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View Full Version : 2011 Cairo projections: Reds are fringe contenders



Will M
12-30-2010, 09:11 AM
Apparently some Egyptian guy thinks the Cards & Brewers are better than the Reds. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-playoffs-sweet-spot/

Reds are listed as fringe contenders & predicted to win 82-87 games.

The Cards & Brewers are listed as legitimate contenders & predicted to win 87-92 games.

Caveat Emperor
12-30-2010, 09:20 AM
Not surprising -- projections always seem to favor the teams with established players vs. younger players still on the upswing of their careers.

Mario-Rijo
12-30-2010, 09:26 AM
How dare Miguel, I think we should designate him for assignment.

mth123
12-30-2010, 09:30 AM
Guess I Walk Like an Egyptian because I agree with these at this point, though I'd move St. Louis down to the Reds level with both clearly behind Milwaukee.

RichRed
12-30-2010, 10:11 AM
I also think that until the Reds show that they can be successful for multiple years consecutively, a lot of "experts" will look at the 2010 Reds as a bit of a fluke.

Unassisted
12-30-2010, 10:14 AM
Regardless of whether it's justified, I have zero problem with the Reds not being the automatic favorite to win the division. Keeping expectations low makes it easier for the team to exceed them.

Ghosts of 1990
12-30-2010, 10:15 AM
Nice find Will. This is consistent with what I believe about us this upcoming season. I think we'll be a solid team--not necessarily a playoff team. We might miss out and have to reassess some things heading into 2012 to get back on track. Someone might get dealt who we are not expecting (Homer, Leake, etc.) to get us that missing piece around the deadline. Could be a year like 2000.

mth123
12-30-2010, 10:34 AM
I also think that until the Reds show that they can be successful for multiple years consecutively, a lot of "experts" will look at the 2010 Reds as a bit of a fluke.

2010 had a lot of aging vets far outplaying expectations (Rolen, Hernandez, Cairo, Rhodes) and a couple of "older than most think" kids (Janish, Hanigan) outperforming what their minor league production suggests we should expect (and IMO both are probably too old to establish these as new levels of performance to be repeated). Throw in the high probablilty that the team won't produce the league MVP again, and even in a good year we'll probably see a drop in production there, and you can see why there would be an expectation of a drop in production overall. Its true that some younger guys like Chapman, Bruce and Stubbs may take a step forward, but at best that allows the team to tread water. Since they really showed no ability to play with the better teams in the league, and some of the weaklings in their division that they beat up on last year have gotten better, I think a step back is a reasonable expectation. The team needs to add some pieces from outside the organization to not only move forward, but just hold on to what they achieved in 2010 IMO.

Scrap Irony
12-30-2010, 10:38 AM
Two things:

1) This is obviously a projection as the team is right now, not as it will be in three or four months. CAIRO works best, as most projections do, with more and more information.

2) The Reds, as currently constructed (with holes in LF, SS, back-up OF, back-up MI) are projected to be only a win and a half behind the Brewers.

3) Young teams, as stated above, are difficult to project. Guess who has the youngest team among the three legitimate contenders in the NL Central?

Hoosier Red
12-30-2010, 10:45 AM
Guess I Walk Like an Egyptian because I agree with these at this point, though I'd move St. Louis down to the Reds level with both clearly behind Milwaukee.

I simply don't see it. I think the moves Milwaukee made got them in the conversation. Maybe on an even level with the Reds and Cards, but as the clear leader. No way.

Last year the Brew Crew went 77-85 and their Pythag record was 76-86.

If we count Greinke replacing Randy Wolf(who I believe is a free agent) and Marcum replacing Dave Bush, the switch Yuniesky Betancourt out with Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain out for replacement level production. That's a net gain of about 7 wins from last year's WAR which gets them just above .500.

The Reds went 91-71 and their Pythag was 92-70. So far the losses from last year are Aaron Harang (-1.2 WAR) and Arthur Rhodes 1.6 WAR. So essentially absent other factors, the Reds are about a half game worse off than last year if we go by last year's stats alone.

Hoosier Red
12-30-2010, 10:56 AM
2010 had a lot of aging vets far outplaying expectations (Rolen, Hernandez, Cairo, Rhodes) and a couple of "older than most think" kids (Janish, Hanigan) outperforming what their minor league production suggests we should expect (and IMO both are probably too old to establish these as new levels of performance to be repeated). Throw in the high probablilty that the team won't produce the league MVP again, and even in a good year we'll probably see a drop in production there, and you can see why there would be an expectation of a drop in production overall. Its true that some younger guys like Chapman, Bruce and Stubbs may take a step forward, but at best that allows the team to tread water. Since they really showed no ability to play with the better teams in the league, and some of the weaklings in their division that they beat up on last year have gotten better, I think a step back is a reasonable expectation. The team needs to add some pieces from outside the organization to not only move forward, but just hold on to what they achieved in 2010 IMO.

I think you're perhaps overestimating the amount of impact the veterans over performance had on the team and underestimating the amount of impact the improvement of young players like Stubbs and Bruce would mean.

When looking at their WAR(and yes I know this is not a perfect stat) from last year, as compared to say a 5 year average, let's say Rolen drops off 1.6 wins, Rhodes is of course gone, Cairo reverts back to replacement level, and Hernandez drops off by a win or so. That all adds up to about 4.5 wins.

Isn't it possible/probable that this can be made up by improvements from Stubbs, Bruce and more innings for guys like Chapman?

Cooper
12-30-2010, 11:11 AM
Quick and dirty. The Reds are due a correction related to their BaBIP rates in both pitching and batting. Votto hit .362 BaBIP. Arroyo's pitching BaBIP was .245. I'm guessing that both these fellas are gonna see a correction.

My only question is -should these rates be park adjusted??

PuffyPig
12-30-2010, 11:12 AM
2010 had a lot of aging vets far outplaying expectations (Rolen, Hernandez, Cairo, Rhodes) and a couple of "older than most think" kids (Janish, Hanigan) outperforming what their minor league production suggests we should expect (and IMO both are probably too old to establish these as new levels of performance to be repeated). Throw in the high probablilty that the team won't produce the league MVP again, and even in a good year we'll probably see a drop in production there, and you can see why there would be an expectation of a drop in production overall. Its true that some younger guys like Chapman, Bruce and Stubbs may take a step forward, but at best that allows the team to tread water. Since they really showed no ability to play with the better teams in the league, and some of the weaklings in their division that they beat up on last year have gotten better, I think a step back is a reasonable expectation. The team needs to add some pieces from outside the organization to not only move forward, but just hold on to what they achieved in 2010 IMO.


While I agree Rolen exceeded expectations (mainly due to health), and a few others did too, I don't thibnk you are counting the expected continued improving performance of most of our young players.

It would surprise many if most of Cueto, Bailey, Woods, Leake, Massett, Burton, Bray and Chapman to name just the young pitching, to take steps forward. There's a lot of upside in those arms, more than any of the other contenders in the Central, where the starting talent is more established. Those pitchers were good enough last year to get us to 90 wins, and there is more likelihood they will, as a group, be better next year.

PuffyPig
12-30-2010, 11:13 AM
If we count Greinke replacing Randy Wolf(who I believe is a free agent)

Wolf is not a FA.

TheNext44
12-30-2010, 11:22 AM
Two things:

1) This is obviously a projection as the team is right now, not as it will be in three or four months. CAIRO works best, as most projections do, with more and more information.

2) The Reds, as currently constructed (with holes in LF, SS, back-up OF, back-up MI) are projected to be only a win and a half behind the Brewers.

3) Young teams, as stated above, are difficult to project. Guess who has the youngest team among the three legitimate contenders in the NL Central?

Actually that's three things. ;)

But here is a fourth...

According to this method, the Reds, Brewers and Cards could all be projected to win 87 games, and have the results they posted. (look at the details) It's a very sloppy put together method that really doesn't say much that people don't already know.

mth123
12-30-2010, 11:53 AM
I simply don't see it. I think the moves Milwaukee made got them in the conversation. Maybe on an even level with the Reds and Cards, but as the clear leader. No way.

Last year the Brew Crew went 77-85 and their Pythag record was 76-86.

If we count Greinke replacing Randy Wolf(who I believe is a free agent) and Marcum replacing Dave Bush, the switch Yuniesky Betancourt out with Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain out for replacement level production. That's a net gain of about 7 wins from last year's WAR which gets them just above .500.

The Reds went 91-71 and their Pythag was 92-70. So far the losses from last year are Aaron Harang (-1.2 WAR) and Arthur Rhodes 1.6 WAR. So essentially absent other factors, the Reds are about a half game worse off than last year if we go by last year's stats alone.

Good post especially referencing the Pythag which actually adds 2 games in the Reds favor, maybe the edge isn't as big as I initially thought, but I still would take the Brewers. Wolf is still with the Brewers BTW.

Greinke, Marcum and Saito not only add solid to spectacular production for about 500 innings, but they are replacing absolutely replacement level production that was in the 77 win team. Not a big WAR fan, but lets use it since its becoming the language of the board. Say Greinke (5.75), Marcum (3.75) and Saito (1.2) add about 11 WAR. The innings they will replace are Doug Davis (37 Innngs at 0 WAR), Jeff Suppan (31 Innings at 0 WAR), Dave Bush (174 IP of .1 WAR), Todd Coffey (62 IP of 0 WAR), Manny Parra (84 IP as a starter at -.7 RAR or -.1 WAR), Trevor Hoffman (47 IP at -.7 WAR) and Chris Capuano (66 IP of .5 WAR).

Betancourt and Escobar each had a .6 WAR in 2010 (though I like Escobar a lot better). Cain did have a 1.2 WAR in a limited role, but IMO played way above his head like many players do who get their shot at season's end. I'm guessing the combo of Dickerson (remember how much he played above his head in 2008 in a similar late season call-up) and Carlos Gomez can match him.

Overall that is a 10 or 11 Win improvement. Given that I think the Reds are going to take a step back, I don't think they could match 87 Wins in 2011 w/o an addition. Pick-up a LF who can form a potent platoon in the 5 hole or one who can lead-off and the Reds might be at about that level again. Add a better SS (I don't really see any to be had though) and maybe more.

If say Bailey or Volquez and Wood take a big step forward (with Bailey or Volquez becoming a TOR guy or a strong #2 and Wood being solid for a full season) then the Reds would be the favorites. But I don't think the team should count on those things when putting the roster together so they need to make some improvements to add those wins. If the position players revert to form and the pitchers repeat 2010, this is an 84 to 86 win team IMO. Does anyone really believe that Bailey or Volquez will become a TOR starter in 2011 that can match Grienke or Wainwright or even Gallardo or Carpenter? There is a chance, but counting on it is foolish IMO. I could see Wood matching Marcum as a pretty good number 3 and if Arroyo is a wash with Westbrook and Wolf, one of Bailey or Volquez need to be number 1 caliber. Cueto might be able to hold his own as a number 2 (but I think Gallardo and a healthy Carpenter are clearly better). If they all come through, then the Reds have the edge, but counting on them all to come through is like counting on the lottery as a retirement plan.

Hoosier Red
12-30-2010, 02:05 PM
Good post especially referencing the Pythag which actually adds 2 games in the Reds favor, maybe the edge isn't as big as I initially thought, but I still would take the Brewers. Wolf is still with the Brewers BTW.

Greinke, Marcum and Saito not only add solid to spectacular production for about 500 innings, but they are replacing absolutely replacement level production that was in the 77 win team. Not a big WAR fan, but lets use it since its becoming the language of the board. Say Greinke (5.75), Marcum (3.75) and Saito (1.2) add about 11 WAR. The innings they will replace are Doug Davis (37 Innngs at 0 WAR), Jeff Suppan (31 Innings at 0 WAR), Dave Bush (174 IP of .1 WAR), Todd Coffey (62 IP of 0 WAR), Manny Parra (84 IP as a starter at -.7 RAR or -.1 WAR), Trevor Hoffman (47 IP at -.7 WAR) and Chris Capuano (66 IP of .5 WAR).

Betancourt and Escobar each had a .6 WAR in 2010 (though I like Escobar a lot better). Cain did have a 1.2 WAR in a limited role, but IMO played way above his head like many players do who get their shot at season's end. I'm guessing the combo of Dickerson (remember how much he played above his head in 2008 in a similar late season call-up) and Carlos Gomez can match him.

Overall that is a 10 or 11 Win improvement. Given that I think the Reds are going to take a step back, I don't think they could match 87 Wins in 2011 w/o an addition. Pick-up a LF who can form a potent platoon in the 5 hole or one who can lead-off and the Reds might be at about that level again. Add a better SS (I don't really see any to be had though) and maybe more.

If say Bailey or Volquez and Wood take a big step forward (with Bailey or Volquez becoming a TOR guy or a strong #2 and Wood being solid for a full season) then the Reds would be the favorites. But I don't think the team should count on those things when putting the roster together so they need to make some improvements to add those wins. If the position players revert to form and the pitchers repeat 2010, this is an 84 to 86 win team IMO. Does anyone really believe that Bailey or Volquez will become a TOR starter in 2011 that can match Grienke or Wainwright or even Gallardo or Carpenter? There is a chance, but counting on it is foolish IMO. I could see Wood matching Marcum as a pretty good number 3 and if Arroyo is a wash with Westbrook and Wolf, one of Bailey or Volquez need to be number 1 caliber. Cueto might be able to hold his own as a number 2 (but I think Gallardo and a healthy Carpenter are clearly better). If they all come through, then the Reds have the edge, but counting on them all to come through is like counting on the lottery as a retirement plan.

I don't disagree with your general idea that the Brewers could move ahead. But 1)Essentially your counting on the Reds talent to be 5 games worse than they were last year. Even factoring in some regression for Rolen and Votto, that's a pretty big step back and would require the Reds to essentially see no progress from any young players. 2) You're counting on the Brewers all playing to their maximum effectiveness while expecting regression from the Reds. It could happen of course, but one thing I found interesting was how healthy Milwaukee was last year, at least in the lineup. 4 regulars(Fielder, Weeks, McGehee, and Braun) played in 157 games or more. The Reds most durable regular player was Brandon Phillips at 155.

REDREAD
12-30-2010, 03:11 PM
I really think it's too close to call now between the Brewers, Cards, and Reds.

Any of those three teams could be affected by under/over achieving and injury bugs.

I am not an expert on the Brewers or Cards, but I think the Reds have an edge in both defense and pitching depth. The Cards and Brewers have us beat at the top of the rotation, but I think our depth more than covers that over the course of the season (although depth doesn't help you as much in the playoffs).

So, I give the Reds a slight edge due to depth (starting pitching, bullpen) and the better defense. Milwaukee traded away some of their position player depth this offseason.. that might come back to bite them.

traderumor
12-30-2010, 03:18 PM
If Bruce and Stubbs are producing as they did the latter part of the year, I do not agree with losing 67 runs that this projection calculates, even if Rolen continues his downward trend.

RedsManRick
12-30-2010, 03:28 PM
Cairo doesn't like the Reds because it doesn't trust Stubbs, Bruce, etc. It basically just averages our recent performance and thus is bound to undervalue young, up-and-coming talent.

traderumor
12-30-2010, 03:49 PM
Cairo doesn't like the Reds because it doesn't trust Stubbs, Bruce, etc. It basically just averages our recent performance and thus is bound to undervalue young, up-and-coming talent.Too safe an approach, from where I sit.

RedsManRick
12-30-2010, 03:59 PM
Too safe an approach, from where I sit.

On balance, it works out to be a pretty good predictor. But on the periphery, it's not the greatest.

TheNext44
12-30-2010, 04:36 PM
On balance, it works out to be a pretty good predictor. But on the periphery, it's not the greatest.

I like Cairo because they back up things I kinda knew already, but can site with more authority. But they reallly are not designed to break any new ground or come up with any surprises. Young talent, especially pitchers, are their weakness.

mth123
12-30-2010, 05:23 PM
I don't disagree with your general idea that the Brewers could move ahead. But 1)Essentially your counting on the Reds talent to be 5 games worse than they were last year. Even factoring in some regression for Rolen and Votto, that's a pretty big step back and would require the Reds to essentially see no progress from any young players. 2) You're counting on the Brewers all playing to their maximum effectiveness while expecting regression from the Reds. It could happen of course, but one thing I found interesting was how healthy Milwaukee was last year, at least in the lineup. 4 regulars(Fielder, Weeks, McGehee, and Braun) played in 157 games or more. The Reds most durable regular player was Brandon Phillips at 155.

Bruce improvement off-sets Rolen's decline. Chapman off-sets the loss of Rhodes. Stubbs had a .773 OPS with 22 HR. I'm not really expecting much better there. I hope he can just stay the same. Phillips is another break-even in 2011. Votto can have another big year and still see his OPS drop 50 to 75 points. The catching combo will probably combine for a drop in OPS of 75 to 100 points. The combined production that the Reds got from Nix, Cairo and Heisey from the bench probably won't be replicated.

I'm fairly bullish on the Reds pen, but Ondrusek, Lecure, Smith and Bray all came up pretty big in 2010. Between them Leake and Wood combined to give the Reds about 4 months of Cy Young caliber production each time through the rotation. Even if both are OK, that won't happen again. Arroyo could pitch the same and see his ERA jump by half a run. For the Reds to be better we need Wood to still be solid and not experience a drop-off now that the league knows him and he'll need to show no ill effects from jumping his innings from less than 170 to over 200. Bailey and/or Volquez need to step up and stay healthy. Those are a lot of unknowns that the Reds hinge on. Only a repeat from Cueto seems like something to be expected rather than hoped for as far as the rotation goes.

The Brewers, OTOH, simply need their acquisitions and returning core players to perform as the have already established. No leap of faith involved. They may come up short, but they are much more likely to reach their needed performance levels than what many are basing their expectations for the Reds upon.

RedsManRick
01-01-2011, 11:50 AM
FWIW, HardballTimes' Oliver projection system has us winning the division at 91 games. An aggregate estimate in the 88 win range seems fair to me.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/introducing-oliver/

jojo
01-01-2011, 02:45 PM
I don't disagree with your general idea that the Brewers could move ahead. But 1)Essentially your counting on the Reds talent to be 5 games worse than they were last year. Even factoring in some regression for Rolen and Votto, that's a pretty big step back and would require the Reds to essentially see no progress from any young players. 2) You're counting on the Brewers all playing to their maximum effectiveness while expecting regression from the Reds. It could happen of course, but one thing I found interesting was how healthy Milwaukee was last year, at least in the lineup. 4 regulars(Fielder, Weeks, McGehee, and Braun) played in 157 games or more. The Reds most durable regular player was Brandon Phillips at 155.

It's reasonable to suggest that the Reds might expect less WAR each from first, second, Short, third, and catcher. They could easily lose 5 WAR across those positions without players playing below their true talent level.

TheNext44
01-01-2011, 03:35 PM
It's reasonable to suggest that the Reds might expect less WAR each from first, second, Short, third, and catcher. They could easily lose 5 WAR across those positions without players playing below their true talent level.

I can see the Reds losing 5 WAR from their infield, but I think it most likely will come from third, catcher and first, and very little from short and second.

Phillips was 4 WAR player, which is right at his average since being a Red, and it includes him playing hurt. SS total was 2.5 WAR, and I think Janish and whoever backs him up can repeat that. Basically, I think that if Janish starts to hit more like his career numbers and less like his 2010 numbers, his backup will see more playing time. Maybe it drops to around 2 combined between everyone who plays short, but I can't see it much lower than that.

But I could easily see catcher lose at least 1 WAR (unless Meseraco comes in and shines) and 3B lose at least 1 WAR, and 1B lose at least 1 WAR, plus I can see the backups losing at least 1 WAR. Cairo, Janish, and Valaika provided much more production than backup infielders usually do last year.

And getting to Hoosier's point about the Brewers, they should lose some WAR too. Hart and Weeks had career years last season. Fielder and Braun had off seasons, so they might counter that if they bounce back. But I think Bentencourt could have negative WAR in 2011, and I see a big drop in CF. Not just Cain, but Edmonds provided a lot of production that I just don't see Gomez and Dickerson approaching. It won't be 5 WAR, but it's just as reasonable to project them losing some WAR from their offense in 2011.

Mario-Rijo
01-03-2011, 06:04 PM
2011 Storylines from Olney, his Reds storyline:

LINK (http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog?name=olney_buster&id=5981047)


37. What is Aroldis Chapman? At the very least, the rangy Cuban defector is a heck of a late-inning power arm who can dominate left-handed hitters. But the Reds didn't invest $30 million in him with the idea of sticking him in middle relief. The Reds' pitching staff has worked to reduce the rocking motion that Chapman has at the outset of his delivery, because they feel it affects his command. That work is expected to continue in spring training, and if the Reds can solve this and improve Chapman's fastball command, he could be an impact starter.

Something to keep an eye on.