From his chair in the bullpen, where he may or may not receive a phone call to go to work, relief pitcher Sam LeCure owns one of the best seats in the house to observe the pitcher’s mound. That’s where he was, as always, Wednesday night in Progressive Field, watching Cincinnati Reds starter Bronson Arroyo work against the Cleveland Indians. And he watches intently to see the stylings of all the Reds starters: Arroyo, Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Homer Bailey and Mike Leake. As far as LeCure is concerned, if there is a better rotation in baseball right now he hasn’t seen it. And, yes, he is prejudiced toward his teammates, but there are numbers to back it up. In the last 15 games, Reds starters haven’t lost a game. Not one. They are 9-0 with a 1.95 earned run average with 12 quality starts. That is perfection personified. For LeCure, who loves work, it means he is baseball’s version of the Maytag repairman, “Because nobody needs a whole lot of help.” But when called upon, LeCure is ever ready — 1-0 with a 1.27 ERA for 19 appearances over 21 1/3 innings. And LeCure quickly adds a sixth man to the theme, Tony Cingrani, the guy who replaced No. 1 starter Johnny Cueto for nearly five weeks while Cueto was on the disabled list. Cingrani was 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA as Cueto’s efficient stand-in. “When Johnny went down there was big concern about it,” said LeCure. “There would have been concern with anybody in the rotation, but when it is your Opening Day starter, it’s worse. But Cingrani did a great job.” Obviously, LeCure, who is used to anonymity in the bullpen (middle relief pitchers are noticed only after failures), is a fan of the Little Man — rookie Cingrani and No. 5 starter Mike Leake. “The guy who is under the radar too much is Leake,” said LeCure. “He has been going deep into games and has been giving us a chance a win his last several times out.” Can there be a better No. 5 starter in baseball? In his last three starts, Leake has given up one earned run during a period of 21 innings during which he gave up 17 hits, walked three and struck out 17. “As for all five guys, when you have them all going six, seven and eight innings, that really shortens up the game and saves the bullpen — they’ll be fresher when they are used and be put into situations in which they are more comfortable,” said LeCure.
Reds reliever LeCure admires work of his teammates
Fox Sports Ohio | May 30