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Thursday, April 1, 2010
No. 5 Starter Watch: Reds (status quo)

It looks like the Reds are taking this one to the wire (if not beyond). From

Umm. I know they're close -- we looked at Leake and Wood last week -- but aren't Wood's 12 walks in 18 innings a bit of a red flag? Especially considering that he's walked roughly four hitters per nine innings in the minors? Wood is still a baby, just turned 23 this winter. But I'd like to see him throw a higher percentage of strikes before asking him to retire Albert Pujols.

Leake, though he's not pitched a single inning of Organized Baseball, did pitch 162 innings last year: 142 with Arizona State, then 20 in the Arizona Fall League. Do we count 162 innings, and assume he can bump to 180-some this year? Or do think he should be babied in his first real professional season?

As always, I would err on the side of caution. But with Wood and Aroldis Chapman backing him up, giving Leake a slot in the rotation tomorrow doesn't mean he has to throw 200 innings this year. I think he's ready, and I think he's going to win the job.