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View Full Version : CNN/SI.com NL Central Preview



HalMorrisRules
02-15-2006, 03:50 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/john_donovan/02/15/nlcentral.preview/index.html

Pretty worthless preview. This is the only thing said about the Reds:


It seems that only the struggling Reds, still in dire need of direction (and a lot of pitching), have no chance at a winning record.

westofyou
02-15-2006, 03:56 PM
It seems that only the struggling Reds, still in dire need of direction (and a lot of pitching), have no chance at a winning record.
108 letters, 25 words... pretty much covers it eh?

BRM
02-15-2006, 03:57 PM
Article says the Cards have the best lineup and the best rotation. Gives the bullpen nod to the Cubs.

westofyou
02-15-2006, 03:59 PM
Gives the bullpen nod to the Cubs.

They're paying for it.

Joseph
02-15-2006, 03:59 PM
XM radio, while interviewing NL Central beat writers, says pretty much the same thing. I think the latest quote I heard was

"Even if the stars, the moon, the sun, and the earth all align, the Reds are the only team with no chance to win the division. Any of the others could get just the right breaks and career type years and could pull a rabbot out of the hat."

Strikes Out Looking
02-15-2006, 04:07 PM
I must say that while I won't go out and say the Reds are going to win the division, they aren't as bad as the "experts" say they are. They still have a potent lineup (maybe even better without Casey in it) and some of the young pitchers (Harang, Claussen, Belisle, Coffey and Wagner) are not bad. I think they'll surprise some folks this year...but I'm not changing my name to CentralChamps06--maybe Notasbadastheythink06?

M2
02-15-2006, 04:20 PM
Just IMO, the Cubs have assembled a really horrible, expensive bullpen.

Heath
02-15-2006, 04:29 PM
I don't know with all the love for the Pirates.

I also think the Brewers could finish anywhere from 1st to 6th. There's a lot of potential and not much room for failure in Milwaukee.

So, the Reds with a decent season could finish out of the basement.

They could also win more games in 2006 and finish worse. :dunno:

KearnsyEars
02-15-2006, 04:54 PM
I don't think we'll be any good. I don't think we'll even be as good as in years past. We're going to be the team that everyone wants to play for a while. But I tell you what, we'll play hard and I'd rather have everyone look at us as terrible and let us sneak out some wins than be expected to win.

We're building. The only thing that concerns me is lack of contact hitters.

KearnsyEars
02-15-2006, 04:54 PM
the only thing that concerns me about the lineup that is.

alexad
02-15-2006, 04:56 PM
I am glad to hear nobody is picking the Reds, which means no pressure which means they are going to turn some heads.

Our Varsity Boys and Girls Basketball teams were predicted to finish dead last this year and guess what. They had no pressure to win and the Girls with 3 Juniors and 7 Freshman won the conference and also finished 16-4 getting the number 1 seed.

The Boys also won the conference and are currently 16-3 with a win coming Friday against the worse team in the league. They also got a number 1 seed in the tournament.

Again no pressure put on them and the decided to show everybody they were wrong.

I vision the Reds doing the same thing. This offense will many games for them. I also think we will get a few arms before the start of the season.

BRM
02-15-2006, 04:57 PM
I read a preview this morning that picked the Reds to go 68-94. I can't remember the website though.

Gainesville Red
02-15-2006, 05:08 PM
Where did they project the White Sox to finish last year? Guarentee it wasn't where they ended up.

BRM
02-15-2006, 05:12 PM
Where did they project the White Sox to finish last year? Guarentee it wasn't where they ended up.

Sox were projected to finish 3rd in the AL Central last year by CNN/SI.

TeamBoone
02-15-2006, 05:16 PM
... still in dire need of direction

I don't agree with this statement at all; do you? Especially the "dire" part.

KronoRed
02-15-2006, 05:33 PM
We have a new guy in charge but turning this ship around and getting in the right direction is still a ways off.

Highlifeman21
02-15-2006, 05:46 PM
Unfortunately, the Reds still have pitching issues to address for the Great American Small Park. Since the grand opening, the Reds have won 218 games, 117 of which at Home. 117 out of 218, a stellar .537 winning percentage @ GABP. 2003, we had a phenomenal 4.97 ERA for arms at home, improved to 4.74 for 2004 and eclipsed the 5.00 mark for 2005 with 5.16 for 2005.

I don't care what kind of offense you have, but a home ERA of about 5 for the history of your ballpark implies a few things: poor front office, poor farm system (concerning arms), poor coaching, and lastly, poor talent.

Granted, we do have a few bright spots that toe the rubber, namely the semi establisheds of Claussen, Harang, and hopefully Wilson, and then a collection of maybes with Belisle, Coffey, Dumatrait, Germano, Ramirez, Wagner and Williams that are even remotely major league ready.

For the Reds to be competitive, aka above 85 wins, they need to lower the team ERA, especially at home. Imagine how many wins the Reds could tally if they had a home team ERA of sub 4.50? With the proven lineup the Reds have assembled, it's not out of the realm of possibility for this team to break into the good side of .500, a mark they haven't seen since the 2000 campaign, but in all likelihood this team will continue to hover in the 75-80 wins range unless a collection of the following happen:

Wilson returns to form after the injury
Harang establishes himself as our team ace
Claussen continues to develop and improve
Milton keeps more balls in the yard and regains his lost velocity
Williams proves himself worth essentially giving away Sean Casey
At least 2 guys emerge from the bullpen (don't care who they are) to be consistent to hold leads

Will these things happen? Realistically, I only see Harang and Claussen happening, and MAYBE Williams, but as for the rest of them, there's a losing mentality in the Queen City, one hopefully WK and Cowboy Bob can reverse.

Caveat Emperor
02-15-2006, 05:58 PM
The W-L record this season is only tangentially important to other factors, such as individual player development (especially: Lopez, Encarnacion, Kearns, and Pena), prospect development in the minors, and any potential prospect-acquisitions midseason or at the deadline to help restock the high minors.

This team isn't going to compete this season -- but they can help put themselves on the path to health by playing things correctly.

Chip R
02-15-2006, 06:01 PM
Where did they project the White Sox to finish last year? Guarentee it wasn't where they ended up.

In the Sporting News Baseball preview last year they had Ken Rosenthal and 5 editors pick the finishes. Not one picked the Sox to finish 1st or win the Wild Card. All of them had the Yankees in the World Series.

guttle11
02-15-2006, 06:58 PM
I see the NL Central as extraordinarily mediocre. I think the Cards got a little worse, the Astros a ton worse, the Pirates and Brewers marginally better, Cubs slightly worse, and the Reds? Who knows. I can see this team winning anywhere from 64-86 wins in this division.

I really don't see the Brewers love. I'm still not sold on Prince Fielder and I think the loss of Overbay will effect them this year. The Cubs could have one of the worst bullpen's in the league, and the Pirates, while they got decent guys in Casey and Randa, still aren't that good.

I say the Reds go 82-82 and finish third in a weak division.

tts1stros
02-15-2006, 07:01 PM
My favorite part is definitely:

Best bullpen: Cubs
With a rotation unsure of itself, the Cubs' reworked bullpen will come in handy. The team nailed down closer Ryan Dempster to a long-term contract (he led the league in save percentage last season, converting 33 of 35 tries), then went out and got him help in a couple of steady setup men, Bobby Howry and Scott Eyre. Michael Wuertz, who appeared in 75 games in '05, is back too, and a rehabbing Kerry Wood could fill in until his eventual return to the rotation.
Adding two middle relievers makes your pen the best?? What a joke. Last season, the Astros' and Cardinals' bullpens were fantastic. Granted, the Cardinals turned over pretty much their entire pen, but I can't believe they think adding two expensive middle relievers makes the Cubs pen anything resembling elite, let alone better than Houston.

TeamBoone
02-15-2006, 07:52 PM
We have a new guy in charge but turning this ship around and getting in the right direction is still a ways off.

But that doesn't mean they have no direction.

Last year, I would have agreed with that statement. But now, IMHO, with the change in leadership, they have direction and are no longer in "dire" need of same.

MrCinatit
02-15-2006, 08:18 PM
even though it is a slap in a face, it is a slap in the face well deserved - and one which i think is directed more towards the Linder/Allen/Dan0 regime than the present group.

djsauter
02-15-2006, 08:45 PM
I really don't get this.

Last year, we were not predicted this bad or to finish dead last all the time.

This year, we are. I think our team is going to be much better. The offense should stay strong, and our pitching should only improve from last year. Sure, not a great staff, but think of how many games would be won if our overall ERA drops .30 or .50 from last year. That could be huge.

I'm calling 3rd or 4th in the division.

Falls City Beer
02-15-2006, 08:51 PM
I really don't get this.

Last year, we were not predicted this bad or to finish dead last all the time.

This year, we are. I think our team is going to be much better. The offense should stay strong, and our pitching should only improve from last year. Sure, not a great staff, but think of how many games would be won if our overall ERA drops .30 or .50 from last year. That could be huge.

I'm calling 3rd or 4th in the division.

We're returning virtually the identical squad from a year ago. We're counting on good luck to pull up our fortunes, not performance.

Astrobuddy
02-15-2006, 09:59 PM
guttle.. how did the Astros get a ton worse with the same lineup adding Preston Wilson that was in the World Series in 2005?

Reds 82-82 ?? but the Astros got a ton worse?

kbrake
02-15-2006, 10:09 PM
The Astros did lose Clemens. That being said no way the Reds finish .500 or third this year. Oh well at least we got Dunn for a few more years.

Astrobuddy
02-15-2006, 10:13 PM
The Astros didnt get a ton worse just from losing Clemens, who they havent lost yet. Having said that, even if he retires the same team with a few additions will be back and keep in mind, the Astros were 15-17 in games Clemens started.

The Astros will be in the hunt again.


I think the Reds could be improved if the pitching does better, but hell that has been the Reds problem for a while. Thats why the Reds need to trade some of that OF offense for some pitching.

westofyou
02-15-2006, 10:18 PM
but hell that has been the Reds problem for a while.

Going on about 55 years now.

Heath
02-15-2006, 10:27 PM
Going on about 55 years now.

one could argue - but not very well though- that the 61-65 teams had some pitching, but not as dominant as the 1940 club.

Jay had a couple of good years, O'Toole had '61, it gave us Purkey, Maloney, and a year of Sammy Ellis.

westofyou
02-15-2006, 10:45 PM
one could argue - but not very well though- that the 61-65 teams had some pitching, but not as dominant as the 1940 club.

Jay had a couple of good years, O'Toole had '61, it gave us Purkey, Maloney, and a year of Sammy Ellis.

True, 0.11 above the league in ERA, but it's 63 and 64 that drag the numbers down for that period and 63 at 3.30 is even below the league average.

For those 5 years the Reds place was in the top 15 two times, #6 and #15...their next showing is #27 then #31 and #35.

Newport Red
02-15-2006, 10:52 PM
I am glad to hear nobody is picking the Reds, which means no pressure which means they are going to turn some heads.

Watch out! That might land Danny Graves back in the bullpen.

But back on topic, the team this year is going to give up a ton of runs with their pitching and defense. As long as they are develping and Krivsky makes smart moves geared towards 2007 and 2008, I happily suffer through alot of high scoring loses.

KronoRed
02-15-2006, 11:08 PM
Last year, we were not predicted this bad or to finish dead last all the time.

This year, we are. I think our team is going to be much better. The offense should stay strong, and our pitching should only improve from last year.
Last year the media bought into the Milton deal as being a deal for an "ace" so we got some high expectations.

This year the pitching is almost exactly the same, so the media is wisely calling us to be the worst.

I don't blame em.

guttle11
02-16-2006, 12:43 AM
guttle.. how did the Astros get a ton worse with the same lineup adding Preston Wilson that was in the World Series in 2005?

Reds 82-82 ?? but the Astros got a ton worse?

They ain't gettin younger.

I just don't like them this year. I think Garner is a fraud, and I persoanlly don't think they will be very good.

I see the Central as being pretty average. If the Reds get any help from Milton or Wilson and the bullpen is ok, I see no reason why, with their offense, they can't achieve a .500 record. There is also the hidden factor that the entire organization seems to be on the same page for the first time in years.

Glass half full. I could also make a decent case for the Reds losing 100 games. Who knows.

Astrobuddy
02-16-2006, 12:47 AM
The Astros are about to be younger than they have been in years.

That argument doesnt hold water. Tell me the offense still sucks, but the "getting older" argument is valid anymore.

guttle11
02-16-2006, 12:53 AM
The Astros are about to be younger than they have been in years.

That argument doesnt hold water. Tell me the offense still sucks, but the "getting older" argument is valid anymore.

Since Preston Wilson, Berkman, and Biggio all are young with no history of injuries and/or inconsistent play...

If Preston Wilson is your main addition, you didn't add much. They are in the same boat as the Cardinals in that other teams are going up, while they stay put. Oswalt and Lidge should keep them around .500, which is "a lot worse" then last year.

jmcclain19
02-16-2006, 03:14 AM
I love all the optimism thanks to Castellini and Krivsky, but I really hope my fellow Reds fans realize that the 2006 Reds, with that rotation, are really going to be a bad baseball team. No two ways about it.

This was a rotation that needed to be nuked and rebuilt. Instead nothing changed. Chaff was substituted for more chaff. So why are people surprised that the talking heads think the Reds will do poorly. They saw the same hurling trainwreck we did.

Don't get me wrong, I'm optimistic for the future of Reds baseball, but lets not kid ourselves here. A 70 win season awaits.

Caveat Emperor
02-16-2006, 03:38 AM
The Astros are about to be younger than they have been in years.

If by "Younger" you mean "No longer in possesion of the player that posted the best VORP of any starting pitcher in baseball" then yes.

wheels
02-16-2006, 09:05 AM
Let's not forget that Andy Pettite ain't exactly getting younger, they lost Clemens, they've got no bats.

That basically leaves Oswalt, Lidge, and Berkman as the only Astros players that are anything more than average.

The rest of that club is tripe and leavings.

M2
02-16-2006, 09:20 AM
Don't get me wrong, I'm optimistic for the future of Reds baseball, but lets not kid ourselves here. A 70 win season awaits.

I'd take 70 with a smile as long as Krivsky pulled some triggers and brought in some pitchers who can help inside the 2007-2009 timeframe.

Astrobuddy
02-16-2006, 10:26 AM
Berkman is 30
Wilson is 31

You forget about Morgan Ensberg who finished 4th in the 2005 MVP voting and is only 30. Berkman finished 14th and to put it in perspective, Griffey Jr finished 24th and Dunn finished 26th. Tripe and Leavings? I would rethink that statement.

You also forget about Jason Lane and Willy Taveras who was 2nd in ROY voting and should have won it all.

Biggio and Ausmus are the only 2 guys who are "old". The rest of the team is either in their prime years or below.

Andy Pettitte is only 33 and he is a lefty and he just had maybe his best season ever.

The Astros havent lost Clemens. They just wont have him till sometime after May 1st.

While Preston Wilson isnt a superstar, he is an upgrade offensively over what the Astros had last season. The Astros pitching even without Clemens will be above average. Oswalt, Pettitte, Backe and whomever the Astros put out there will be a top staff. The Astros have a pretty good minor league system full of young arms. The Astros bullpen which could be one of the best in baseball isnt old either... Lidge, Wheeler and Qualls and very good.

The Reds average age is 28.2 years old
The Astros average age is 29.7 years old

If the Astros are old, so are the Reds. Which they arent.


Please at least look up the facts.

lollipopcurve
02-16-2006, 10:26 AM
I'd take 70 with a smile as long as Krivsky pulled some triggers and brought in some pitchers who can help inside the 2007-2009 timeframe.

The Twins fell to the basement and emerged with Joe Mauer. The Cubbies joined them and emerged with Mark Prior. There is value to getting into the top 5 on draft day, but I don't think Castellini would choose that path.

M2
02-16-2006, 11:27 AM
The Twins fell to the basement and emerged with Joe Mauer. The Cubbies joined them and emerged with Mark Prior. There is value to getting into the top 5 on draft day, but I don't think Castellini would choose that path.

True, but the path might choose him.