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View Full Version : The thing I worry about with this Reds team



M2
03-24-2007, 02:58 AM
I should start by noting the thing I most like about this Reds team, namely tht there's more guys I'm interested in watching in more varied roles than in recent seasons.

Yet I fret over it having some hell in a handbasket tendencies.For instance, if Harang and/or Arroyo struggle at any point this season, you could see the 3-4-5 tank with them and suddenly you've dropped 10 more than you've won. Lohse and Milton have enormous basements and I'm not sure Narron can go to them and say, "We really need a big outing from you today" without it freaking out said pitcher. Likewise, I couldn't begin to tell you what the roles in the bullpen are. A few implosions mixed with a mildly chaotic setup could be a toxic combination.

I'm also uneasy about how steady the offense will be. I'm not sure where the load-bearing beams in the lineup are. Narron developed a habit of messing with guys who doing all right where they were last year and I dread the idea of Alex Gonzalez and/or Juan Castro being used as anti-catalysts if the top of the lineup start to struggle. I actually like that Jr. has yet to swing a bat in anger because I don't think team can afford to count on him. It's time for him to find spots where he fits into this team and not for the team to try to congeal around him.

So what I really want to see is something you can't see in spring training. I want to know how resilient this team is. I know tonight's 15-1 loss to Tampa Bay ultimately signifies nothing, but I'd like to see the club bounce back and finish the Grapefruit League on a high note.

My concern is that downhill snowballs will be the doom of this club. I'm not saying they will be, but that's what most frets me about this team. It strikes me as an awful shaky enterprise at the moment.

redsrule2500
03-24-2007, 03:14 AM
I'd have to agree. Arroyo completely lost it after the allstar break last year, what if he starts the season like that? Also, Harang's looking terrible as is in Spring Training, so a bad start for him could be devastating.

dougdirt
03-24-2007, 04:04 AM
I'd have to agree. Arroyo completely lost it after the allstar break last year, what if he starts the season like that? Also, Harang's looking terrible as is in Spring Training, so a bad start for him could be devastating.

Arroyo had a 3.50 ERA after the break last year, his hit rate went down, strikeout rate went up, walk rate went up slightly and HR rate went up slighty. His WHIP was exactly the same. Not really sure what you are talking about when you say he lost it after the break.

As for Harang.... I will give him the benefit of the doubt. He has a proven track record. Here are things I like from Harang. 20 strikeouts and 2 walks in 20.2 innings. His ERA isnt pretty and his HR rate is not the best, but like I said, he is proven and I dont think he is going out there to try and throw his best game every time out as much as he is just trying to get ready for the season and work on things.

Ltlabner
03-24-2007, 06:45 AM
My concern is that downhill snowballs will be the doom of this club. I'm not saying they will be, but that's what most frets me about this team. It strikes me as an awful shaky enterprise at the moment.

I totally hear you M2, but isn't that the case every year. I'd say just about any team would be crushed if a few key players were injured and their main pitching studs died while the supporting cast didn't step up. You can copy this post, change the names and repost it this time next year too, I'd imagine.

That said, I do agree with you that a few injuries/slumps/bad years for the wrong people and it's going to be a very, very long year.

HumnHilghtFreel
03-24-2007, 06:52 AM
Arroyo had a 3.50 ERA after the break last year, his hit rate went down, strikeout rate went up, walk rate went up slightly and HR rate went up slighty. His WHIP was exactly the same. Not really sure what you are talking about when you say he lost it after the break.


I think a lot of people look at his long winless streak and assume he was just pitching poorly, though that wasn't the case at all.

Redhook
03-24-2007, 07:05 AM
I totally hear you M2, but isn't that the case every year. I'd say just about any team would be crushed if a few key players were injured and their main pitching studs died while the supporting cast didn't step up. You can copy this post, change the names and repost it this time next year too, I'd imagine.

That said, I do agree with you that a few injuries/slumps/bad years for the wrong people and it's going to be a very, very long year.

I agree.

My concern for this year is the shaping of the 25-man roster and Narron's use of it. If the roster was/is put together correctly I actually think this team could possibly win 85 games with a record around .500 somewhat likely. There are some exciting young talented players this year. However, I believe we'll see a mix match roster of old fogies that will make .500 seem like a pipe dream.

Heath
03-24-2007, 09:22 AM
And this is where I wonder where a Homer Bailey, who's confidence isn't lacking, and too young to actually know better, could start in Cincinnati and just go out and pitch.

Harang has never did well in ST, IIRC. He even has problems in April.

Plus, its time for the dead arm period in ST.

GoReds
03-24-2007, 09:49 AM
Sure seems like directly and/or indirectly, the Reds fortunes this year are tied to Homer Bailey and, too a lesser degree, Josh Hamilton - a rookie and a former drug addict.

I'd say there's some room for concern.

SunDeck
03-24-2007, 11:40 AM
http://www.savagechickens.com/images/chickenglass.jpg

Just sayin'

jojo
03-24-2007, 08:16 PM
I should start by noting the thing I most like about this Reds team, namely tht there's more guys I'm interested in watching in more varied roles than in recent seasons.

Yet I fret over it having some hell in a handbasket tendencies.For instance, if Harang and/or Arroyo struggle at any point this season, you could see the 3-4-5 tank with them and suddenly you've dropped 10 more than you've won. Lohse and Milton have enormous basements and I'm not sure Narron can go to them and say, "We really need a big outing from you today" without it freaking out said pitcher. Likewise, I couldn't begin to tell you what the roles in the bullpen are. A few implosions mixed with a mildly chaotic setup could be a toxic combination.

I'm also uneasy about how steady the offense will be. I'm not sure where the load-bearing beams in the lineup are. Narron developed a habit of messing with guys who doing all right where they were last year and I dread the idea of Alex Gonzalez and/or Juan Castro being used as anti-catalysts if the top of the lineup start to struggle. I actually like that Jr. has yet to swing a bat in anger because I don't think team can afford to count on him. It's time for him to find spots where he fits into this team and not for the team to try to congeal around him.

So what I really want to see is something you can't see in spring training. I want to know how resilient this team is. I know tonight's 15-1 loss to Tampa Bay ultimately signifies nothing, but I'd like to see the club bounce back and finish the Grapefruit League on a high note.

My concern is that downhill snowballs will be the doom of this club. I'm not saying they will be, but that's what most frets me about this team. It strikes me as an awful shaky enterprise at the moment.


You're not worried about the defense I guess....thats something right?

Aronchis
03-24-2007, 09:17 PM
Sure seems like directly and/or indirectly, the Reds fortunes this year are tied to Homer Bailey and, too a lesser degree, Josh Hamilton - a rookie and a former drug addict.

I'd say there's some room for concern.

Probably throw others like Votto and maybe a surprise like Pelland,Salmon or Medlock(pen) to the mix as well.

The Reds needs alot to go right on the developmental progression side.

Marc D
03-24-2007, 11:43 PM
My concerns in order:

1) #3 - #5 of our rotation
2) An overworked and undertalented pen exposed in a big way due to #1.
3) Any significant injury to Dunn or EE
4) Narron
5) Regression to norm for Hatte, Ross, Phillips and Arroyo

-Some kind of relapse for Hamilton would be by far the most tragic thing that could happen but in strictly baseball terms its not like we were really counting on anything from him.

-#4 might be moved up to #3 if he insists on batting Dunn 6th for any length of time.

WVRedsFan
03-25-2007, 01:05 AM
Probably throw others like Votto and maybe a surprise like Pelland,Salmon or Medlock(pen) to the mix as well.

The Reds needs alot to go right on the developmental progression side.Really, I'd feel better if Votto was the starting first baseman and Hatteberg was the bench player. Call me crazy, but that's one of the problems I have with this team.

Still, my glass is half full--it's the disease of spring

Caveat Emperor
03-25-2007, 04:16 AM
My concerns for the Reds this year basically revolve around the offense. The pitching, IMO, is going to be a what-you-see-is-what-you get affair. I think Harang and Arroyo are going to be fine, I expect the 5th starter to be competent (be it Belisle or Saarloos) and I expect Milton and Loshe to look somewhere between bad and terrible. I wouldn't be surprised to see one or both of them demoted to the bullpen before the season is out. As for the bullpen, I think Coffey and (I know I'm in the minority on this) Weathers will be fine. I also expect Bill Bray to do well. I think both Stanton and Cormier are going to get lit, but there's help in AAA from Salmon, Medlock and Coutlangas to replace both those two if needed. Hermanson will be an umitigated disaster, but I expect his presence on the team to be short lived.

In short, I expect competent pitching about 60% of the time, and I expect the bullpen to be at least good enough to protect the majority of the leads that get turned over to it (especially if Burton is as-advertised and if they clean out some of the detritus like Hermanson and Cormier early in the season).

Offense worries me tremendously, though. When you cut down to it, the Reds are banking a lot on David Ross and Brandon Phillips not being flashes-in-the-pan and repeating their performance from a year ago and Scott Hatteberg breaking his good-year bad-year rotation. Ross has to continue to deliver power numbers from the bottom of the lineup, and Phillips has to continue making good contact, because it seems at this point that taking a walk just isn't going to be a frequent occurence for him. He OBP'd roughly .325 last season, and if that number dips this year the team is going to be in trouble. The only proven run producers in this lineup are Griffey and Dunn. One of those two can't stay healthy, the other is prone to falling into month-long funks at the dish -- not good if you're looking to put together a post-season run. Encarnacion showed a lot of promise last year, but he has to continue to develop. Alex Gonzalez is going to be an out-machine in the lineup, though he'll show flashes of power that will cause the rank-and-file Reds fans to think he's somehow better at the plate than he is.

The team can't afford to have any injuries from the everyday-8, especially from Phillips, Gonzalez or Encarnacion. An injury to any one of them makes Juan Castro an everyday player, which is something that shouldn't happen. Inuries in the outfield can probably be sustained short-term, with Denorfia taking over starting duties. In the rotation, the first pitcher injured will get replaced by Saarloos, the first pitcher injured post-ASB will get replaced by Bailey.

The question for this team is simple: can it stay healthy and can it score runs? If both those answers are Yes, they'll compete deep into the season. If not, its gonna be a long year.

mth123
03-25-2007, 08:24 AM
My concerns for the Reds this year basically revolve around the offense. The pitching, IMO, is going to be a what-you-see-is-what-you get affair. I think Harang and Arroyo are going to be fine, I expect the 5th starter to be competent (be it Belisle or Saarloos) and I expect Milton and Loshe to look somewhere between bad and terrible. I wouldn't be surprised to see one or both of them demoted to the bullpen before the season is out. As for the bullpen, I think Coffey and (I know I'm in the minority on this) Weathers will be fine. I also expect Bill Bray to do well. I think both Stanton and Cormier are going to get lit, but there's help in AAA from Salmon, Medlock and Coutlangas to replace both those two if needed. Hermanson will be an umitigated disaster, but I expect his presence on the team to be short lived.

In short, I expect competent pitching about 60% of the time, and I expect the bullpen to be at least good enough to protect the majority of the leads that get turned over to it (especially if Burton is as-advertised and if they clean out some of the detritus like Hermanson and Cormier early in the season).

Offense worries me tremendously, though. When you cut down to it, the Reds are banking a lot on David Ross and Brandon Phillips not being flashes-in-the-pan and repeating their performance from a year ago and Scott Hatteberg breaking his good-year bad-year rotation. Ross has to continue to deliver power numbers from the bottom of the lineup, and Phillips has to continue making good contact, because it seems at this point that taking a walk just isn't going to be a frequent occurence for him. He OBP'd roughly .325 last season, and if that number dips this year the team is going to be in trouble. The only proven run producers in this lineup are Griffey and Dunn. One of those two can't stay healthy, the other is prone to falling into month-long funks at the dish -- not good if you're looking to put together a post-season run. Encarnacion showed a lot of promise last year, but he has to continue to develop. Alex Gonzalez is going to be an out-machine in the lineup, though he'll show flashes of power that will cause the rank-and-file Reds fans to think he's somehow better at the plate than he is.

The team can't afford to have any injuries from the everyday-8, especially from Phillips, Gonzalez or Encarnacion. An injury to any one of them makes Juan Castro an everyday player, which is something that shouldn't happen. Inuries in the outfield can probably be sustained short-term, with Denorfia taking over starting duties. In the rotation, the first pitcher injured will get replaced by Saarloos, the first pitcher injured post-ASB will get replaced by Bailey.

The question for this team is simple: can it stay healthy and can it score runs? If both those answers are Yes, they'll compete deep into the season. If not, its gonna be a long year.

You are right on about the offense. You are overly optimistic about the pitching.

Redsland
03-25-2007, 11:22 AM
Cav, that's a heck of a post (especially considering you made it at three in the morning). :p:

I agree with every word.

Falls City Beer
03-25-2007, 12:14 PM
I think it was IslandRed (hey, where the heck is he?) who said once (and I'm paraphrasing): keep the back end of the rotation from being abysmal. That's the secret.

Mission unaccomplished.

TC81190
03-25-2007, 12:18 PM
I think it was IslandRed (hey, where the heck is he?) who said once (and I'm paraphrasing): keep the back end of the rotation from being abysmal. That's the secret.

Mission unaccomplished.

I'm not really worried about that as much as the middle of the rotation...

Falls City Beer
03-25-2007, 12:21 PM
I'm not really worried about that as much as the middle of the rotation...

Right, 3-5 spots.

Shaggy Sanchez
03-25-2007, 12:46 PM
This team has a lot of question marks once you get past Harang and Arroyo and that is if Arroyo doesn't regress after a full year in the NL. The bullpen is old and shaky and will get used way to often because of our 3-5 starters. The offense took a big hit with the loss of Kearns and Lopez and to this point it has only gotten weaker. We are counting on Gonzalez, Hatt/Conine, and Ross to come through with big offensive years and that seems unrealistic to me. There is also the fact that Freel seems to wear down when playing everyday and in doing so his offense drops off which then leads us to count on a guy who although has a great story has proven nothing to this point in the majors.

I think this team is far from being competitive and in most cases is worse than last years squad by a lot. The Reds seem to only have 2 sure things on offense (Dunn and Edwin), 2 sure things in the rotation (Harang and Arroyo) and a whole lot of question marks everywhere else.

TC81190
03-25-2007, 12:57 PM
Right, 3-5 spots.

I'm still holding my breath every time Arroyo takes the mound, and Harang has been hittable, albeit dominate as far as K's are concerned.

Caveat Emperor
03-25-2007, 03:12 PM
I think this team is far from being competitive and in most cases is worse than last years squad by a lot. The Reds seem to only have 2 sure things on offense (Dunn and Edwin), 2 sure things in the rotation (Harang and Arroyo) and a whole lot of question marks everywhere else.

There is a differnce between being "Competitive" and being "Good" -- things have been so bad around Cincinnati that we often use the words interchangeably.

Last year's squad was competitive, but it wasn't all that good. I think the team this year can be the same way -- competitive (in that they hang around in the NL Central and the Wild Card race until late August, early September if things play out favorably) but not good due to lack of consistent run production and stability in spots 3 & 4 of the rotation.