Reds' ace Mat Latos is expected to start throwing in 10 days after having surgery to repair a torn left meniscus on Friday, the team announced. That timetable seems pretty optimistic. He suffered the knee injury when he slipped off a mound earlier this week.
Latos, 26, went 14-7 with a 3.16 ERA (121 ERA+) with a career-best 3.22 K/BB ratio last season. He has been durable throughout his young big league career, throwing at least 184 innings in each of the last four years. Latos has topped 200 innings in each of the last two seasons.
The Reds let Bronson Arroyo leave as a free agent and it would be very surprising if they pursued someone like Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana to replace Latos. In-house options like Chien-Ming Wang, Jeff Francis, David Holmberg and Brett Marshall figure to compete for the now open rotation spot if Latos has to miss the start of the season.
Cincinnati has one of the better rotations in baseball, but losing someone of Latos' caliber certainly hurts. The starting staff will still feature Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, Mike Leake and Tony Cingrani.