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Guacarock
07-09-2011, 02:12 AM
All right, Redszoners. Time to whip out your red pencils and issue your mid-term grades to the 2011 Reds. For the purposes of this exercise, you'll need to evaluate the Reds' performance in eight classes and then decide upon a cumulative GPA for the team. The eight classes -- catchers, infielders, outfielders, bench, starting pitchers, relief pitchers, manager/coaches and general manager. You can be as tough or laissez-faire as you want in your grading standards, but be prepared to defend your assigned grades against challenges. I'll get the ball rolling....

Catchers: B+. Hanigan and Hernandez might not be All Stars, but together, they make a formidable combo behind the plate. Both excel at controlling the opposition running game, and neither is a defensive or offensive slouch. Small demerits this season for Hanigan's OBP slippage and Hernandez's occasionally questionable game calling.

Infielders: C+. Can't carp too much about the performances of the infielders on the right side of the diamond. Votto is following his MVP year with another strong season, although he's battled through a few slumps and a bit of a power outage. Phillips' defense is golden, but he's no longer close to being a 30-30 player. The power is declining, and baserunning blunders occur too often. It's on the left side of the diamond, where we have fallen. The SS tandem of Janish-Renteria couldn't begin to get the job done on offense, and Rolen is slowing down and declining.

Outfielders: C. Despite his ups and downs, Bruce is emerging as The Force in RF that we all hoped he would be, combining plenty of swat with GG defensive swagger. In CF, Stubbs continues to flash his tools -- the glove, the speed and power -- but his strikeouts and contact issues remain problematic. Heisey, Lewis and Gomes all have displayed some winning attributes and some warts. It's debatable whether they will become fixtures for the future or just temporary or part-time fixes.

Bench: B-. Heisey still delivering fireworks as a pinch-hitter and proving extremely useful and versatile as a defensive sub. Age not slowing down Cairo's bat. Catching tandem working seamlessly. Lewis and Gomes can be counted upon in limited roles. The only bench-player whose contributions appear slim to negligible: Renteria.

Starting Pitchers: C-. Mostly an average bunch across the board except for Cueto, who continues to improve and might yet emerge as our ace. Leake also appears to have a bright future, and is building upon his rookie season, but still has a lot to learn. By contrast, health issues have hindered Bailey's progress, and likewise, Arroyo has not quite been himself all season. Volquez and Wood have regressed, but hopefully, can re-establish some kind of groove in AAA.

Relief Pitchers: B+. All in all, notwithstanding their losing W-L totals, the bullpen has been a plus this season. The setup men -- Masset, Ondrusek and Bray -- have been dominant, although Masset took a month or so, as always, to warm up. Cordero, our closer, has been lights-out in his walk year, except has shown signs of age and/or fatigue of late. Lecure has adapted well to his new long relief role, but injury impaired him for awhile. Arredondo and Chapman seem to have overcome control problems, and begun pitching up to their superior abilities, which bodes well for the future.

Manager/Coaches: D+. It's not been Dusty's year. He has stood by his players as always, but they have not performed up to expectations, and when that has happened, he has been slow on the draw to implement correctional changes. He waited too long to establish a workable platoon in LF or to rectify the gaping offensive shortage at SS. Similarly, he has left starting pitchers in too many games when they were clearly toast. His game strategies have not worked well -- whether in composing lineups or making effective double-switches or calling for bold run-producing plays. He has to hope for a better second-half, or he will become the sacrificial lamb, rightfully or wrongly, for the team's shortfalls. His hitting and pitching coaches also could be on the line, as it's easier and cheaper to change them out than to jettison players.

General Manager: C-. Smart, team-friendly, long-range contracts negotiated with Cueto and Bruce. Not-so-smart contract signed with Arroyo, given his age and value as a MOR starter. Good job assembling bench players and taking flyers on possible breakout retreads (D-Train and Arrendondo). But grade lowered to C- overall for failing to address LF and SS issues that were already apparent in 2010, and also for assuming the team as constituted could repeat in 2011 exactly what it did in 2010, even knowing that stalwarts like Rolen and Arroyo were on the decline.

Team GPA: C. Which, if you ask me, is fully reflected by our current middle-of-the-pack 44-46 W-L record and our standing as the fourth place team in the middling to mediocre NL Central Division.

So now you've seen my grades. Time to show yours and let the world know your grading biases.

Ron Madden
07-09-2011, 06:19 AM
All right, Redszoners. Time to whip out your red pencils and issue your mid-term grades to the 2011 Reds. For the purposes of this exercise, you'll need to evaluate the Reds' performance in eight classes and then decide upon a cumulative GPA for the team. The eight classes -- catchers, infielders, outfielders, bench, starting pitchers, relief pitchers, manager/coaches and general manager. You can be as tough or laissez-faire as you want in your grading standards, but be prepared to defend your assigned grades against challenges. I'll get the ball rolling....

Catchers: B+. Hanigan and Hernandez might not be All Stars, but together, they make a formidable combo behind the plate. Both excel at controlling the opposition running game, and neither is a defensive or offensive slouch. Small demerits this season for Hanigan's OBP slippage and Hernandez's occasionally questionable game calling.

Infielders: C+. Can't carp too much about the performances of the infielders on the right side of the diamond. Votto is following his MVP year with another strong season, although he's battled through a few slumps and a bit of a power outage. Phillips' defense is golden, but he's no longer close to being a 30-30 player. The power is declining, and baserunning blunders occur too often. It's on the left side of the diamond, where we have fallen. The SS tandem of Janish-Renteria couldn't begin to get the job done on offense, and Rolen is slowing down and declining.

Outfielders: C. Despite his ups and downs, Bruce is emerging as The Force in RF that we all hoped he would be, combining plenty of swat with GG defensive swagger. In CF, Stubbs continues to flash his tools -- the glove, the speed and power -- but his strikeouts and contact issues remain problematic. Heisey, Lewis and Gomes all have displayed some winning attributes and some warts. It's debatable whether they will become fixtures for the future or just temporary or part-time fixes.

Bench: B-. Heisey still delivering fireworks as a pinch-hitter and proving extremely useful and versatile as a defensive sub. Age not slowing down Cairo's bat. Catching tandem working seamlessly. Lewis and Gomes can be counted upon in limited roles. The only bench-player whose contributions appear slim to negligible: Renteria.

Starting Pitchers: C-. Mostly an average bunch across the board except for Cueto, who continues to improve and might yet emerge as our ace. Leake also appears to have a bright future, and is building upon his rookie season, but still has a lot to learn. By contrast, health issues have hindered Bailey's progress, and likewise, Arroyo has not quite been himself all season. Volquez and Wood have regressed, but hopefully, can re-establish some kind of groove in AAA.

Relief Pitchers: B+. All in all, notwithstanding their losing W-L totals, the bullpen has been a plus this season. The setup men -- Masset, Ondrusek and Bray -- have been dominant, although Masset took a month or so, as always, to warm up. Cordero, our closer, has been lights-out in his walk year, except has shown signs of age and/or fatigue of late. Lecure has adapted well to his new long relief role, but injury impaired him for awhile. Arredondo and Chapman seem to have overcome control problems, and begun pitching up to their superior abilities, which bodes well for the future.

Manager/Coaches: D+. It's not been Dusty's year. He has stood by his players as always, but they have not performed up to expectations, and when that has happened, he has been slow on the draw to implement correctional changes. He waited too long to establish a workable platoon in LF or to rectify the gaping offensive shortage at SS. Similarly, he has left starting pitchers in too many games when they were clearly toast. His game strategies have not worked well -- whether in composing lineups or making effective double-switches or calling for bold run-producing plays. He has to hope for a better second-half, or he will become the sacrificial lamb, rightfully or wrongly, for the team's shortfalls. His hitting and pitching coaches also could be on the line, as it's easier and cheaper to change them out than to jettison players.

General Manager: C-. Smart, team-friendly, long-range contracts negotiated with Cueto and Bruce. Not-so-smart contract signed with Arroyo, given his age and value as a MOR starter. Good job assembling bench players and taking flyers on possible breakout retreads (D-Train and Arrendondo). But grade lowered to C- overall for failing to address LF and SS issues that were already apparent in 2010, and also for assuming the team as constituted could repeat in 2011 exactly what it did in 2010, even knowing that stalwarts like Rolen and Arroyo were on the decline.

Team GPA: C. Which, if you ask me, is fully reflected by our current middle-of-the-pack 44-46 W-L record and our standing as the fourth place team in the middling to mediocre NL Central Division.

So now you've seen my grades. Time to show yours and let the world know your grading biases.

My report card is very similar to yours.

Catcher: B+ Hard to find fault with Hanigan and Hernandez. But I wouldn't mind if Walt deals Hernandez to the Giants or anyone else in a fair trade.

Infield: C. SS and 3B have offset most of the positives of 1b and 2B.

Outfield: C. I love Jay Bruce in RF. Can live with Stubbs and Heisey in CF. I believe Walt's failure to address LF might just turn out to be a blessing in disguise opening a future spot for Dave Sappelt.

Bench: B. Everyone on the bench has some versatility or value except for Edgar Renteria in my opinion.

Starting Pitchers C. What can I say that hasn't been said.

Bullpen: B. I think the relief pitchers have done a pretty good job carrying the load the starters and Dusty have placed on their shoulders.

Manager: D. I think Dusty is a great Guy but I hardly ever agree with his strategy. Dusty bullpen management isn't very good at all, in fact it sucks.

General Manager: C. Walt hasn't done much to complain about but he hasn't done a whole lot to brag about either.

That's the way I see it.

mth123
07-09-2011, 09:04 AM
Catcher B-: Hanigan hasn't hit but is a steller defender. Ramon has been great on offense, but I'm still unimpressed with him behind the plate. He seems to have some nice leadership skill though so the bump from C to B-.

Infield C: 3B is the overlooked problem on this team.

Outfeld C-: Too streaky, Stubbs isn't as good defensively as advertised (but stil pretty good IMO), Lewis may be worse defensively than Gomes. Bruce is my favorite right now, but he has lots of periods where he doesn't help much.

Bench B: This could be an A if the Reds could get a starting caliber LF. They have good bench players splitting time out there. Who-ever isn't catching is an awfully good second catcher and Miguel Cairo has been awesome. Not a Renteria fan even as the second SS behind a rookie. Janish is in AAA for emergency use where he belongs.

Starting Pitching D: Arroyo and Wood are the biggest disappointments. Bailey's injuries were predictable but the 3 Run Homers weren't (I wonder if his arm strength is still not up to snuff). Leake has been better than I thought, Volquez about as expected. Cueto has taken a step forward.

Relief Pitching A-: Cordero's bad week notwithstanding, If Chapman hadn't hit his wild and ineffective spot this would be an A+.

Manager/Coaches B: This is a poorly constructed team and trying to make square pegs fit into round holes makes any manager look bad. Playing Janish over Renteria most of the time was the right move given what was available. He should probably be more liberal with givng his OF time off when they aren't hitting and getting Heisey in there in CF or RF more often. He has quality major leaugers out there even if they aren't all starting caliber. Its pretty hard to manage a pitching staff with so many injured and inexperienced guys and they have to get innngs from the rotation which makes it look like he leaves guys in too long (and its made worse because his primary innings eater has been pitching through illness and injury), but I don't see an alternative with the current personnel.

GM: D-. Bruce contract keeps this from being an "F." Planning on going into the season with so many question marks in the rotation was foolish. The SS situation was mildly understandable in the offseason, but dragging until July before bringing up the hot kid while the incumbents were horrible was inexcusable. The position players are overloaded with too many bottom of the order types. Rolen's decline was easy to foresee and a starting caliber (or at least a LH half of a platoon) guy in LF should have been brought in to help fix a thin middle of the order. Bringing Arroyo back was a good move. Extending him was nuts. The other contracts were just so so.

Overall C: The team's record is a little worse than expected but Arroyo's mono and back issues might be a big reason (the innings eater faltering ripples through how the entire rotation and bullpen are treated). The Pythag record is about where it should have been expected. I think some breaks will even out a bit in the second half and get this team back on its 86 win Pythag pace. The problem is that this looked like an 86 win team in December and nothing was done to take a step forward. Its all on the GM IMO.

RedsBaron
07-09-2011, 09:32 AM
The Reds rank 13th in the NL in team ERA. I do not understand how the starting ptichers can be given a collective grade of "C-," "C" or anything approaching an average grade. Cueto would deserve an "A" and everyone else on the starting staff deserves a "F." Overall the starters get a collective "D-" IMO.

Kc61
07-09-2011, 10:13 AM
The Reds rank 13th in the NL in team ERA. I do not understand how the starting ptichers can be given a collective grade of "C-," "C" or anything approaching an average grade. Cueto would deserve an "A" and everyone else on the starting staff deserves a "F." Overall the starters get a collective "D-" IMO.

Thank you for taking the words out of my mouth.

Can't agree with anyone who blames the manager more than the starting pitchers.

mth123
07-09-2011, 10:31 AM
Thank you for taking the words out of my mouth.

Can't agree with anyone who blames the manager more than the starting pitchers.

I gave the starters a "D" but they are really performing about as expected as a whole. Possibly the Arroyo Mono/Back driven bad year being the wild card. The team was depending on 2 guys with injury concerns in Volquez and Bailey, neither of whom is proven even w/o the injuries, and two kids who had less than 150 innings in the majors to fill three of the 5 rotation spots. A group with that much uncertainty was an awfully risky plan to begin with. The team needs/needed another proven arm in place of one of these question marks. So while I give them a "D" mostly because of Arroyo, they aren't that far below expectations. The GM who planned this mess is the culprit IMO. The Pythag says 86 wins. I still think that happens (and it was my prediction before the season). The overall disappointment on Redszone is that many seemed to think that 86 win collection was a good team rather than the slightly above average pretender that it is. Additions are needed from outside the organization.

RedLegsToday
07-09-2011, 10:55 AM
I concur on the starting pitching being, at best, a "D". The Reds have given 56 starts to guys that have a combined ERA + of about 70. Is that even replacement level? Cueto is the only starter on the Reds with an ERA+ over 100. Without Cueto, this Reds rotation has been "Fat" Jimmy Haynes, Joey Hamilton, and Uncle Milty all over again.

RedLegsToday
07-09-2011, 11:23 AM
After 90 games, we have a worse record than the Nationals and the Pirates! :eek:

nate
07-09-2011, 11:43 AM
SP: D-
It's been not good. Leake has moments, Cueto is decent but which Homer Bailey will we see the rest of the season? Wood could be OK but I still think they need to add someone as good as Cueto or better (there's a good sized delta between "hammer" and "Cueto" to chose from.)

RP: C-
They've been pretty average but walk far too many hitters.

C: A
Not much to complain about here, Herninigan has been a good catcher.

1B: A
Joey Votto is dreamy.

2B: A
Again, not much to complain about. BP has been pretty valuable.

SS: D-
Hasn't exactly been a bright spot this year. I still feel the position can and should be "D" focused, we'll (hopefully) see what Cozart can do.

3B: B+
Migehrig has filled in nicely when Rolen has been gimpy.

RF: B-
I think Bruce can be even better than he has been so far.

CF: C+
Small delta between Stubbs and Bruce but mainly because CF is a more important defensive position.

LF: B
Heisey and Gomes come into today with exactly the same wOBA: .340.

Manager: C
Dusty hasn't really raised my ire that much this year. Maybe I'm in the acceptance phase.

General Manager: C
I think the Reds should've improved the pitching over the winter but there's nothing to be done about that now. Hopefully, Walt can work some magic before the trade deadline.

Guacarock
07-09-2011, 03:04 PM
I see that several of you have given the starting pitchers grades of D or D-. The starting pitchers have been frustrating but not that uniformly bad.

Cueto has taken another step forward, greatly improving not only his ERA but his ability to induce ground balls, which will help him establish dominance at GABP. Bailey and Leake are pitching at levels essentially right at league average. Our other three starters -- Arroyo, Wood and Volquez -- have admittedly fallen toward the long tail of the Bell curve.

Cumulatively, do they deserve a D or D-? No. Perhaps a D+, if you're a tough grader. But if they represent a D-, you would have to give a G or an H to some of the Reds' rotations from yesteryear.

Take the starters from 2003 -- converted reliever Danny Graves, Paul Wilson, recuperating Ryan Dempster, Jimmy Haynes and Jimmy Anderson. Not one of them even pitched as well as Leake, let alone Bailey or Cueto. And only four of them managed 18 starts. The Reds rotation was in such tatters that year that we used 17 different starters.

The 2003 Reds rotation would have gotten an F in my book. By comparison, I see this summer's squad shaping up as a C-, with the potential to advance if Bailey can shrug off any lingering effects from his shoulder injuries, if Leake can demonstrate greater stamina than in 2010, and certainly if we catch lightning in a bottle with D Train.

Ghosts of 1990
07-09-2011, 05:16 PM
Catchers: A-

Infielders: D+

Outfielders: D+

Bench: B

Starting Pitchers: C-

Relief Pitchers: B-

Manager/Coaches: F

General Manager: F

Team GPA: D+