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WMR
02-17-2012, 04:37 AM
What is your biggest concern for this season?

I think we're all expecting/hoping for a big post-season run this year...

What pitfalls do our Reds have to avoid?

jojo
02-17-2012, 07:45 AM
What is your biggest concern for this season?

I think we're all expecting/hoping for a big post-season run this year...

What pitfalls do our Reds have to avoid?

Injury.

Dan
02-17-2012, 08:20 AM
Injury.

Agreed. There isn't a lot of depth behind the starting position players. Especially in the outfield and at 1b. If Votto or Bruce go down for extended periods, this team is in real trouble.

The other concern is youth at C and SS. What happens if Cozart tanks at the plate? Or Mez shows he isn't quite ready? Those are two pretty big cogs that the Reds are counting on this year.

edabbs44
02-17-2012, 08:22 AM
Agree with injury. It would also be nice to see one of the perennial breakout candidates to make the leap.

PuffyPig
02-17-2012, 09:03 AM
Our competition has the same problem.

The Cards starting rotation has all battled injurires of some sort over the last few years, some serious. Their current #6 starter is McClennan who was a negative WAR last year as a starter. Throw in perennial injury concerns Berkman, Beltran, Freese and Furcal and they have the same potential concerns as we do.

bucksfan2
02-17-2012, 09:55 AM
Injury.

Nailed it.

Actually injury to Latos, Cueto, Votto, Madsen, or Marshall.

I think these guys are they guys who you are relying on this season. I also think they are the most unreplaceable guys on the roster. You can add Phillips to the list but I think if he goes down they can get somewhat similar overall contribution from a number of guys. I think a guy like Francis won't kill you in the 5th spot and the wildcard Chapman could give you production above any pitcher not named Latos.

RANDY IN INDY
02-17-2012, 09:56 AM
If Brett Tomko is in the rotation at any point during the season.

Roy Tucker
02-17-2012, 10:13 AM
Cozart at SS. I know he's looked good but he's still a rookie and coming off surgery and there isn't anyone decent backing him up.

Stubbs batting high in the lineup.

_Sir_Charles_
02-17-2012, 10:21 AM
Besides injury...I'd say 3rd base. Rolen's skills are declining RAPIDLY (offensively and defensively) and while I like Francisco I don't see him as a starter at this point.

Red Rover
02-17-2012, 10:48 AM
Starting pitching, Arroyo - He needs to bounce back. Bailey - He needs to stay healthy all year. Not too worried about Leake, Latos or Cueto.

Kc61
02-17-2012, 10:49 AM
Two players will have a huge impact.

Bronson Arroyo and Drew Stubbs.

They had poor seasons last year. They get a ton of innings (Arroyo) and at bats (Stubbs).

It's hard to succeed when you have 200 innings of bad pitching by one pitcher. It's hard to succeed when you have 600 plate appearances of bad hitting by one hitter.

Two other guys who hurt last year were Volquez and Janish (offensively). Volquez is traded. Janish shouldn't get many at bats this year.

But Arroyo and Stubbs are still slated to be in the lineup. These two guys need to get back on track. Or they need to play much less.

George Anderson
02-17-2012, 10:54 AM
Besides injury...I'd say 3rd base. Rolen's skills are declining RAPIDLY (offensively and defensively) and while I like Francisco I don't see him as a starter at this point.

My thoughts to a T.

Mario-Rijo
02-17-2012, 10:58 AM
Yeah I'd agree with injury. That's not to say I don't have other obvious concerns (Stubbs, Rolen mainly) but I think we can overcome those issues easier than the overall lack of solid depth.

fugowitribe
02-17-2012, 11:19 AM
Preseason "experts" are projecting this lineup to produce runs with the best of them. I still see timely hitting as a big problem for this team. Someone other than Votto is going to have to drive in 80-100 runs. Who do you think it can be? I can't trust Bruce enough to put him in that slot, and Rolen won't play enough to do it. Cozart? Heisey/Ludwick?

CySeymour
02-17-2012, 11:23 AM
I think Cozart and Rolen. If they team can't get decent production from either, the team really doesn't have a good fall back plan.

RedsManRick
02-17-2012, 11:30 AM
Health of the SP and Joey Votto.

IslandRed
02-17-2012, 11:40 AM
While there are potential trouble spots in the lineup, it still comes down to starting pitching for me. If these guys perform like we expect or hope they will, we're in good shape. If they don't, we aren't.

RedEye
02-17-2012, 11:55 AM
I like the rotation much better with the addition of Latos at the front, but I still have a lingering worry that the overall performance of the starters won't be tangibly better. Whether that will be because of injury or ineffectiveness, I can't say. But I still worry.

TRF
02-17-2012, 11:59 AM
Soto at 1B for significant time. (I doubt he's ready, but soon i think. 2013)

Rolen at 3B for significant time. (I think he's done, I hope i am wrong.

klw
02-17-2012, 12:02 PM
Tomko and Francis combine for more innings for the Reds than Latos and Cueto.

Screwball
02-17-2012, 12:04 PM
Health of the SP and Joey Votto.

Votto concerns you?

Dan
02-17-2012, 12:10 PM
Besides injury...I'd say 3rd base. Rolen's skills are declining RAPIDLY (offensively and defensively) and while I like Francisco I don't see him as a starter at this point.

I'm of the belief that Rolen has one more solid, if unspectacular, year left in the tank. Players of his ilk usually have one last, strong season near age 37-38 before they finally go over the cliff, and I'm hoping this year is it for Rolen. Unfortunately, if he does do .275/.340/.460 with 20hr/80rbi, the Reds will see that as a reason to re-sign him for another 2 seasons. UGH!

_Sir_Charles_
02-17-2012, 12:25 PM
I think his year 35 was his "one more solid, if unspectacular year left in the tank". Due to his injury history, he won't fit into that traditional late career run. For him, it happened earlier I think. I still think he can contribute, but for the Reds to plan on him hitting in the middle of the order and getting the bulk of the time at third is a bit of poor planning.

As for Francisco, I love his power potential, but I've yet to see it really displayed at the bigs. He did seem to show flashes of patience at the plate (in the bigs) that was the biggest rap against him in the minors, but not enough to ease that concern. I think he'll struggle to hit in the same way that Dave Kingman did. Great power, tons of K's, very few walks, horrid average. Hopefully I'm wrong...but that's the vibe I get.

Personally, I'd love it if they would re-consider Todd Frazier for third. I think he'll be a much better all-around player and he's VERY solid there defensively too. But alas, they don't ask for my feedback. :O)

NJReds
02-17-2012, 01:05 PM
Injuries are a given for every team.

For the Reds, the left side of the infield - 3B and SS - are a concern. I'm also concerned about Chapman's development.

Scrap Irony
02-17-2012, 01:22 PM
Adding to what others have said:

For the Reds to move beyond the first round of the playoffs, Bruce has to take another step forward offensively.

Ludwick needs to bounce back or Heisey has to prove he's at least got the power he displayed last season.

traderumor
02-17-2012, 01:38 PM
Improvement needs to come from Bailey and Arroyo with all others at least being equal. Chapman in the rotation is a wild card that most likely bumps one of those two out of the rotation. If he succeeds, this team could very easily be pushing 100 wins.

Lack of depth in the outfield, although if that is your biggest problem, short-term replacements are easiest to find for this. I look for bounceback season from Stubbs, step forward in consistency from Bruce.

I would echo concerns with Cozart being the every day option. But at some point, you gotta plug in a guy and see what happens. If it doesn't work, look for another solution. Janish and Valdez could tag team the position in the near term.

RedlegJake
02-17-2012, 01:47 PM
For me its all about the starters - I worry about all of them from Latos keeping his home run rate down, to Cueto not regressing too much, to Bailey's shoulder, to Leake getting incrementally better and Arroyo bouncing back, to keeping Francis off the mound too often.

kaldaniels
02-17-2012, 03:39 PM
The Cardinals staying healthy and not "aging" much.

dfs
02-17-2012, 03:48 PM
I'm sure several of you remember how Dusty left the cubs.

He had his team. Lee, Ramirez, Pierre, Z, Maddux, a couple of fine young starters named Marshal and Marmal. They had finished just under 500 and were picked by many talking heads to win the division.

Things went wrong.

and then things went very, very wrong. A club that should have been 500 or maybe a tick below, just gave up on itself. They ended up losing 96 games. Ugly incidents on planes or with other teams announcers.

Baker lost control of the team. The ultimate player's manager had the team turn on him.

I don't think that would happen here, but .....well stranger things have happened.

A couple starting pitchers go down, a couple more underperform. Rolen is healthy, but doesn't play particularly well. Phillips pouts. Cozart craters and the reds don't really have a backup plan. Mesoraco struggles as a Rookie and Hanigan is overexposed with too much playing time. Baker continues to run Ludwick out there when it's long apparent to everybody else that his useful days are over. Bruce and Stubbs struggle instead of stepping forward. The only part of the team that does play well is the bullpen, but they don't have any leads to protect.

Scrap Irony
02-17-2012, 04:06 PM
It's not Baker that sets the tone for the clubhouse, but the veteran players. Arroyo (who, by all accounts, works extremely hard), Rolen, Votto-- those are who the younger guys (and more impressionable older players) follow. They're who set the rules for the team and who enforce them.

Because of Rolen and Votto, I'm not worried about the team quitting.

Too, if it has the injuries it had last year, it's done anyway. It won't matter if the Reds quit.

MikeThierry
02-17-2012, 05:06 PM
A couple starting pitchers go down, a couple more underperform. Rolen is healthy, but doesn't play particularly well. Phillips pouts. Cozart craters and the reds don't really have a backup plan. Mesoraco struggles as a Rookie and Hanigan is overexposed with too much playing time. Baker continues to run Ludwick out there when it's long apparent to everybody else that his useful days are over. Bruce and Stubbs struggle instead of stepping forward. The only part of the team that does play well is the bullpen, but they don't have any leads to protect.

This is a scenario of everything going wrong. I just don't see that. The Reds will bounce back this year even if some things don't go well for them.

traderumor
02-17-2012, 05:14 PM
I'm sure several of you remember how Dusty left the cubs.

He had his team. Lee, Ramirez, Pierre, Z, Maddux, a couple of fine young starters named Marshal and Marmal. They had finished just under 500 and were picked by many talking heads to win the division.

Things went wrong.

and then things went very, very wrong. A club that should have been 500 or maybe a tick below, just gave up on itself. They ended up losing 96 games. Ugly incidents on planes or with other teams announcers.

Baker lost control of the team. The ultimate player's manager had the team turn on him.

I don't think that would happen here, but .....well stranger things have happened.

A couple starting pitchers go down, a couple more underperform. Rolen is healthy, but doesn't play particularly well. Phillips pouts. Cozart craters and the reds don't really have a backup plan. Mesoraco struggles as a Rookie and Hanigan is overexposed with too much playing time. Baker continues to run Ludwick out there when it's long apparent to everybody else that his useful days are over. Bruce and Stubbs struggle instead of stepping forward. The only part of the team that does play well is the bullpen, but they don't have any leads to protect.
One very important thing you left out--you're talking about the Cubs, end of story ;)

While anything's possible, I think it is unfair to associate that collapse with Dusty as the central figure, he was one of the unwitting participants and eventually the fall guy, but I'm not sure that he is directly responsible for much of that hot mess.

powersackers
02-17-2012, 07:47 PM
Besides some things, like injuries, that have already been mentioned, I fear for a Austin Kearns like regression for Jay Bruce. I don't want it to happen, I don't "think" it will happen. But it still strikes fear in me.

GADawg
02-17-2012, 09:06 PM
my biggest concern is the inability to hit good pitching....sounds elementary enough but our guys seem to "score runs with the best of 'em"(as someone else said) but seem to come out flat against quality starters. Of course quality starters are supposed to shut teams down but you got to get to them at some point...probably all goes back to working the count and/or the willingness to go with those tough pitches. If BP continues to improve as a leadoff guy maybe "we" can jump ahead early in a few more games this season.

maybe i'm still just having Roy Halladay nightmares

traderumor
02-17-2012, 10:03 PM
my biggest concern is the inability to hit good pitching....sounds elementary enough but our guys seem to "score runs with the best of 'em"(as someone else said) but seem to come out flat against quality starters. Of course quality starters are supposed to shut teams down but you got to get to them at some point...probably all goes back to working the count and/or the willingness to go with those tough pitches. If BP continues to improve as a leadoff guy maybe "we" can jump ahead early in a few more games this season.

maybe i'm still just having Roy Halladay nightmaresThis isn't an acquirable identifiable skill and all teams are in the same boat. You have to outpitch your opponent in games against the other teams best over the course of the season. I'm more concerned that we'll lose too many games where the offense produces 5 or more runs. So was Walt, so he addressed the runs against side of the scales.

mth123
02-17-2012, 11:31 PM
I think there is a potential for multiple black holes in the line-up against RHP. Stubbs, Rolen, Cozart, the catchers and even Phillips might all struggle against RHP. I hope Dusty won't hesitate to use both Ludwick and Heisey as well as Francisco liberally against RHP.

Beyond that, Homer Bailey's health is a huge concern IMO. They really need to keep Jeff Francis around as the sixth starter by giving him a major league job out of Spring Training. Ondrusek can go to AAA without it being a big loss. I don't really see any minor league starters that I want in the rotation for an extended run of starts in 2012 (including Chapman). Give Francis a spot in the majors to keep him from opting out. The alternatives are horrid.

GADawg
02-17-2012, 11:35 PM
This isn't an acquirable identifiable skill and all teams are in the same boat. You have to outpitch your opponent in games against the other teams best over the course of the season. I'm more concerned that we'll lose too many games where the offense produces 5 or more runs. So was Walt, so he addressed the runs against side of the scales.

GADawg
02-17-2012, 11:38 PM
yep that's true to an extent but if you watch teams like the yankees/Sox who are famous(or more accurately infamous) for wearing down those aces by working the count then it makes you wonder if there's more that can be done. Those 3 or 4 and out 1st innings are disturbing to me.

CesarGeronimo
02-18-2012, 02:23 AM
I think there is a potential for multiple black holes in the line-up against RHP. Stubbs, Rolen, Cozart, the catchers and even Phillips might all struggle against RHP. I hope Dusty won't hesitate to use both Ludwick and Heisey as well as Francisco liberally against RHP.

Beyond that, Homer Bailey's health is a huge concern IMO. They really need to keep Jeff Francis around as the sixth starter by giving him a major league job out of Spring Training. Ondrusek can go to AAA without it being a big loss. I don't really see any minor league starters that I want in the rotation for an extended run of starts in 2012 (including Chapman). Give Francis a spot in the majors to keep him from opting out. The alternatives are horrid.

Lots of good points here.

REDblooded
02-18-2012, 12:26 PM
1.) Dusty Baker

2.) Progression by Jay Bruce... I need to see him continue to develop at the plate...