GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The competition for the final two spots in the Reds rotation should provide some of the most robust story lines during Spring Training. Reds manager Dusty Baker said that seven or eight pitchers were going to be prepared as starters. "That's early. Then you start cutting back once you decide which guys," Baker said. "Health is a big issue here, too. You hope it doesn't come into play, but it usually does."
Bronson Arroyo, Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto are locks for the front three spots. Homer Bailey, Travis Wood and Mike Leake lead the battle for the final two spots. Matt Maloney and Sam LeCure are also considered in the mix. "There's always a surprise like Leake in there somewhere," Baker said. "Last year, Leake wasn't on the radar. You want to leave some space for the surprise guy." Maloney and LeCure are also possibilities to make the Reds bullpen if they don't start. Both worked some games in relief last season. "They've been knocking on the door here," Baker said of the two pitchers. "If it was an organization with lesser pitching, they'd probably be in the door. This is scouting, development and the Minor League system. It starts with scouting."