View Full Version : I still feel optimistic about this team

01-23-2009, 09:07 PM
With all the bickering over a couple mil for an average outfielder as our only acquisition, I still feel good about this team for some reason. We didn't a power bat or anything, but I really think our rotation will be the best its been in a while.

Volquez doesn't need to be spoken for, Cueto was young and still has a lot of potential and when he's on he looks great. Harang had a career low year, and I expect him to bounce back really well. Arroyo is what he is at this point, if he can somehow cut down on the amount of implosions and be more consistent, he's a solid starter as ge was last year. And Between Owings and the waiting game with Homer Bailey, I really do think we'll get a solid #5 out of it. The bullpen is also improved, we kept basically everyone and added another veteran in James to help bolster it.

The offense, we all know, needed a big bat, and didn't get it. I think Taveras is getting too much flack for what he is. An average outfielder, with an average salary, but has some speed and if he plays better than last year in the median of what he did with the Rockies two years ago and last year, he's a solid acquisition. I think since he's the only acquisition, people are giving him completely unfair flack and Corey Patterson 2008 he is not.

The offense though, will have to improve from within, the young players. Phillips is swing away, but a solid 30-30 guy. The improvement obviously will have to come from Bruce and Votto, and if they can put up 30/30 too, thats a pretty solid offense in my opinion. Bruce still has a lot of time to learn. I think moving Encarnacion to left and putting Gonzalez at third would be a huge improvement. And despite the catcher we picked up and his past with the O's, he's a good offensive improvement over the Bako/Ross/Valentine platoon, 3 guys who should be given minor league contract or the 25th guy on the roster in most organizations. I think he'll give us a decent offensive boost, espcially compared to what we had.

So yeah, I know its doomsday to most people here, but I'm not giving up hope. I'm fairly optimistic that this year we'll at least get in the right direction with a winning record, and if everything goes right in regards to our rotation, that we'll actually CONTEND for a playoffs spot.

Rusty the Red
01-23-2009, 09:27 PM
I'm with you. This team will need its share of breaks, but it could turn over much better than most expect. Who looked at Tampa Bay before last season and said, "they are going to contend against Boston and New York"? Probably nobody. Things just fell in place with young players and a strong rotation. We will need the same thing to happen - Votto, Bruce and Dickerson to blossom to their potential and beyond. It could happen.

01-24-2009, 12:33 AM
Just a few years ago, our rotation featured guys like Elmer Dessens, Chris Rietsma, Joey Hamilton, Jimmy Anderson, Jimmy Haynes and so and so on.
Our rotation is better and we have guys like Bruce/Votto and who knows......maybe BP will have a season like 2 years ago and EE will breakout.
As a Reds fan and baseball fan in general......I am ready for ST ! :beerme:

01-24-2009, 01:20 AM
If the Reds can somehow get Nady or Swisher I will feel pretty good about this team.

01-24-2009, 03:00 AM
Swisher would be a huge upgrade in LF on O and on D. A move like that would also allow Dickerson to platoon with Taveras, lessening the pain brought on by watching Taveras bat. Swisher IMO would be just as valuable overall, if not more, than a guy like Adam Dunn. He is close to a 15 run upgrade on defense and I think he could wOBA like .360 and Dunn would be at something around where he was this year .383, so swish would be 13 runs worse than AD on offense over 650 PAs, but he would still be slightly more valuable overall and I feel defense is slightly more valuable than offense as well.

01-24-2009, 03:24 AM
I would rather get Nady that way we can still go with youth in 2010, and get draft pick when they offer ARB and he don't take it.

01-24-2009, 03:36 AM
I guess, but I would go as far as to guarantee that Swisher will be better than Nady on O and D next year, and after he rebounds next year, wouldn't his value go up and even if he was blocking another prospect, couldn't the reds use his below market level contract as leverage for better prospects than simply a comp pick or two?

01-24-2009, 04:29 AM
We suck!

01-24-2009, 09:26 AM
I guess, but I would go as far as to guarantee that Swisher will be better than Nady on O and D next year, and after he rebounds next year, wouldn't his value go up and even if he was blocking another prospect, couldn't the reds use his below market level contract as leverage for better prospects than simply a comp pick or two?

I'm thinking that he may have been traded to the Yankees cheap for a reason. He may rebound, but I think somebody knew something.
It strikes me as funny how we hear how terrible some of the guys that we have suck so bad after a bad year but how awesome Swisher would be if we had him after the year he had. I'm not saying he wouldn't be good , but it just seems there is often a breakout of the grass is always greener on here. Would the same people who tout him so highly now start busting on him as soon as he was traded for?

By the way, count me as one who thinks the Reds will be pretty good this year.

Rusty the Red
01-24-2009, 09:46 AM
Look at the grade out from last year's team to this year's team -
Rotation is better.
Bullpen is better.
1B should get even better.
2B should remain very solid.
SS same situation.
3B unknown, but likely not worse.
C has to be better, solid veteran we have wanted with youth behind him.
LF many of you guys hated Dunn, so can it get worse? Dickerson/Gomes/Hairston? Still unknown.

CF the spawn of Satan is gone, that's what a majority of you thought, I thought Patterson just had a bad year, but he is gone. The leader in steals who is a good defender replaces him - got to say that is an improvement.

RF lookig for Bruce to only get better.

So, I don't think we are notably worse anywhere. We have two huge question marks, but most team have questions going into ST. AGon returning would be a boost, if its the AGon from 2 years ago. The emergence of one of the potential OF would be great as well. I have hope.

01-24-2009, 11:22 AM
I'm really excited about having Hernandez in the lineup instead of the black hole that was Paul Bako. We have a catcher that will hit better than .250 and likely hit 20 HR's in GABP. Bako hit .217 last year with an incredible 6 HR's. That's a huge improvement that I think has been overlooked a little in favor of everyone shining the light on Taveras.

01-24-2009, 11:23 AM
I agree. This team will be better than it was in 2008.

It will be much better at four positions.


Bako more than complimented his weak defense with an even weaker performance at the plate.

Hanigan is an upgrade. Hernandez and Hanigan is a huge upgrade.


Patterson's offense has been well documented on this site.

Tavarez' inability to get on base has been documentated as well but he is still a huge improvement. Furthermore, because he is such a huge threat on the basepaths the batters behind him will get to wait for a fastball.


Griffey was a terrible defensive player and a weak offensive player. To make matters Baker insisted on batting him third.

Bruce should continue to improve with experience.

Starting pitching

Harang had a bad year. Cueto was a rookie. The fifth starters combined for a 5-20 record with an ERA well above 7.00.

Cueto should improve if only a bit. Harang should bounce back to his 3.75 ERA status of the last couple of years. But the most dramatic improvement should come from the #5 slot in the rotation. Bailey (hopefully) or Owings should solidify this slot.

Areas of slight improvement or at minimum status quo include:

1B: Votto improved as the season progressed. I would like, and expect, to see more improvement this year but would be happy with the status quo. Call me crazy but I think Votto will hit 30 HR and have 100 RBI in 2009.

2B: Phillips dropped off from his 2007 performance. I would like to see a return to 2007 form but once again would take a repeat of 2008.

3B: EdE takes a lot of heat for his throwing, and rightly so. However, he continues to improve every year and is now just entering his prime. I would expect 2009 to be his best year yet.

LF: I think Dickerson will be the surprise performer of the year for the Reds and one of the biggest surprises in baseball. He is an offensive downgrade from Dunn but I feel he will compensate for this with far superior defense.

Bullpen: Burton, Bray and Weathers were all hurt for periods last year. If they can stay healthy the top of our bullpen will be upgraded. The 7th slot is undetermined but should be better than last year.

Bench: Hairston and Keppinger remain the same. Hanigan is upgrade over previous catchers. Gomes? and Hopper are on par (at least) with Valentin and Freel.

SS: If Gonzalez is healthy this position will be an upgrade from 2008. If not it will probably b a downgrade from 2008.

01-24-2009, 12:23 PM
I feel optimistic that at the end of the year if you add up the wins and losses it will totoal 162 games!

01-24-2009, 01:22 PM
I'm optimistic as well.

brachial pleXUs
01-24-2009, 03:07 PM
I'm optimistic too, although if you read the ORG, we're all idiots and this is going to be the worst season since Abner Doubleday was knee-high to a grasshopper (thanks, Marty). If RedsZone gets any whinier, I may have to deactivate my account and find another forum that doesn't send me in to the throes of darkest despair.

01-24-2009, 03:08 PM
I am always optimistic, hell, I was optimistic in 1982 and 1983, I even bet on the Reds to be win the World Series those years. I think it is part of being a fan. If you can't have blind optimism for your team every year, no matter the reality, then why bother?

Anyway, I think the reality isn't as bad as people are making it out. Below are my projections for runs created and runs allowed for each player next season. I see Bruce improving greatly, I see Gonzo playing almost everyday, I see Hernandez putting up strong offensive numbers, and I see the platoon of Dickerson and Gomes creating around 90% of what Dunn did. I also see Taveras tanking and still playing everyday, but there is no stopping Dusty in his need for a speedy leadoff hitter/centerfielder.

I also see a strong improvement defensively. I see improvement at 1B, 3B and RF from experience, and I see improvement in LF, even with Gomes playing around 30% of the innnings there, and especially SS. I see a slight downgrade in CF. That is all figured into the runs allowed by the pitchers. I adjusted most of them down around 5% because of the improved defense. That aside, I see Volquez dropping a bit, but still very strong, Harang almost back to his 2005-07 numbers, Arroyo about the same, and Cueto improving greatly. And most importantly, I see the 5th spot being a huge improvement.
In the pen, I see it staying close to the same except a big improvement for Cordero. He had an off year last year, and I could see him bouncing back.

Here are the numbers as I see them. If this is accurate, it puts the Reds at around .500, maybe 85 wins.

Player Runs AB/Inn
Hernandez 55 350
Hanigan 30 250
Votto 105 600
Phillips 80 600
EE 80 600
Gonzo 75 500
Kepp 25 175
Gomes 45 250
Dickerson 55 350
Taveras 55 600
Bruce 100 600
Hairston 25 175
Nix 15 100
Pitchers 10 280
Total 755 5430

Volquez 95 200
Harang 100 200
Cueto 95 200
Arroyo 110 200
Owings 120 190
Ramirez 35 70
Bray 20 50
Rhodes 25 65
Lincoln 35 70
Weathers 40 70
Burton 25 65
Cordero 20 65
Total 720 1445