Bailey (0-1, 2.61) and Micah Owings (3-1, 1.52) pitched well in the spring. Bailey had a particularly strong outing on Wednesday, allowing two earned runs on four hits in six innings.
"You can't have enough pitching," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "I hope [Arroyo] is going to be OK. Knock on wood."
Baker said he underwent carpal tunnel surgery while managing the Giants. His condition was caused by excessive writing and took two weeks to heal.
"I'm not sure Bronson needs that long," Baker said. "But, I didn't have to pitch."
Jeff Wallner is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.