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2012 Cincinnati Reds Thread
Posted 18 February 2012 - 02:53 PM
Seeing weakness in the division especially with the departures of Albert Pujols from the Cardinals and Prince Fielder from the Brewers (along with a 50 game suspension for Ryan Braun), GM Walt Jocketty has gone all in this season in an attempt to win the Reds 2nd division crown in 3 years. Trades for Mat Latos and Sean Marshall, while expensive in prospects, help shore up the pitching staff and getting Ryan Madson on an extremely team-friendly one year deal may have been the steal of the offseason.
This team has a World Series champion ceiling, but a lot of questions as well. I'll post my usual preseason summary soon, but please feel free to share your thoughts, analyses and predictions here.
Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:38 PM
Wirfin Obispo (no real reason to include him, other than he's an ex-Red Sox property and I like the name)
Brett Tomko (I guess)
So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish
Probably the biggest trade of the offseason, the Latos deal was expensive in talent - but talent that was largely blocked in Cincinnati. The key piece from the Padres perspective was Alonzo. He wasn't going to oust Votto from first base and isn't really suited defensively for the outfield, but he has very good power, excellent plate discipline, and should be at least adequate defensively at 1B. He will likely immediately start for the Padres and is the guy who is most likely to make the Reds regret this deal. But there was plenty more talent sent on top of that. Yasmani Grandal would be rated as the top catching prospect in most systems, with advanced offensive skills for his age (though his defense could use some polish), but was deemed expendable due to the presence of both Ryan Hanigan and Devin Mesoraco. Boxberger is a work-in-progress, who walked 4.1 batters/inn. but still managed a better than 3:1 k/bb ratio. Volquez was the final piece of the trade. Acquired in the Joey Hamilton trade, Volquez followed a stellar 2008 season, with 3 seasons of mediocrity built around injuries, a PED suspension, and griping. Likely considered addition-by-subtraction in Cincinnati, he will likely be asked to be a back-of-the-rotation innings eater for the Padres and anything more than that will be gravy.
2B Brandon Phillips ®
SS Zack Cozart ®
1B Joey Votto (L)
RF Jay Bruce (L)
3B Scott Rolen ®
LF Ryan Ludwick/Chris Heisey (R/R)
CF Drew Stubbs ®
C Ryan Hanigan/Devin Mesoraco (R/R)
This team is once again extreeeemely right-handed, so it seems very odd to stack the 2 lefties in the lineup. However - barring a Manny sighting - there really isn't anyone else in the lineup with a chance to protect Votto, though if Rolen shows anything they may flip-flop. The Reds need Bruce to take a big step up, Rolen to come back from injury to an approximation of his former self, and Stubbs to learn the difference between a ball and a strike to have a shot at going deep into the postseason.
In addition to Manny there are a few free agents out there who still could be signed, some of whom (Damon/Matsui) could be plugged (reluctantly) into left field and help break up the righty fest. That would allow them to use Ludwick as a 4th outfielder; a role for which he is probably better suited. Dioner Navarro may also make the roster if they want Mesoraco to get more seasoning in the minors, but he should really be listed as a switch-misser because he hits almost as bad as Nick Punto.
1) Mat Latos ®
2) Johnny Cueto ®
3) Mike Leake ®
4) Bronson Arroyo ®
5) Homer Bailey ®
6) Aroldis Chapman (L)
Latos comes in to anchor the rotation. He is moving from pitcher-friendly Petco to the Great American Bandbox, but has shown no large differential in his home/road splits so there is cause for optimism here. Cueto had his best statistical season in 2011, albeit injury-shortened. Two causes for concern are that he has not yet had a 200 inning season, and his strikeout and walk rates are somewhat pedestrian. Leake was a revelation in 2011, going 8-4 by the All-Star break. His underlying stats were actually better in the second half, which portends well for the coming year. The back end of the rotation has more questions than answers at this point: can old friend Arroyo bounce back at age 35 from one of his worst seasons? Can Homer Bailey stay healthy enough to put together the kind of season people once expected of him? Can Aroldis Chapman make the conversion from the bull-pen to the rotation? If not, the options beyond these aren't pretty. The corpses of Jeff Francis and Brett Tomko wait in the wings.
Great expectations are being placed on the bullpen for 2012. The switch from Cordero to Madson is likely to be a wash, with youth replacing experience in the closer role. Newcomer Sean Marshall should team up with Bill Bray to provide a potent southpaw punch, while the Reds are expecting a resurgent Nick Masset to lead the righties in the pen. Given the lack of innings-eaters in the starting rotation, a great deal of the success or failure of this team will be on the pen's collective shoulders.
It's hard to say which of these will break camp with the Reds at this point; the only certainty would seem to be Francisco, who is out of options. Valdez would seem likely, as the Reds traded for him for this purpose, and the opposite ends of the "platoons" in LF and C. Everyone else seem pretty fungible. Assuming that Chapman starts the year in AAA and that the Reds carry 12 pitchers, that would leave Janish, Frazier, Harris and Cairo fighting it out for the last spot. I'd guess one of the latter, as Dusty seems to love the "scrappy old guy" on his bench, and Cairo has done the most recently of those two.
92-70, win NL Central
Beat the Braves in the NLDS
Lose to the Phillies in the NLCS
Posted 26 March 2012 - 02:05 PM
Posted 02 April 2012 - 12:18 PM
More annoyingly, Dusty Baker moved Aroldis Chapman (their $40 million man) back to the bullpen because he wants a LHP there. Like Atlanta and Kris Medlen, another case of a team taking one of the top 3-4 pitchers on their entire team and making them their 3rd-in-line bullpen arm.
Posted 02 April 2012 - 12:26 PM
If you give the manager the ability to make the decisions about bullpen vs. starter, they're almost always going to overvalue the relief role.
Edited by derekson, 02 April 2012 - 12:26 PM.
Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:11 PM
Posted 11 April 2012 - 03:41 PM