One reason the Arthur Rhodes departure doesn’t sting as badly

As I sit and ponder how the Reds are going to recover from the loss of Arthur Rhodes this upcoming season I think about who is going to get the tough outs late in the game out of the bullpen after our starting pitcher has departed. One guy who I think is going to loom large is Jose Arredondo.

This deal didn’t get much attention initially because Arredondo was set to miss all of 2010 with Tommy John surgery. But when the Reds made this move I made a note to myself that they were squirreling away a very quality young bullpen arm for the future.

Arredondo will only be 26 this upcoming season, and there isn’t a lot of mileage on his arm. I expect him to return to his lights out form around mid-season for the Reds–and if they need to get off of Francisco Cordero for any reason I think that Arredondo (and not Jared Burton like some have speculated) would get a crack at the closer’s role with the Reds.

I’ve been wrong before (cough, Wilkin Castillo), but I think the Reds know something we don’t in letting Arthur Rhodes go so casually. One of those things they know is they are holding a high face card in Arredondo and everyone is kind of forgetting about it. This is one of the most important guys to keep an eye on this spring on the entire pitching staff.