Monday, March 9, 2009

Cincinnati Reds-Team Preview

2008 Team Record 74-88

Projected Lineup

C-Ramon Hernandez 15-65-257

1B-Joey Votto 24-84-297

2B-Brandon Phillips 21-78-261

SS-Alex Gonzalez Out for 2008

3B-Edwin Encarnacion 26-68-251

LF-Chris Dickerson 6-15-304

CF-Willy Taveras 1-26-251

RF-Jay Bruce 21-52-254

Projected Rotation

Aaron Harang 6-17-4.38

Bronson Arroyo 15-11-4.77

Edinson Volquez 17-6-3.21

Johnny Cueto 9-14-4.81

Micah Owings 6-9-5.93


Francisco Cordero 5-4-3.33 34

David Weathers 4-6-3.25

Jared Burton 5-1-3.22

Whats To Like
1.And the Youth Shall Lead-Any team that has a quartet of 25 and under players such as Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce has the nucleus to compete for years to come. I would think the Reds should definitely try to lock Votto and Bruce up long term. As I talked about in an earlier piece signing pitchers to long term deals is very risky. The Reds have the Dominican duo for at least two more years before they really have to think about long term deals for them.
2.The New Boss, Different from the Old Boss-For years the Reds were one of the worst run teams in baseball. Starting with Marge Schott to the parade of incompetent GMs. But now Walt Jockerty who was the architect of the Cardinal teams from the last few years is in on board to runs the Reds. Jockerty always has a knack for finding veterans and overlooked players with small salaries. The days of horrible trades should be over in Cincy.

Whats Not to Like
1.Wheres First????-The Reds had the 3rd worst OBA in the NL last season last season. And adding Willy Taveras a career 331 to hit lead off will not help out much. The offense needs to walk more and strikeout less.
2.Keep It in the Park-Cincy allowed the most homers of any team in the NL. While this can be partly explained by playing in Great American Ballpark. The real problem lies in that this staff is made up of predominately fly ball pitchers. Aaron Harrang and Johnny Cueto are definite fly ball pitchers. Owings, Arroyo and Volquez are more neutral. Last year the combination of fly balls yielded and the worst HR/FB ratio in the NL .13 spelled doom.

Fantasy Focus
Edwin Encarnacion-There are a few players that you always think great things are on the way. But for one reason or another it never seems to happen. Encarncion seems to be one of those guys. While he increased to 26 HRs last year just about all other numbers seem stagnant or going in the wrong direction. His BA dropped 36 points. Even with those extra 11HRs he has 8 less RBIs. And only 1 SB after averaging close to 10. Someone will probably draft him and he might explode but the numbers don't forsee a sustained breakout from him

Fun Fact
Micah Owings is a career 319 hitter. And his career SLG is 552. Which places him second on the team only behind Joey Votto.

For the first time in decades Red fans have real reason for optimism. The young players are there. A very deep rotation with Homer Bailey waiting in the wings. The Reds will not win the Central this year but they are closer than any time in awhile. I'll say they improve by 7 games and end by around 81-81.

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