One of the guys I have always enjoyed following is Will Carroll, formerly of Baseball Prospectus, and now at SI. His "Under The Knife" column is one of my first reads every day. Today he included some updates on our banged up Redlegs rotation.
The Reds have some real issues with their rotation heading into the season. While they do have some depth, losing two starters is tough on any team. Three is nearly impossible to overcome -- and is a good rule of thumb. Check any team's SP8 and you'll see why. Bailey has been shut down with another instance of shoulder impingement. Basically, the muscles and tendons inside Bailey's shoulder don't have enough room to move, either because of structure or inflammation. It can be as simple as clearing up the inflammation or as technical as changing his mechanics to open things up. It's the recurrence that's the real worry. Bailey's had this before and been able to come back, but the fact that it wasn't corrected tells us that it could come back again unless something changes. Recurrences tend to be cumulative as well, since there's likely some fraying or scarring going on. In the extreme, there could be a surgery, likely a Mumford procedure where the collarbone is shaved down to create space. Several pitchers, such as Trevor Hoffman, have had that kind of procedure and come back. I'm not suggesting that Bailey will need surgery yet, but just to illustrate the "worst case."
Bailey's likely to miss a month as the Reds rest the shoulder, get him some treatment and then dial him back up to a starter's load. I think it will take closer to six weeks to get him back.
The news on Arroyo wasn't good, but it could have been worse. Arroyo has been sick for a couple weeks, though he was pitching through it. The diagnosis of mononucleosis isn't going to change that, surprisingly. Arroyo's stamina will be affected, and it wouldn't surprise me if they have to shadow him, likely with Sam LeCure. LeCure is in the five slot for now, but the schedule means he won't get many starts and will likely be used as a reliever during the first week of the season. Since mono can linger for weeks, or even months, the Reds will have to watch him closely. Arroyo can breathe a sigh of relief that he doesn't have Valley Fever, a fungal infection native to the Phoenix area. It cost Conor Jackson a year of rest and recovery.
Finally, the Reds are getting toward the end of the time Cueto was scheduled to be shut down. His forearm has made progress, per sources, but it's impossible to tell whether he'll have any sort of recurrence once he resumes throwing. In the best case, Cueto will need a couple weeks to dial it back up, perhaps needing a minor league start or two before returning to the Reds rotation. That will cost Cueto at least two, maybe three starts and that's only if he comes back on a relatively aggressive schedule. I'll have a lot more on these Friday, since I'll be in Cincinnati for Opening Day. I'm sure Dusty Baker is looking forward to a lot of questions about his pitching staff!