View Full Version : At the break...

07-11-2008, 02:06 AM
The Reds stand at 44-49. Lst year at this time, the Reds were 38-55, an improvement of 6 wins over last year. For those who are not Dusty Baker fans, this is just the result of better pitching from Volquez and Cueto and an improved bullpen. To others, this could easily be 48-45 if Pete McClanin was manager or just about anyone else. The jury's out on that, of course. Regardless, it is improvement. So where will the 2008 Reds end up at the break?

The REds face a 3 game series with Milwaukee and the task is not promising. the first game puts Josh Fogg against Para, a pitcher with a sub-4 ERA. On Saturday, it's Volquez against Seth McClung. McClung is well known around my home area, since he played his high school ball at one of the local high schools, I know his parents very well and watched the kid play from little league on up. In his last 10 games, he has been stingy with hit and has compiled a 3.88 ERA. This won't be easy. On Sunday, it's the Homer against CC, and I don't even want to think about that. It looks like a 1-2 or 0-3 series which could make the Reds 45-51 or 45-52. They could win the series and be 46-50, but I don't really thinkthat will happen. The Reds anemic bats can break out and score 12 like yesterday and score a run or two for the next week.

Where do you think the Reds will end up and does it really matter? My biggest disappointment is the Reds pathetic hitting this year. Yesterday has been repeated far too less for the Reds to fashion a winning record this year. There is no subsitute for runs and the Reds don't score or hit enough to get to .500 this year.

07-11-2008, 02:30 AM
I've been very pleased with the pitching, specifically the young kids in Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez. I knew Volquez had great stuff and talent but I never expected him to be this good this quick. Same with Cueto. I've followed him since he burst onto the scene in 2006 and always knew he could be great, and so far he's living up to expectations. He's had his ups and downs like any rookie but you can tell he's beginning to turn the corner. And it's not just those two. Daryl Thompson showed some good stuff in his short stint. Bill Bray has pitched well. Jared Burton has shown he was no fluke and has developed into a dominant shutdown setup man.

Other positives has been the play of the two rookies, Jay Bruce and Joey Votto. Bruce has gone through a rough stretch lately but overall he's been impressive. He's got strong power to all fields, has played well defensively, and has the looks of a future superstar caliber player IMO. Votto has been solid all season. Like Bruce, he uses all parts of the field and has good power. He may hit 20-25 homeruns as a rookie and could eventually develop into a 25-30 homerun guy IMO.

The offense has been the biggest disappointment IMO. Griffey is losing bat speed. Dunn's OPS is down some from last year. Corey Patterson was a major flop with the bat. Encarnacion has been inconsistent. The catchers have been awful. This team could use some more high OBP guys and better lineup construction. Batting Griffey third and Phillips fourth has hurt.

The defense has also been disappointing. I knew it was a problem coming into this season but I never thought it would be this bad. Griffey has zero range these days. Dunn has improved but is still a bad outfielder IMO. The shortstops lack any range at all. Paul Bako was talked up as a good defensive catcher but he's been very disappointing with the glove IMO. Overall I like where we're at pitching wise but something needs to be done to fix the offense and defense.

07-11-2008, 03:10 AM
Dunn's OPS is down some from last year.
No it isn't. That is if he holds constant for the last few games. Currently his OPS is at .905, last year pre-ASG it was .905. He has hit for a lower average, a higher OBP, slugging is down somewhat but he is a double and two triple's away from matching his XBH's and his AB/HR is up. It's a different kind of first half, but his production has came, in terms of OPS at least.

Remember, Dunn really tore it up after the ASG. Redszone and Reds fans in general (even Marty) were swooning over Dunn due to what he did. His homerun rate came a bit down, but he hit at a .270+ clip, showed great discipline at the plate (close to a 1:1 BB to SO) and had a .425 OBP. It would be awesome if the warm air causes Dunn to do that again because that is just what our lineup needs.

Ron Madden
07-11-2008, 03:28 AM
It's often said that winning teams are strong up the middle.

Despite what you may hear or read from the local media, the Reds defense is pretty weak up the middle.

Because of the fact a player has good foot speed, it does not make him a good CF.

Because a player can field ground balls hit right at him does not make him a SS.

Because anyone of your three catchers are not much better/much worse than the other two behind the plate does not mean you've got three good catchers.

Let's not forget that the guys on the pitchers mound are right smack-dab in the middle too.

Folks put far too much blame on 3B, LF and RF for all of our defensive woes.


Ron Madden
07-11-2008, 04:06 AM
I believe Harang and Arroyo have been by far the biggest disappointments.