CINCINNATI -- With right-hander Mat Latos getting closer to activation from the disabled list, the Reds could have a decision to make, with six starting pitchers competing for five rotation spots.
Latos, who has been on the disabled list all season following right elbow surgery and left knee surgery, is scheduled to make three or four rehab starts beginning Sunday with Triple-A Louisville.
Conventional wisdom originally dictated that Alfredo Simon, who replaced Latos in the rotation, would be the odd-man out. But Simon has pitched very well to this point, with a 6-2 record and 2.31 ERA in nine starts. That only has made the final decision on who stays or goes tougher.
It also increases the importance for left-hander Tony Cingrani, who took the mound for Cincinnati against the Cardinals on Saturday, to have good performances. Cingrani came off the DL himself on May 18 after he had mild tendinitis in his throwing shoulder.
"Sometimes you try not to look that far ahead, because the way things have happened, not just for our club, but around baseball, you're tickled to death to have six guys that are capable of being a starter in the big leagues for your club," Reds manager Bryan Price said.
"But right now, it's important that [Cingrani] pitches well, there's no doubt about that."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.