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View Full Version : Cautious Optimisim



Ltlabner
09-27-2007, 09:47 PM
Ok, before the doom & gloom crowd jumps all over this, I'm not making the case that we are one step away from the world series. My main point is that their are some bright lights to give one hope. Whether Wayne can weave them into a competitive team is another question.


Position Players

1B: Voto doesn't have enough at bats to pin a "he's the man" title on him. But for those who say they'd rather see tallented youth make mistakes than old farts play reliably crappy, here you go.


# YEAR NAME AGE PA EqA OBP SLG VORPr VORP RAR
1. 2007 Joey Votto 23 73 .297 .397 .574 0.464 7.8 4.9

2nd: Brandon Philips: Many said he'd regress in 2007 after his promising 2006. Well....he turns in a 30-30 year. Will he do that again in 2008? I don't know, but if he "regresses" to 25 homers and can take a few more walks, I'd be tickled pink.


# YEAR NAME AGE PA EqA OBP SLG VORPr VORP RAR
7. 2007 Brandon Phillips 26 693 .272 .333 .489 0.239 38.1 30.6

3rd: After a dismal start, EE has redeemed himself nicely. Baring a trade, he's earned starting at 3B again next year. An infield of Votto, Phillips and EE should give the most dour fan at least a glimmer of hope. They also provide a young and realitivley inexpensive infield for a few years.


# YEAR NAME AGE PA EqA OBP SLG VORPr VORP RAR
11. 2007 Edwin Encarnacion 24 545 .267 .355 .438 0.156 19.5 20

SS: This is where it gets interesting. While I like Gonzo, I recognize that he's a lot of outs and his defense has been shakey this year (likely due to off-field issues). Trade bait?

Keppinger has amased 260 at bats. Not enough to proclaim a sure-thing, but starting to have enough track record to at least provide intrest for the future. Might prove a stop-gap SS fill should we trade Gonzo. If not, we have Kepp on hand as a solid bench-bat and ready to step in if Gonzo falters further in 2008. Also, having Kepp on hand frees up Freel as trade-bait for those looking for scrappy-sub types or fooled by 5 stolen bases against LA.


# YEAR NAME AGE PA EqA OBP SLG VORPr VORP RAR
10 2007 Alex Gonzalez 30 430 .260 .325 .468 0.173 17.1 13.4
3. 2007 Jeff Keppinger 27 260 .300 .402 .485 0.373 22.2 18.5

Outifield: Just going to lump together since there's so many options. I'm assuming Freel, Ellison and possibly Coats are gone in 2008.

JR: My guess is he's traded this offseason. If not, he's penciled into RF. However, he's another year older and will need time off/be injured so other guys will get at-bats.

Hamilton: 337 atbats. Is he the real deal, or no-deal? Injury prone? I say plug him into CF (assuming Jr is still here) and find out. Very exciting potential and a continuation of a "feel good" lottery ticket.

Dunn: I'm convinced he'll be back in 2008. If so, the quest for 5 strait years of 40hr/100RBI/100 walks ensues. That alone is reason for excitement.

Bruce: Does he make the team? Does struggle? Does he break out, right away? Definatley another area of excitement.

Hoppper: Meh.


# YEAR NAME AGE PA EqA OBP SLG VORPr VORP RAR
4. 2007 Josh Hamilton 26 337 .294 .368 .554 0.337 26.0 23.4
5. 2007 Adam Dunn 27 632 .304 .386 .554 0.310 45.0 49.9
8. 2007 Griffey Jr. 37 623 .289 .372 .496 0.219 31.3 38
9. 2007 Norris Hopper 28 325 .267 .379 .397 0.195 14.6 11.9


Bench:

I think there's reason for excitment (albiet it on a much smaller level) for the 2008 bench. I don't think Freel and Castro will be back in 2008. Hatteburg is ify. Assuming Hatte is back, your bench generally looks like Hatte, Kepp, Hopper, Cantu, etc.

Catching:

Unfortunatley, the only cause for interest here is whether there will be a different name behind home plate in 2008. If not, Ross/Javy are on the wrong side of mediocre (to be generous). I was keen on Ross but his 2006 was obviously a flash in the pan. Still like his defense, however. But overall, not a lot here to be excited about.

Conclusions:

1) The overall age of the team is driven down by a suddenly young infield (except SS and Catching). Votto, Phillips, EE, Hamilton, Kepp, and Cantu are all young and inexpensive.

2) The offense is not decimated.

3) Suddenly catching has gone from one of the least of our worries to a glaring sore spot.

4) What to do at SS? If Gonzo's performance in the field improves to a more normal level, and EE continues to improve our infield defense stands to become a strength.

5) If JR and Hatte are gone, EE continues to develop and Kepp/Cantu can fill in as role players, the line up moves away from being lefty dominated. (lefty heavy line ups aren't neccessarly and issue, IMO, but I know it bugs some folks).

6) Suddenly, from a position player perspective, there's a number of young, tallented players that actually have higher ceilings tallent-wise and much higher ceilings interest-wise.

7) As always, without pitching all of this is moot!

GAC
09-27-2007, 10:04 PM
6) Suddenly, from a position player perspective, there's a number of young, tallented players that actually have higher ceilings tallent-wise and much higher ceilings interest-wise.

7) As always, without pitching all of this is moot!

You're absolutely right with point #6. But until they can address #7, no amount of offense can offest the runs allowed of this pitching staff. And that is where the huge void/question mark is at.

Right now you're looking at Harang, Arroyo, Belisle, and probably (with fingers crossed) Bailey to start the '08 season. That fifth spot in the rotation, unless some sort of off-season move is made, is gonna be a hodge podge of whoever gets a passing grade in ST.

And I don't see much changes being made in this bullpen. Only the hope that some of these guys show improvement next year.