Going into the year, I had assumed that Tony Cingrani and Anthony DeSclafani would have the inside track on the Reds' two open rotation jobs, but it looks like the Reds will turn to veterans Paul Maholm and Jason Marquis instead.
"The thing is, when we have veteran guys like Marquis and Maholm, you're not going to use them for one start," Price said. "If they're going to be on our team, the hope is that they're on our team for an entire season, if not longer. And that's how we have to look at that. … You can back-and-forth a young guy. You can start a game or two and then go down to the Minor Leagues or go to the bullpen and help us as a long guy. So Marquis and Maholm are looking more like long-term, start-to-finish options for us."
As a Pirates fan, I think that's just delicious. I have no idea why you can jerk around a young, talented pitcher and not a fungible veteran (especially since Maholm worked as a swingman just last year), but I'm happy the Reds seem set to do just that.
Maholm and Marquis project to be worse than Cingrani and DeSclafani this year, and Cingrani and DeSclafani could conceivably be parts of the next good Reds team. Maholm and Marquis probably won't be unless this year's team gets lucky. I still have a soft spot for Maholm, but at 32 and after a weak year in Los Angeles, he might not have much left. And Marquis didn't even pitch well in Triple-A last year and has only been above replacement level in one season since 2009. Even as veteran stopgaps go, he's an uninspired choice. It already wasn't clear whether the Reds were playing for the present or the future, but if they really do go with Maholm and Marquis, it'll become clear which they chose -- neither.