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LegallyMinded
01-29-2012, 11:12 AM
Nick Carfado of the Boston Globe had one of the first pieces (http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2012/01/29/for_what_theyre_worth_the_winter_standings/?page=full) rankings ML clubs' off seasons I've seen this year. He has the Reds at number nine, behind the the Angels, Yankees, Rangers, Cards, Phillies and others.

So, my question is: What do you think? Is number 9 a fair assessment, or is he selling the Reds short?

Personally, I agree with the high rankings for the Angels and Yankees, but I think he's too optimistic about the acquisitions the Tigers and Phillies made. The Tigers overpaid for Fielder, and his offensive impact is going to be partially offset by the defensive cost of having Cabrera playing third. The Phillies, meanwhile, overpaid for Papelbon, are trying to replace Ryan Howard with Ty Wigginton for at least part of the year, and finished their shopping by signing Juan Pierre: not what I'd call a sterling off season.

As for the Cards, I'm split: I loved the Beltran signing, but obviously that doesn't completely offset the loss of Pujols. I suppose my final evaluation would have to be reserved for when Oswalt decides if he'll be a Cardinal or not, but as it stands now, I'd say the Reds probably did better than St. Louis this off season.

cbowen2112
01-29-2012, 11:23 AM
I see the Reds as having at least the Top Off season from the NL. I do not see how the Cards, D-Backs and Phillies made that many more strides than the Reds. He is definitely putting us short. We should be in the Top 5, with the other 4 above us AL teams. Once could argue that the Marlins had a great Off-season, but if you look at the caliber of players we have gotten in return vs what we lost that were Major League starters now, we come out on top by far.

Great job Walt and the rest of his staff for an exciting Off-season for once in a long time!

Reds got these guys with ML experience and some success:

Latos
Marshall
Madson
Ludwick
Navarro
Harris
Francis
Valdez

Reds lost these guys with ML experience/success and some not enough time to view success rate:

Alonso
Horst
Wood
Sappelt
Cordero
Volquez*
Renteria*


*These guys have had success, but it has been a while.

Yes, the Reds did lose some high chip prospects, but we have no clue how their careers will end up. So, looking at this would tell you we came out on top. Many of the guys we traded have potential, but are ?. The free agents we lost were replaced by better guys, flat out.

_Sir_Charles_
01-29-2012, 11:26 AM
First off, I think this is a ranking of the teams, not rankings of how they graded their off seasons.

I think the Cards are WAY over-ranked. Several reasons....

1. Wainwright should not be expected to come back and perform at Cy Young-type caliber. I expect him to be inconsistent this year. Next year...look out.

2. Carpenter is another year older. His numbers have begun to decline, I expect that to continue.

3. Garcia got a ton of work thrown at him last year and I expect a slight regression from him. But still a solid #3.

4. Berkman had a mammoth-like resurgence last year. I don't think anybody expects him to replicate it. He should tail off considerably.

5. Beltran is an excellent player, but fragile. The odds of him staying healthy all year are about the same as Scott Rolen's. And when healthy, he's STILL a considerable drop off from the normal Poo-holes production.

6. New manager/pitching coach and the loss of Albert will show.

Personally, I'm picking them 3rd in the Central with a good shot to finish lower. I like the direction of the Pirates & Cubs. They're not there yet of course, but they are moving in the right direction.

Blitz Dorsey
01-29-2012, 11:29 AM
If he's staying we're the 9th-best team in MLB after our offseason moves, he's pretty close to dead on. However, if he's saying the Reds' offseason was only the 9th-best in MLB, he needs his creds revoked.

_Sir_Charles_
01-29-2012, 11:31 AM
I re-read it. It's team rankings AFTER the off season moves. He's saying we're the 9th best team in the majors. And the Cards are the FOURTH!?!?!? :eek:

Griffey012
01-29-2012, 11:44 AM
The Cards should be left ahead of us until we put ourselves in front of them. Remember how we were a shoo in to the playoffs last year when Wainwright went down?

Edd Roush
01-29-2012, 11:46 AM
I re-read it. It's team rankings AFTER the off season moves. He's saying we're the 9th best team in the majors. And the Cards are the FOURTH!?!?!? :eek:

When I try to look at the Cardinals, Reds and Brewers on paper, I really have a difficult time thinking there is a major differences between the three teams. Seeing them spread out to 4th, 9th and 16th seems like too much difference to me.

Blitz Dorsey
01-29-2012, 12:19 PM
I re-read it. It's team rankings AFTER the off season moves. He's saying we're the 9th best team in the majors. And the Cards are the FOURTH!?!?!? :eek:

Probably giving respect to the defending champs, despite the HUGE loss of Pujols. As well as the underrated losses of LaRussa and Duncan. Sorry, but adding Beltran and Oswalt (if he signs) and getting a healthy Wainwright back (if that actually happens) doesn't make up for losing the biggest offensive threat in baseball.

But no question the Cards will still be a formidable opponent this season. I feel the Reds are better, but then again, I'm biased. Ha.

hebroncougar
01-29-2012, 01:18 PM
I don't see how anyone can complain about the Cards being ranked ahead of the Reds. The Reds haven't put up. This year, it's time to put up or shut up. 2012 will tell a lot about where this Reds franchise goes for the next 5-6 years. I think the Reds are hoping for more exposure, and more revenue to keep some of these guys around. That doesn't happen w/o winning this year. They've pretty much pushed all their chips in. I commend them for it.

757690
01-29-2012, 01:24 PM
I'm confused by the article. Is it a ranking of teams in terms of overall talent, or of their off-season moves. It's not clear the way it is written, but the rankings suggest it's overall talent.

Captain Hook
01-29-2012, 01:31 PM
I like this one better.It's a new season and the teams have new players/rosters and in the Cards case a completely new coaching staff.I have no problem with the Reds being ranked ahead of those guys.

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/story/17009124/power-rankings-fielders-tigers-send-hot-stove-season-out-in-style

757690
01-29-2012, 01:35 PM
I don't see how anyone can complain about the Cards being ranked ahead of the Reds. The Reds haven't put up. This year, it's time to put up or shut up. 2012 will tell a lot about where this Reds franchise goes for the next 5-6 years. I think the Reds are hoping for more exposure, and more revenue to keep some of these guys around. That doesn't happen w/o winning this year. They've pretty much pushed all their chips in. I commend them for it.

I agree the Reds have to prove themselves, however...

Reds and Cards were only 5 games apart according to Pythag last season.

Reds added a TOR starter, a top set up man and closer without losing anyone expected to contribute in 2012.

Cards lost their francishe player and replaced him with an aging All-Star. They get back a TOR starter, but coming off Tommy John and lost a solid #3 starter and their set up man. Plus they lost a Hall of Fame manager and pitching coach.

Not hard to argue that at the very least, they are even after all of that.

redsmetz
01-29-2012, 01:40 PM
First off, I think this is a ranking of the teams, not rankings of how they graded their off seasons.

I think the Cards are WAY over-ranked. Several reasons....

1. Wainwright should not be expected to come back and perform at Cy Young-type caliber. I expect him to be inconsistent this year. Next year...look out.

2. Carpenter is another year older. His numbers have begun to decline, I expect that to continue.

3. Garcia got a ton of work thrown at him last year and I expect a slight regression from him. But still a solid #3.

4. Berkman had a mammoth-like resurgence last year. I don't think anybody expects him to replicate it. He should tail off considerably.

5. Beltran is an excellent player, but fragile. The odds of him staying healthy all year are about the same as Scott Rolen's. And when healthy, he's STILL a considerable drop off from the normal Poo-holes production.

6. New manager/pitching coach and the loss of Albert will show.

Personally, I'm picking them 3rd in the Central with a good shot to finish lower. I like the direction of the Pirates & Cubs. They're not there yet of course, but they are moving in the right direction.

First, I agree that I think it's a mistake to say the Cardinals off season moves necessarily outranked the Reds. This is just a quick response, I understand you're giving your opinion as to what you expect and perhaps this is just a nuance, but I can't say with any certainty that what you're expecting is a given to happen. Maybe I'm more prone to "mealy" words like "may" and "might" in some of these circumstances.

I can't say it's a given, for example, that Wainwright will struggled. Some players have (Volquez being an example last season), but there have been some who haven't. I'm not certain what the norm is for this type of comeback. Likewise, I agree that it's logical to think Berkman won't repeat his 2011 season, but then again, I don't think the Cards need an exact replica of that.

I do give them plus points for the Beltran signing as a recovery from losing Pujols. In the long run, I think St. Louis is in a better position not being saddled with an expensive long term deal with just one player who could be aging rapidly during that time, particularly towards the end of it.

And while LaRussa and Duncan seemed to weave magic together, I won't assume that there will be a drop off with Matheny et al. Yes, it's been known to happen, but I've learned to never count the Cardinals out.

I agree with the poster who said we need to prove we've had the better off-season.

Vottomatic
01-29-2012, 01:42 PM
After winning a World Series, alot of teams tend to get fat and kick into laziness. Atleast that's my experience. That's why it's so hard to repeat. Plus everyone is gunning for you.

And with the Cards, age is an ever increasing factor for so many of their players. If they got fat in the offseason, didn't stay in shape, lost their mental edge, whatever.........I can see an underachieving year following their overachievement last year. It happened with the Reds in '11.

The Reds have alot of guys on 1 year contracts or 1 year remaining that have alot to prove. And these players we've been calling "young" and "full of potential" should be reaching that potential at this point. Really, there are no excuses.

And last year's Dayton team was called by many to be the most talented Dayton team ever........and some of those guys should start making leaps due to mental and physical maturity. We saw it with Mesoraco and others in the past. So, this should be a farm system season where we see the lower level players start their journey upward finally.

And the front office showed me this offseason that they are willing to finally make changes and maybe take some chances. If some of these guys start to falter or don't improve, I can see them being dealt to fill other needs. I think Castellini, after '10, wanted to keep things together therefore not many changes. But hopefully, he's seen what these positive moves do for the fanbase in terms of excitement, and can see that they need to make more moves like these. And above all, they've learned that pitching wins championships.

As good as the Cards may look on paper, they are getting old. At some point these guys are going to start breaking down and it won't be pretty.

mth123
01-29-2012, 02:14 PM
First off, I think this is a ranking of the teams, not rankings of how they graded their off seasons.

I think the Cards are WAY over-ranked. Several reasons....

1. Wainwright should not be expected to come back and perform at Cy Young-type caliber. I expect him to be inconsistent this year. Next year...look out.

2. Carpenter is another year older. His numbers have begun to decline, I expect that to continue.

3. Garcia got a ton of work thrown at him last year and I expect a slight regression from him. But still a solid #3.

4. Berkman had a mammoth-like resurgence last year. I don't think anybody expects him to replicate it. He should tail off considerably.

5. Beltran is an excellent player, but fragile. The odds of him staying healthy all year are about the same as Scott Rolen's. And when healthy, he's STILL a considerable drop off from the normal Poo-holes production.

6. New manager/pitching coach and the loss of Albert will show.

Personally, I'm picking them 3rd in the Central with a good shot to finish lower. I like the direction of the Pirates & Cubs. They're not there yet of course, but they are moving in the right direction.

I don't know. The defense in St. Louis is much improved with Berkman at 1b and Beltran in RF and Furcal at SS and Theriot off the team. They lost Pujols, but Beltran, Berkman and Holiday is still the best middle of the order in the NL. Wainwright is the key, If he is 75% of his pre-injury self, they'll have the best rotation in the divison as well. The Reds have a better and deeper bench and a way better bullpen, but top three in the rotation and middle three of the order are the major things a team needs and I'd give the Cards the edge in those areas. I really like what the Reds have done and I'm picking them, but, if Wainwight is some resemblence of his former self, the Cardinals are a stronger team in 2012 even without Pujols IMO. The Reds need Bailey to stay healthy and join Latos and Cueto as a top 50 starter in baseball and they need some combination of Ludwick, Heisey, Rolen, Francisco and/or Mesoraco to become that third force in the middle of the order. I'm hoping they can piece it together, but I have doubts that the Manager will be able to deploy them properly even if they do.

I don't trust pitchers coming off of injury, so I'm picking the Reds, but if Wainwright comes back, the Cardinals will be very, very strong IMO and some guys in Cincy (at least one starter and one bat) will need to step forward to counter it.

MikeThierry
01-29-2012, 03:22 PM
I think they are accounting for other things with the Cards that haven't been brought up in this thread. Furcal will probably have a bounceback season after horrible season last year. Even if he produces slightly better offensively, the Cards will have a very good leadoff hitter. He is still a heck of a defensive short stop so that is automatic improvement over Theriot. They probably also take into account a healthy year of David Freese. Freese has been, quite frankly, very unlucky the past couple of years. Last year, he missed significant time due to being hit by a 95+ mph fastball on his hand. His broken hand, not from anything that people would consider injury prone, was just a freak accident. If he gives the Cards 25-30 HR's with a .850+ OPS this season, that will drastically improve their chances to continue to have a good offense.

I understand the argument about the Cards losing Pujols. No doubt it is a loss. However at the same time, Pujols had statistically his worst season of his career last year. He managed to only put up a 5.1 WAR (lowest of his career). Even with his down offensive year, the Cards managed to have the best offense in the NL. Carlos Beltran managed to put up a 4.7 WAR in bad hitters parks. Busch Stadium 3 is pitcher friendly but it also doesn't destroy hitters like AT&T Park and Citi Field does. With projected improvement from Furcal and Freese, the Cards offense should remain very potent. I'm also not too worried about Berkman's regression. I don't know if he will put up the same numbers as he did last year but his last years production was close to his career averages so I wouldn't expect a drastic drop in his numbers from last season. Lets also not forget that the Cards have 3 legit switch hitters in their lineup, which pose massive matchup problems later in the game.

I think the bigger key is the bullpen for the Cards. They had a ton of blown saves last year. Going into the 2011 season, the bullpen was filled with a bunch of old guys such as Ryan Franklin, Trever Miller, and Bautista that couldn't strike anyone out. This year, the Cards bullpen has a lot of young arms that can strike out batters. They are in a much more stable position from that standpoint, than they were a year ago. If they just save more games than they did last year, they will automatically be a better team.

I'm also hearing some rumblings on my end that the Cards are in talks with the Orioles. The rumor is that they are pushing for Adam Jones. If they pull off that move, they will have one of the best lineups in the NL. Plus, I'm also hearing some stuff that Edwin Jackson still might be in play for the Cardinals as well.

RedsManRick
01-29-2012, 03:41 PM
So the Cards had a great offseason because they traded Albert Pujols for Carlos Beltran? Sure, I'd give them a lot of credit if they end up with Oswalt, but that's simply getting a guy back healthy should not be part of an offseason grade in my book.

RedlegJake
01-29-2012, 03:43 PM
I can see the Cardinals ranking - there is automatic prejudice and rightly so, imo, for a team that has gotten it done. LaRussa and Duncan will hurt a bit but Matheny is a solid choice as a replacement manager. Berkman, Beltran, Furcal and Freese may not sound as potent without Pujols in there but I agree with MikeT that Freese is due for a major improvement, Furcal should improve his numbers and Berkman will likely regress but I also agree that it won't be drastic. Beltran, I bet he plays more games this year than any other year of his contract - my guess is this is NOT the year the Cards will rue signing him. Overall, runs wise, I think the Reds will out produce them but not by a lot.

Pitching is the key - here is the crux - on paper the Cards are hands down, imo, the best rotation in the central 1 through 5. BUT - now you have consider the issue of health and here every Card starter is dogged by a big question mark. Usually that means at least 1 or 2 are going to disappoint. I just don't see all 5 starters staying healthy and producing strong results. Thing is I feel the same way about the Reds staff - probably less questions with Cueto and Latos and Leake - I think you're pretty safe plugging them in for solid peripherals but how will Bailey and Arroyo perform, will Francis stick? Will Chapman matter at all? The Cards have more question marks, imo, but higher proven performance all in all, the Reds have fewer questions in their top three but a notch less accomplished and then major questions at the back end of the rotation. Either team's staff could be all aces, really, or implode completely (neither all or nothing scenario is likely but hey its possible) but in the experience of been there done that I have to give the Cards the edge.

The Reds get an edge in the bullpen, the Reds get and edge on defense but the Cards should be improved defensively. Overall I'd rate the Cards just ahead of the Reds and the Brewers just behind both. Say 6-8-10, or 5-7-9.

The Reds are getting there but until it's done they aren't better.

MikeThierry
01-29-2012, 03:43 PM
The other thing I forgot to mention is that Holliday should have a bounce back year as well. It was an odd injury year for him last season (moth in the ear anyone?). Even if he regresses to his normal level of play, the Cards offense should remain very potent. There are question marks with the Cards but there is also things you can look on at the team and say "well there is room for bounceback there".

757690
01-29-2012, 04:27 PM
The other thing I forgot to mention is that Holliday should have a bounce back year as well. It was an odd injury year for him last season (moth in the ear anyone?). Even if he regresses to his normal level of play, the Cards offense should remain very potent. There are question marks with the Cards but there is also things you can look on at the team and say "well there is room for bounceback there".

All good points in both posts.

However, you would have to do the same analysis for the Reds:

Huge improvement at SS is likely. It was a giant hole of suck all year for them. Cozart should be very close to league average. Tnis can't be underrated. One of the most important positions on the field.

Between Arroyo, Volquez, Wood and Willis, the Reds had around 500 IP at over 5.00 ERA. That's a third of the team's total IP. That's not happening again with the current rotation.

Likely improvement in LF. Let's put it this way, in one month, Alonso had half as much production in LF as Gomes all year. Now it's not going to be Alonso, but Ludwick/Heisey is likely to be better than Gomes/Heisey.

Rolen will be back. If you are counting on a bounce back year from Furcal, you have to do the same for Rolen.

Bruce is likely to improve, as he has started to hit lefties better. He's set up for a breakout year.

Now all of this is speculative, but the odds of them happening aren't any different than everything you listed for the Cards.

757690
01-29-2012, 04:43 PM
I'm also hearing some rumblings on my end that the Cards are in talks with the Orioles. The rumor is that they are pushing for Adam Jones. If they pull off that move, they will have one of the best lineups in the NL. Plus, I'm also hearing some stuff that Edwin Jackson still might be in play for the Cardinals as well.

The rumor was the Cards were trying to unload McClellan to the O's to create payroll for Oswalt. The O's turned down Jurrains, Prado and a top prospect for Jones. Cards can't come close to that offer. And if need to create payflex for Oswalt, they can't afford Jackson. But I love your optimism. :)

mth123
01-29-2012, 04:44 PM
I think they are accounting for other things with the Cards that haven't been brought up in this thread. Furcal will probably have a bounceback season after horrible season last year. Even if he produces slightly better offensively, the Cards will have a very good leadoff hitter. He is still a heck of a defensive short stop so that is automatic improvement over Theriot. They probably also take into account a healthy year of David Freese. Freese has been, quite frankly, very unlucky the past couple of years. Last year, he missed significant time due to being hit by a 95+ mph fastball on his hand. His broken hand, not from anything that people would consider injury prone, was just a freak accident. If he gives the Cards 25-30 HR's with a .850+ OPS this season, that will drastically improve their chances to continue to have a good offense.

I understand the argument about the Cards losing Pujols. No doubt it is a loss. However at the same time, Pujols had statistically his worst season of his career last year. He managed to only put up a 5.1 WAR (lowest of his career). Even with his down offensive year, the Cards managed to have the best offense in the NL. Carlos Beltran managed to put up a 4.7 WAR in bad hitters parks. Busch Stadium 3 is pitcher friendly but it also doesn't destroy hitters like AT&T Park and Citi Field does. With projected improvement from Furcal and Freese, the Cards offense should remain very potent. I'm also not too worried about Berkman's regression. I don't know if he will put up the same numbers as he did last year but his last years production was close to his career averages so I wouldn't expect a drastic drop in his numbers from last season. Lets also not forget that the Cards have 3 legit switch hitters in their lineup, which pose massive matchup problems later in the game.

I think the bigger key is the bullpen for the Cards. They had a ton of blown saves last year. Going into the 2011 season, the bullpen was filled with a bunch of old guys such as Ryan Franklin, Trever Miller, and Bautista that couldn't strike anyone out. This year, the Cards bullpen has a lot of young arms that can strike out batters. They are in a much more stable position from that standpoint, than they were a year ago. If they just save more games than they did last year, they will automatically be a better team.

I'm also hearing some rumblings on my end that the Cards are in talks with the Orioles. The rumor is that they are pushing for Adam Jones. If they pull off that move, they will have one of the best lineups in the NL. Plus, I'm also hearing some stuff that Edwin Jackson still might be in play for the Cardinals as well.

Wonder what the Cards would have to give for Jones. I'd guess Shelby Miller and John Jay would be a start, maybe Kolten Wong or another arm like Jenkins or Martinez.

MikeThierry
01-29-2012, 04:47 PM
The only thing I disagree with you there on is Rolen. For one, Furcal is 33 compared to age 36 with Rolen. Those are drastically different age types of years for baseball players. 33, while older, isn't ancient in baseball terms while 36 is on the verge of a player calling it quites for a career. Plus, I just can't count on Rolen to be better with that shoulder and other issues. Furcal has an injury history but at the same time, I think Rolen is finished as a quality major league player.

Also on Bruce, hasn't that been the mantra every year for the past three years? Bruce is going to have a breakout year. It's almost like the same story with Homer Bailey. No question Bruce is a great talent but just as I soured on Colby Rasmus last year, I'm starting to sour on Bruce being an elite level talent in the outfield. It's one of those things where I have to see it to believe it.

MikeThierry
01-29-2012, 04:50 PM
Wonder what the Cards would have to give for Jones. I'd guess Shelby Miller and John Jay would be a start, maybe Kolten Wong or another arm like Jenkins or Martinez.

Probably along the lines of Cox, Boggs, McClellan, Westbrooke, and Jay plus another prospect. Jenkins would be in the mix probably too.

Shelby Miller is untouchable though, unless a club came in and blew away the Cards with an offer.

PuffyPig
01-29-2012, 04:50 PM
Bruce is likely to improve, as he has started to hit lefties better. He's set up for a breakout year.



Bruce has hit lefties better than righties over the last two years.

mth123
01-29-2012, 05:03 PM
Probably along the lines of Cox, Boggs, McClellan, Westbrooke, and Jay plus another prospect. Jenkins would be in the mix probably too.

Shelby Miller is untouchable though, unless a club came in and blew away the Cards with an offer.

Can't see them having any interest in filler like Westbrooke, McClellan and Boggs. Cox, Jay and Jenkins might get their attention, but I'd guess that's not enough. Jay is more of a role player just to be a token to fill Jones spot. The other guys need to be highly regarded. Not sure Cox and Jenkins is enough.

MikeThierry
01-29-2012, 05:05 PM
Can't see them having any interest in filler like Westbrooke, McClellan and Boggs. Cox, Jay and Jenkins might get their attention, but I'd guess that's not enough. Jay is more of a role player just to be a token to fill Jones spot. The other guys need to be highly regarded. Not sure Cox and Jenkins is enough.

If the Orioles are getting 6 players in return for one, you don't think they will make that move?

mth123
01-29-2012, 05:13 PM
If the Orioles are getting 6 players in return for one, you don't think they will make that move?

Not when three of them are Westbrooke, McClellan and Boggs. They add no value to the organization. Guys like them are begging for minor league deals with an invitation to Spring Training right now.

757690
01-29-2012, 05:13 PM
If the Orioles are getting 6 players in return for one, you don't think they will make that move?

Not when three of them, Westbrooke, McClellan and Jay could be picked up anywhere for next to nothing. (beat me to it mth :))

What if the Reds offered Janish, Ondrusek, Cairo, Frazier, Fisher and Valaika for Holliday? That's six for one.

757690
01-29-2012, 05:15 PM
The only thing I disagree with you there on is Rolen. For one, Furcal is 33 compared to age 36 with Rolen. Those are drastically different age types of years for baseball players. 33, while older, isn't ancient in baseball terms while 36 is on the verge of a player calling it quites for a career. Plus, I just can't count on Rolen to be better with that shoulder and other issues. Furcal has an injury history but at the same time, I think Rolen is finished as a quality major league player.

Also on Bruce, hasn't that been the mantra every year for the past three years? Bruce is going to have a breakout year. It's almost like the same story with Homer Bailey. No question Bruce is a great talent but just as I soured on Colby Rasmus last year, I'm starting to sour on Bruce being an elite level talent in the outfield. It's one of those things where I have to see it to believe it.

We'll see :)

MikeThierry
01-29-2012, 05:21 PM
Not when three of them, Westbrooke, McClellan and Jay could be picked up anywhere for next to nothing. (beat me to it mth :))

What if the Reds offered Janish, Ondrusek, Cairo, Frazier, Fisher and Valaika for Holliday? That's six for one.

If you take that contract off of our hands, I would actually think about that trade to be honest with you.

At the same time, Holliday is one of the best LFers in the game. Jones, while still having a lot of upside, is not the level of player Holliday is. Jones is still an unproven commodity.

mth123
01-29-2012, 05:32 PM
If you take that contract off of our hands, I would actually think about that trade to be honest with you.

At the same time, Holliday is one of the best LFers in the game. Jones, while still having a lot of upside, is not the level of player Holliday is. Jones is still an unproven commodity.

McCutcheon, Kemp and maybe Victorino would be the only CF in the NL who I'd take over Jones. Next closest would be Maybin.

MikeThierry
01-29-2012, 05:33 PM
http://www.masnsports.com/school_of_roch/2012/01/orioles-reportedly-interested-in-mcclellan.html

Interesting. It looks like the Padres and Diamondbacks are interested in McClellan as well. There is a market out there for him. I would think it would be for relief though considering he was very good as reliever in 09 and 10.

mth123
01-29-2012, 05:35 PM
http://www.masnsports.com/school_of_roch/2012/01/orioles-reportedly-interested-in-mcclellan.html

Interesting. It looks like the Padres and Diamondbacks are interested in McClellan as well. There is a market out there for him. I would think it would be for relief though considering he was very good as reliever in 09 and 10.

There may be a market for him. Some team may take his contract for a PTBNL, but that's a lot different than trading a guy like Jones. The Orioles would want some building blocks back IMO. That's not McClellan.

_Sir_Charles_
01-29-2012, 05:54 PM
Btw, I wasn't complaining about the Cards being in front of us. Until we prove otherwise, I've got not problem with it. But I just can't see any justification for them being as high as they are. Same goes for the Brewers being as low as they are. I think that right now (on paper) all 3 teams are pretty even with the Reds being slightly ahead. But at the end of the season, the Cards should be well back.

kaldaniels
01-29-2012, 06:47 PM
If you take that contract off of our hands, I would actually think about that trade to be honest with you.

At the same time, Holliday is one of the best LFers in the game. Jones, while still having a lot of upside, is not the level of player Holliday is. Jones is still an unproven commodity.

If you could do so, would you release Holliday if you didn't have to pay him for the rest of his contract? Cause essentially that list of guys has maybe 10 percent of the trade value of Holliday.

GADawg
01-29-2012, 07:32 PM
the only pre-season rankings that mean diddly are the college football rankings that can pretty much set the tone for the initial BCS rankings....i guess it's good for conversation but last year we were told we may as well scratch the season and go ahead and let the RedSox and Phils battle it out for the title...don't remember watching either one of those teams in the WS....Tigers beware.

The Cards are the team to beat coming off championship season but when i look through the Reds 40 man I can't help but get excited about the names I see in the pitchers section....deeper than I've seen in my 39 years as a Reds fan.

WebScorpion
01-29-2012, 09:37 PM
I like this one better.It's a new season and the teams have new players/rosters and in the Cards case a completely new coaching staff.I have no problem with the Reds being ranked ahead of those guys.

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/story/17009124/power-rankings-fielders-tigers-send-hot-stove-season-out-in-style
Yeah, I liked that one better too. Especially since the Reds probably would have ranked 5th or 6th if not for this tidbit:
Could this team manage itself? I would feel better about its chances if it could.
:laugh:

REDblooded
01-30-2012, 07:49 PM
The other thing I forgot to mention is that Holliday should have a bounce back year as well. It was an odd injury year for him last season (moth in the ear anyone?). Even if he regresses to his normal level of play, the Cards offense should remain very potent. There are question marks with the Cards but there is also things you can look on at the team and say "well there is room for bounceback there".


You're not gonna like the flavor of that Kool-Aid by September...

Yeah Pujols had a down year... He also OPS'd over 100 pts higher after the All-Star break, which oddly enough coincides with when the Cardinals made their playoff push...

Don't let the fact that the Cardinals made the right long-term decision in not re-signing him cloud the fact that he was the most valuable player on your team, and would be again if he was still in StL.

Wainwright's put-out pitch was his curveball... At best he's another season away from being able to throw that pitch with his past success... Confidence and control with his best pitch will likely be the last 2 things to return following TJ. He's not going to be what you're used to until 2013 at the earliest...

Beltran/Berkman... Good luck with keeping those guys on the field together.

Furcal... 34 year old baseball players who's game previously relied heavily on speed don't rebound from a former horrible season... They typically have a few more of them, and then they retire.

Carpenter... Man did he throw a ton of innings last season.

I'll give you Freese. I'll give you a better defense. I'll also give you a better bullpen... I'll also agree that not every player I mentioned above will have a down season... But more will than wont.

And you'll miss Pujols dearly over the next 2-3 seasons.

REDblooded
01-30-2012, 07:56 PM
Can't see them having any interest in filler like Westbrooke, McClellan and Boggs. Cox, Jay and Jenkins might get their attention, but I'd guess that's not enough. Jay is more of a role player just to be a token to fill Jones spot. The other guys need to be highly regarded. Not sure Cox and Jenkins is enough.

They're not getting Jones without moving either Miller or Martinez.

But I like where your heart is. Would you like to join my fantasy league? Nothing better than trading with a volume over quality guy...

MikeThierry
01-30-2012, 11:02 PM
Yeah Pujols had a down year... He also OPS'd over 100 pts higher after the All-Star break, which oddly enough coincides with when the Cardinals made their playoff push...

You are right that Pujols was his usual self after the all star break but I also think you are drastically overlooking several factors.

1. Freese OPS'd .844 in September. After he came back from his hand injuries, the Cards got consistent production in the 6 hole.

2. More importantly, Yadier Molina had insane production after the all star break. Here are a breakdown of his numbers:

August: .342 BA, .360 OBP, .894 OPS
September: .341 BA, .409 OBP, .921 OPS

3. When Holliday went down in September, Allen Craig certainly stepped up. In September, he had a .327 BA, .364 OBP, .692 SLG, 1.056 OPS. While he only started 10 games that month (55 plate appearances), every game he played in was crucial.

4. The starting pitching vastly improved post all star break. In September alone, Cardinals pitching had a 3.39 ERA. Edwin Jackson did a great job in solidifying the Cardinals rotation, which was not getting quality starts until he came into the fold.

5. In my opinion, the single most important reason why the Cardinals were able to go on that run was because of their bullpen. What was a weakness at the beginning turned into a strength towards the end of the season. They solidified their left handed relief and Motte was lights out. He had a run where he didn't give up an unearned run from June to something like late August, early September. You should not overlook the job that Motte, Lynn, Salas, Dotel, and Scrabble did towards the end of the year.


Wainwright's put-out pitch was his curveball... At best he's another season away from being able to throw that pitch with his past success... Confidence and control with his best pitch will likely be the last 2 things to return following TJ. He's not going to be what you're used to until 2013 at the earliest...

You would certainly agree though that he is a much better option than McClellan or Westbrook, who had to take up his innings from last year. Yeah, they might not be getting Wainwright but even half a Waino is significantly better than the kind of production you would see from those two in the starting rotation, specifically McClellan.

Roy Tucker
01-30-2012, 11:41 PM
I guess its January and there isn't much to talk about yet. 9th is a fairly reasonable rank.

But this isn't the BCS and everyone starts 0-0.

LegallyMinded
01-31-2012, 10:32 AM
You are right that Pujols was his usual self after the all star break but I also think you are drastically overlooking several factors.

1. Freese OPS'd .844 in September. After he came back from his hand injuries, the Cards got consistent production in the 6 hole.

2. More importantly, Yadier Molina had insane production after the all star break. Here are a breakdown of his numbers:

August: .342 BA, .360 OBP, .894 OPS
September: .341 BA, .409 OBP, .921 OPS


5. In my opinion, the single most important reason why the Cardinals were able to go on that run was because of their bullpen. What was a weakness at the beginning turned into a strength towards the end of the season. They solidified their left handed relief and Motte was lights out. He had a run where he didn't give up an unearned run from June to something like late August, early September. You should not overlook the job that Motte, Lynn, Salas, Dotel, and Scrabble did towards the end of the year.



I think you might be putting too much stock in small sample sizes. Molina, for instance, did well in August and September, but a .323/.347 BABIP for Aug/Sep (compared to a career mark of .286) explains why he seemed to produce so well. Similarly, you mention Freese in September, but again, an unsustainable BABIP (.370) explains his apparent success.

As for the bullpen, I wouldn't expect them to repeat their end of season dominance: In August, for instance, the Cardinal bullpen pitched to a 2.20 ERA, but had a 3.38 xFIP. That's a suggests the Cards' relievers are capable of a good performance, but don't truly have the talent to replicate the lights-out run that propelled them to the postseason.

MikeThierry
01-31-2012, 11:09 AM
I think you might be putting too much stock in small sample sizes. Molina, for instance, did well in August and September, but a .323/.347 BABIP for Aug/Sep (compared to a career mark of .286) explains why he seemed to produce so well. Similarly, you mention Freese in September, but again, an unsustainable BABIP (.370) explains his apparent success.

As for the bullpen, I wouldn't expect them to repeat their end of season dominance: In August, for instance, the Cardinal bullpen pitched to a 2.20 ERA, but had a 3.38 xFIP. That's a suggests the Cards' relievers are capable of a good performance, but don't truly have the talent to replicate the lights-out run that propelled them to the postseason.

I was just talking about what happened last year. To put the Cards success simply on Pujols being Pujols is just narrow sighted. There were a ton of other factors as to why they went on that historic run. I'm not saying that those players will continue to succeed or what those players did will indicate future success.

I don't expect the bullpen to have that much success but at the same time, if they save just half of the crazy amount of blown saves they had last year, the Cards should be automatically improved. On the other hand, taking a FIP (which I feel is a flawed stat to begin with) from a two month stretch isn't indication that there isn't room for improvement in the bullpen considering that there are a lot of young guys there. Before JC Romero was signed, 27 year old Kyle McClellan was the senior member of the bullpen. Salas, Lynn, and Sanchez (who didn't even pitch in August and September) still have room to improve and they are young.

bucksfan2
01-31-2012, 03:22 PM
I was just talking about what happened last year. To put the Cards success simply on Pujols being Pujols is just narrow sighted. There were a ton of other factors as to why they went on that historic run. I'm not saying that those players will continue to succeed or what those players did will indicate future success.

I don't expect the bullpen to have that much success but at the same time, if they save just half of the crazy amount of blown saves they had last year, the Cards should be automatically improved. On the other hand, taking a FIP (which I feel is a flawed stat to begin with) from a two month stretch isn't indication that there isn't room for improvement in the bullpen considering that there are a lot of young guys there. Before JC Romero was signed, 27 year old Kyle McClellan was the senior member of the bullpen. Salas, Lynn, and Sanchez (who didn't even pitch in August and September) still have room to improve and they are young.

The Cards weren't a wild card team until the Braves had an epic collapse to end the season. That was with the greatest hitter in a generation hitting 3rd for them. I don't buy the Cards this season. I don't buy Berkman resurgance going on for another season. I don't buy Carpenter pitching the way he did down the stretch for the entire season.

IMO the Cards went on a magical run to end last year. One that would have been one of the most enjoyable sporting events to be a fan of. I don't see that happening this season. As of right now give the Cards the preseason top spot in the Central but I think the Reds are the team to beat, and I don't think its close. What happens as the season progresses is anyones guess. A couple of injuries could swing the Central one way or the other.

Roy Tucker
01-31-2012, 05:05 PM
I think one of the biggest difference for the Cards this year will be that Tony LaRussa is gone.

Love him or hate him, he *drove* that team to wins that other managers just wouldn't make happen. Losing him is as big as losing Pujols in my opinion.

MikeThierry
01-31-2012, 06:47 PM
I think one of the biggest difference for the Cards this year will be that Tony LaRussa is gone.

Love him or hate him, he *drove* that team to wins that other managers just wouldn't make happen. Losing him is as big as losing Pujols in my opinion.

I completely agree with this and this is my biggest questionmark going into the season, more so than injuries. It's hard to quantify how many wins LaRussa and Duncan were worth but I'll say this. If LaRussa wasn't the manager for the Cardinals last year, they do not (with almost 100% certainty) go on their run. LaRussa run teams are ready from day one where as a lot of teams take time coming out of spring training to solidify. LaRussa also pushes his players more than almost any other manager in baseball. Losing 80+ years of managerial experience with the departure of LaRussa, Duncan, Joe Pettini, and Dave McKay certainly is a massive questionmark that cannot be answered right now.


I think the Reds are the team to beat, and I don't think its close.

The Reds still have a lot of things to prove so to say that they are the team to beat in the division and it isn't even close seems a bit of a stretch to me. They will be a good team but it's going to be a dog fight within the division all year long in my opinion.

LegallyMinded
01-31-2012, 09:03 PM
I was just talking about what happened last year. To put the Cards success simply on Pujols being Pujols is just narrow sighted. There were a ton of other factors as to why they went on that historic run. I'm not saying that those players will continue to succeed or what those players did will indicate future success.


Ok, I understand what you're saying, and it makes a certain amount of sense: Even if particular players like Freese and Craig don't duplicate their performance, baseball is unpredictable, and you never know when someone else might get hot and offset the loss of Pujols, or the potential regression of Berman, and so on. I guess the question then becomes whether more Cardinal players have unpredictably good streaks or unpredictably bad streaks over the course of the year.


It's hard to quantify how many wins LaRussa and Duncan were worth but I'll say this. If LaRussa wasn't the manager for the Cardinals last year, they do not (with almost 100% certainty) go on their run.

One way I've seen people try to quantify the effect of managers is to look at a team's actual record vs. its pythagorean record, as one blogger did here (http://passion4baseball.blogspot.com/2012/01/joe-torre-as-manager.html). Obviously it's not perfect, but it's an interesting measure. Over the long haul, it doesn't look like LaRussa had a huge effect. In 2011, though, the Cards did play a couple games above their pythagorean record. Again, not a huge effect, but a margin of 2 games was the difference between playoffs and no playoffs for the Cards.

MikeThierry
02-01-2012, 01:01 PM
One way I've seen people try to quantify the effect of managers is to look at a team's actual record vs. its pythagorean record, as one blogger did here. Obviously it's not perfect, but it's an interesting measure. Over the long haul, it doesn't look like LaRussa had a huge effect. In 2011, though, the Cards did play a couple games above their pythagorean record. Again, not a huge effect, but a margin of 2 games was the difference between playoffs and no playoffs for the Cards.

I don't know if you can use the pythagorean record as a measuring stick for anything. For example, in 2002, I think LaRussa had one of his best managerial seasons. Pythagorean does not take into account death of a starting ace or any number of those kind of things. LaRussa had to use something like 14 starting pitchers that year and still managed to win 97 games.

MikeThierry
02-01-2012, 06:22 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/joe_lemire/02/01/offseason.power.rankings/index.html?xid=cnnbin

SI also puts the Reds 9th this offseason. I think what the original article and this article takes into account what teams have lost. While the Reds got significantly better, they did give up a lot of prospects in the process. That is probably why they are ranked lower than teams like the Cardinals or Texas.