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10xWSChamps
02-29-2012, 12:02 AM
First off, I'll just do a position by position matchup. Then at the end an overall matchup of the entire lineups, ignoring positions. Also, can a Reds fan compile a list of your projected benches? I'd like to compare those as well.

I hope I didn't screw anything up with your guys' lineup. It was the best I could come up with and I think it's pretty darn close! At least for a Cardinals fan! ;)

SS - Rafael Furcal
RF - Carlos Beltran
LF - Matt Holliday
1B - Lance Berkman
3B - David Freese
CF - Jon Jay
C - Yadier Molina
2B - Skip Schumaker / Daniel Descalso

One of the things I will miss about LaRussa being gone is that the pitcher won't bat 8th any longer. Quirky, but I enjoyed the mixup in a game that can be monotonous at times.

2B - Brandon Phillips
SS - Zach Cozart
1B - Joey Votto
LF - Jay Bruce
3B - Scott Rolen
RF - Ryan Ludwick
CF - Drew Stubbs
C - Ryan Hannigan / Devin Moresco

2B Brandon Phillips vs Schumaker/Descalso --Reds--

Well, the Reds win quite easily here. Phillips is superior to both in offense and defense.

Schumaker is a well below average defender. A try hard guy who just doesn't have quite the range he needs at that position. He does well at the plate. He, like Descalso, has zero power but he actually has a nice swing and does get a lot of hits and hits for around a .300 average. Descalso is the opposite of Schumaker pretty much, a well below average hitter but is a fairly nice defender.

Not much analyzing needed here, Phillips in a land slide. Schumaker and Descalso will be an OK platoon.


SS Zach Cozart vs Rafael Furcal --Cardinals--

Youth vs experience and experience wins. Both have had injury problems. The once nice prospect Cozart is at a make-it-or-break-it point in his career. At 26, he needs to prove he can stay healthy and play in the big leagues. There are a ton of question marks surrounding him.

The only real question mark or unanswered question about Furcal is if he can stay healthy. The 33 year old has proven he can play defense at a very high level and swing the bat very well for a SS. He did not have a good year last year offensivly, but was still good defensively. The drop from 2010 to 2011 was so dramatic at the plate, that I think he will have a rebound year in 2012. That's not to say that he will be a circa 2008 Furcal, but he will be improved

Furcal takes the cake here for obvious reasons. Both need to stay healthy. In 2013 it could be a different story, but Furcal should be the better SS here overall by a comfortable margin.


1B Joey Votto vs Lance Berkman --Reds--

Not much really needs to be said about these two guys. We both know what they are capable of. Berkman is on the wrong side of his career and Votto is right in his prime and wins for that obvious reason. Berkman however proved last year he is still a very productive player and will be an asset for the Cardinals at 1B.


LF Jay Bruce vs Matt Holliday --Cardinals--

Jay Bruce still has upside ahead of him, but he isn't Matt Holliday. Bruce needs to be more consistent. Holliday is right in the prime of his career and so it's pretty easy to decide this matchup. I like Bruce and think he is somewhat under-rated, I am curious to see if he can take it to another level in these next two years.


3B Scott Rolen vs David Freese --Cardinals--

Two very talented players on opposite ends of their career. The years haven't been kind to Rolen, but he still chugs along. His body hasn't cooperated even since his time in St Louis. However he still plays very good defense and is a force at the plate when his shoulder isn't bothering him. But when that shoulder acts up you can tell how much it effects his bat speed.

David Freese had his coming out party last year. He plays good defense and is a force at the plate. He still has upside ahead of him and I'm excited to see him grow. He's had some unfortunate injuries that had put his career on hold. Off field injuries (broken leg and arm, in separate years) helped to stunt his advancement as a player in the majors.

Freese wins because of his youth. He's a great third baseman. Rolen is too, but he's just on the wrong side of his career.


RF Ryan Ludwick vs Carlos Beltran --Cardinals--

Beltran wins easily here. I'm not sure what happened to Ludwick, but he fell off a cliff after he left St Louis. He can still play nice defense, but still can't touch Beltran in that regard either.

There isn't a whole lot to talk about here, it's pretty obvious.


CF Drew Stubbs vs Jon Jay --Reds on defense, Cardinals on offense--

This is a pretty darn close matchup. Stubbs is better developed defensively and Jay is better developed offensively. Can one of them make a major step this year? They are the same age and from what I've seen I think Stubbs has a bit more upside. But upside doesn't always translate into production.

Both will be interesting players to watch this year. Stubbs really needs to become more consistent at the plate and needs to become a lot more patient. Jay needs to play more consistent defense. He's a very athletic player but is prone to stupid mistakes in the field. If Jay could take the next step I think he will be the better player in 2012, but Stubbs could also do the same thing.


C Hannigan/Moresco vs Yadier Molina --Cardinals--

Molina wins here pretty easily. It will be interesting to see how the platoon works out for the Reds (am I right in assuming a platoon?). Moresco is obviously the more talented player between the two, but I think Hannigan is better developed at the moment.

Molina has improved practically every single year as an offensive player, with his latest season being his best. He is a force defensively and is also outstanding with his management of the pitchers and his dedication to researching opposing lineups is unrivaled.

Moresco has the chance to be a great catcher but for this year, it's not much of a contest.

10xWSChamps
02-29-2012, 12:07 AM
Opps, totally forgot to do the total lineup review. Perhaps another time, my fingers are worn out :laugh:

R_Webb18
02-29-2012, 12:48 AM
jay bruce plays rf

[deleted]
02-29-2012, 02:28 AM
Yeah, Bruce pretty much exclusively plays RF.

It would become an easy Holliday > Ludwick

And a much closer match-up between Beltran and Bruce. Beltran had a better 2011 than Bruce, but given age and injury history it's certainly not a stretch to imagine Bruce being better in 2012. That one could really go either way.

I basically agree with everything else, though. Catcher might be closer than you think - Yadi had a career year in 2011 and the Hanigan/Hernandez tag-team wasn't far off in production (4.1 WAR to 3.8). If DevMes can match or surpass Hernandez's numbers, it will be very close to even. That's a tall order, I know, but I think Molina will regress a bit.

Also, "Moresco"

R_Webb18
02-29-2012, 03:15 AM
i think cozart has better yr also. i mean he better.

OGB
02-29-2012, 04:04 AM
The Reds bench on Opening Day will most likely be

Devin Meseraco
Miguel Cairo
Jaun Francisco
Chris Heisey
Wilson Valdez

Though there's the possibilty that Todd Frazier makes it over Valdez and the even more minute chance that it's Paul Janish or Willie Harris.

10xWSChamps
02-29-2012, 04:19 AM
Yeah, Bruce pretty much exclusively plays RF.

It would become an easy Holliday > Ludwick

And a much closer match-up between Beltran and Bruce. Beltran had a better 2011 than Bruce, but given age and injury history it's certainly not a stretch to imagine Bruce being better in 2012. That one could really go either way.

My bad, I knew I would screw up somewhere! I do agree somewhat.

Certainly I would want Bruce on my team over Beltran for his future progression. But I think that in 2012 Beltran will be the better player, he is still playing at a high level. IMO Bruce would really have to take a pretty big step to be better then Beltran offensively next year. Not totally out of the question I guess, but unlikely IMO. Defensively, he'll never be better then Beltran. Beltran could still roam center if he wanted and will most likely get time there while giving Allen Craig some time at RF and Jon Jay time on the bench, he should be a huge plus playing the corner on defense.

In fact, if Jon Jay struggles I wouldn't be surprised to see Beltran take over in CF while Craig takes over in RF. That would give us totally new looking matchups as well. But I think that the Cardinals are hoping the opening day/all star break starting lineup looks like the one I've posted above.

Hernandez had a great year last year at the plate, but he is no where close to Molina's league in non-offensive abilities which make up a great deal of a catcher's worth. I don't see the Hannigan/Moresco combo matching the offensive output of what the Reds had at catcher in 2011 and neither of them will match Molina in other areas. I still say he wins handily.


Also, "Moresco"

Did I misspell it? :confused:


i think cozart has better yr also. i mean he better.

What gives you that impression? Furcal is no slouch... yet. Talk to me in a year's time. As for now I doubt that Cozart will give more to the Reds then Furcal will give to the Cardinals. I do think the Cardinals are over-paying Furcal and in that sense Cozart is better from the Reds perspective, but the Cardinals can afford to overpay more from the Reds. So putting contracts/payrolls aside, I like the overall team-value of Furcal in 2012 a considerable amount more then Cozart.

lidspinner
02-29-2012, 07:47 AM
I am not sold on a few things here but great write up nontheless.....

Furcal is not a great SS anymore....the only thing of his that is above average is his arm and I think you can agree that his arm is on the decline as well as his range...his range took a major hit these past few years.....He will still glove everything, and I mean everything hit at him...you will not get the mental errors with Furcal that we will get with Cozart....but Cozart will take a few hits away each month, he also is not afraid to dive for a ball and get the force out at 2nd while Rafael, in these later years has not gotten as dirty as he used to....he still will dive to stop a ball, just not as often as the past.....Furcal used to be the best all time at diving for a grounder up the middle or in the 5-6 hole and getting to force out at 2nd or 3rd....he single handidly used to take away the whole left side of the infield when a slow runner was on 1st or 2nd with the force at either 2nd or 3rd....guy was lights out and would not allow a grounder to make it through his area without at least making an attempt....his 1st year in LA I seen him get 4 force outs in one series all in the 5-6 hole and all force outs at 2nd base...that takes good range and a hell of an arm...both things he is missing nowadays............not saying Furcal is bad, he just is a shell of his former self.....at the plate its no comparison, Furcal will win that battle 5 out of 7 days...however, we all seen with younger guys, opposing teams tend to overlook the younger fellas and not pitch them as hard as the others...I.E. David Freese last year....

IMO, David Freese was a product of teams thinking he was just on a hot streak....they thought he would eventually come out of it so they did not study him as hard as they would say Albert and Matt and Lance.....David took advantage of the fact that there was not a ton of coverage on his at bats....lets see how well David does this year when teams will start using last years tape of his at bats to pitch to him this year.....I still think David is the winner here, but if David bats .280 and Rolen bats .255 then I will give Rolen the leverage here due to his role in the clubhouse and his defense which is still dam near gold glove caliber when healthy.....guy just dont make errors....although David Freese might just get better and progress instead of regress, then in that regard its a no contest....and David has the ability to do just that, but I want to see it again as opposed to just thinking it will happen.

If St. Louis can keep Matt Holiday on the field and not on the DL, then I think he will be the MVP...guy has the ability to take a team on his shoulders and carry them as far as he wants to take them...the problem was in the past was that Albert was the guy and Matt had no problems allowing that to happen...I have heard from several media outlets outside of Cardinal reporters that Matt has spent the entire off season studying pitch charts and what he can do to make the next step to stardom....add in the fact that he should still have some protection around him then Matt Holiday has the chance to be MVP of the National League if he can stay healthy...We agree here but I wanted to say that about MH as I truly have mad respect for the guy

My other issue with your comparisons is Beltran....Carlos has proved he is a stud when healthy...thats the issue, the guy is starting to decline a tad and the fact that he has to play defense will not help his cause at all....he has a top shelf arm but I noticed his range is starting to drop off a tad and he has stopped running in and taking away those short liners in no mans land that he was so known for taking away......if Carlos can put up above average numbers and stay healthy then I see the Cardinals repeating as playoff contenders, but I highly doubt Carlos will stay healthy and I think his offense takes a step back as well....just my opinion but I am not a fan of Beltrans game anymore like I once was....

Berkman, stud and team leader along with matt Holiday....Lance needs time off but maybe playing 1st will allow him to not need as much time off as he would in the OF....I like Berkmans ability to not make the stupid outs not hit in double plays.....I just wonder if he can stay healthy and I wonder how well he can carry a team. Him and Beltran together leave a ton of question marks

I have just as many if not more question marks on our Reds but I think both teams will fight tooth and nail for the central....

swaisuc
02-29-2012, 08:10 AM
I think this is pretty fair overall. My only disagreement is with your prediction that our offensive output from catcher will go down this year. I actually expect it to be even better this year. Still a gap there defensively though.

I think the Cards probably win more of these battles. The only thing keeping these lineups close to a wash is Joey Votto is simply that much better than anyone else on either team.

Both offenses are really good.

texasdave
02-29-2012, 08:22 AM
Yadier Molina never had an offensive season even close to what he put up in 2011. It was his contract year, probably his last opportunity to cash in on a big deal, so he likely went to Pujols or McGwire or LaRussa for suggestions on how to beat steroid testing so he could put up big numbers. I kid. I kid.
What do the numbers say?
In his career through 2010 he had the following slash line: .268/.327/.361/.688. That works out to an underwhelming OPS+ of 82. So in 2011 he mysteriously throws up a slash line like this: .305/.349/.465/.814. That works out to an OPS+ of 126. His IsoP nearly doubled - through 2010 (93), in 2011 (160). Good for him if he can keep it up. Doesn't seem likely to me.

As far as defense is concerned here a couple of links.
http://crashburnalley.com/2011/11/02/carlos-ruiz-again-rates-among-games-best-defensive-catchers/
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15093

UCBrownsfan
02-29-2012, 11:07 AM
Here's my analysis of this season, the only position barring serious injury St Louis won't out perform the Reds for sure is 2nd base, the only position the Reds won't out perform the Cardinals is LF.

The Cardinals have 2 guys they can count on to have a good year (Holliday and Berkman) the Reds have 3 (Votto, Bruce, Phillips) other guys for both teams are injury risks, have baggage or inexperience.

3 Year Cycle HR total(I chose 3, as last year Cards played over their heads, the year before the reds did, added the third to balance it out) I bet the Reds get more HR in 6 out of 8 positions next year.
Bruce 79 Beltran 39
Stubbs 45 Jay 14
Ludwick 52 Holliday 74
Rolen 36 Freese 15
Cozart 2 Furcal 25
Phillips 56 Schumaker11
Votto 91 Berkman 70
Hannigan 14 Molina 26
Reds 375 Cards 274

Pujols was at 126 HR's the last 3 years.

That's a lot of power for the Cardinals to make up(37%), both teams have their reason why these numbers could go either direction, such as Cozart's number being based on 11 games. Holliday's year could suffer as he's the one being pitched around as opposed to Albert.

I also think Jaime Garcia is WAY overrated, he gave up a mind numbing 23 unearned runs last year in a 195 innings, the entire Reds pitching staff gave up 42 unearned runs in 1467 innings. Our staffs ER difference was 678 to 608 which seems significant... but total runs was only 720 to 692.

Jamz
02-29-2012, 08:23 PM
I can't see the St. Louis team that is built this year comparing to Cincinnati. Our biggest problems last year revolved around not being able to close out games. We were one of the best defensive and offensive teams in baseball last year...unfortunately our pitching wasn't up to snuff and that is no joke. Arroyo bouncing back along with the maturation of Leake, and the additions of Latos, Marshall and Madson bode well for the Reds.

I realize this is a topic about the line-up though, and ultimately I think that Cozart will provide a better option (batting), Stubbs will have a rebound year as long as he isn't expected to lead-off and I expect this year to be the year that Bruce finally puts it all together. St. Louis is going to be really hurting with the loss of Pujols. Beltran is good but too injury prone and on the wrong side of 35.

I'll try and be as objective as possible though. If you look at it purely from ZiPS (my favored projector...stats are HR, R, RBI, SB and wOBA..."winners" are underlined.)

Rafael Furcal vs. Zack Cozart
8/60/37/11/.319 vs. 13/76/52/12/.310

Edge to Cozart.

Carlos Beltran vs. Jay Bruce
14/51/57/7/.360 vs. 28/81/90/8/.349

Although based on Beltran getting hurt...clear win for Bruce. Could be more even if Beltran can stay healthy though.

Matt Holliday vs. Chris Heisey
21/84/85/9/.370 vs. 17/59/57/10/.334

Clear win to Holliday.

Lance Berkman vs. Joey Votto
20/68/77/5/.364 vs. 30/93/102/11/.399

Clear win to Votto who I actually think will have a slightly better season than projected and will win his 2nd NL MVP award.

David Freese vs. Scott Rolen
9/39/51/1/.320 vs. 9/38/51/1/.326

Edge to Freese for being younger and more likely to actually play the games out...but pretty even. Rolen could still surprise.

Jon Jay vs. Drew Stubbs
9/65/49/12/.324 vs. 17/87/60/37/.319

Clear win for Stubbs. I actually expect his numbers to be a little bit better than that...sophomore slump and all that.

Yadier Molina vs. Devin Mesoraco
9/44/63/6/.322 vs. 17/57/68/1/.326

Not sure I really agree with this, but if this statline proves true Mesroraco brings an awesome presence to the team. Win for the Reds.

Skip Schumaker vs. Brandon Phillips
4/55/41/3/.302 vs. 18/87/80/17/.333

...not close at all. Reds.

Total run generation for each team:

St. Louis - 466
Cincinnati - 578

So clearly Cincinnati is projected to be the much better team offensively. I don't necessarily 100% agree with all the projections, and some of the players there are missing games (from both teams) but yeah. When you factor in that the Reds (statistically) are a great team defensively and the bolstering of their pitching I see a NLC title in their future. ;)

[deleted]
02-29-2012, 10:18 PM
I'm a very optimistic Reds fan, but I also try to stay a realist. They problem with this ^ (Jamz) line of thinking is that it assumes EVERYTHING goes right for the Reds and NOTHING for the Cards. He's thinking, "the pitching is shored up! Cozart and Mes come on strong! Bruce finally breaks though! Stubbs and Arroyo have big bounce back years! Leake and Bailey finally mature into very solid starters!" While at the same time saying, "Berkman is getting old. Beltran will probably be injured. Molina will fall off. Jay won't be as good." Maybe not to that EXTREME, but you know what I mean.

Expecting everyone we're waiting on to break through to break through while simultaneously expecting everyone we need to bounce back to bounce back just isn't going to happen. Also, as far as weaknesses are concerned: yes, our pitching let us down last year, and yes we addressed that to a large extant this off-season. But it's not like the Cards have done nothing. Their bullpen was terrible the first half of 2011, and a full season of Motte closing with the rest of their revamped relief core will be huge for them. Not to mention they won 90 games without one of the better pitchers in all of baseball, who will be back this year. Even if Wainwright doesn't come back full strength this year, he's still intensely valuable. Let's say he doesn't pitch to full capacity, and is worth two and a half wins less than he was in 2010. He would still be more valuable than ANY Reds pitcher was last year, including Latos. ZiPS projects him to be better than any Red in 2012.

I think the Cards (and Brewers) are a lot closer than some here think. It could go to any of these three teams, really. I favor St. Louis a bit because of their SP, but I'm hoping (maybe foolishly) that Arroyo is decent enough to help us bring it home.

Jamz
02-29-2012, 10:47 PM
All of the projections that I posted are objective ZiPS projections. Most of what I have said is based on statistical analysis and projections from reputable sources (as reputable as projections get.)

I can definitely be a homer, but I was as objective as possible with that last post. Yes they're gettting Wainwright back and they gained Beltran but he's clearly in decline and a huge injury threat. Meanwhile the Reds added Latos, Marshall, Madson and Ludwick plus some pitching depth in the minor leagues to use in a pinch.

Do I think it's going to be easy? No. But I do think that the Reds have the best team in the NLC on paper.

10xWSChamps
03-01-2012, 12:46 AM
Furcal is not a great SS anymore..

He isn't a top SS anymore. But still a good player. From what I saw last year, his defense is still outstanding. He dazzled at SS for us last year and made some key defensive plays in our run to the playoffs in September and also in the playoffs. He saved some games for us at SS

As for his arm strength, I think you're right. But it's still more then good enough.


IMO, David Freese was a product of teams thinking he was just on a hot streak...

Freese has a lot of talent, I don't think you've seen him enough. He's very good at the plate and has well above average defense. Not close to Rolen-esque defense, but still in the top 1/4 of 3b in the MLB


If St. Louis can keep Matt Holiday on the field and not on the DL, then I think he will be the MVP...guy has the ability to take a team on his shoulders and carry them as far as he wants to take them...the problem was in the past was that Albert was the guy and Matt had no problems allowing that to happen...I have heard from several media outlets outside of Cardinal reporters that Matt has spent the entire off season studying pitch charts and what he can do to make the next step to stardom....add in the fact that he should still have some protection around him then Matt Holiday has the chance to be MVP of the National League if he can stay healthy...We agree here but I wanted to say that about MH as I truly have mad respect for the guy

Holliday does need to stay healthy this year. Fortunatley, the type of injuries he's had aren't injuries that suggest they will be long term hinderences, or things that will pop up constantly in the rest of his career. He was a horse in his career prior to the last year and a half, I am bullish on his ability to stay healthy.

I agree about his overall talent. He is under-rated and a hell of a player who has been over shadowed by Pujols.


My other issue with your comparisons is Beltran....Carlos has proved he is a stud when healthy...thats the issue, the guy is starting to decline a tad and the fact that he has to play defense will not help his cause at all....he has a top shelf arm but I noticed his range is starting to drop off a tad and he has stopped running in and taking away those short liners in no mans land that he was so known for taking away......if Carlos can put up above average numbers and stay healthy then I see the Cardinals repeating as playoff contenders, but I highly doubt Carlos will stay healthy and I think his offense takes a step back as well....just my opinion but I am not a fan of Beltrans game anymore like I once was....

I agree, Carlos needs to stay healthy. He did play 142 games last year, if we can get that out of him it will be a huge plus. I also agree he has declined somewhat, but still a very productive player. I also agree about his range, but he will mainly be playing in RF. As a former gold glove CFer, he could challenge for a GG in RF even with shortened range.


Berkman, stud and team leader along with matt Holiday....Lance needs time off but maybe playing 1st will allow him to not need as much time off as he would in the OF....I like Berkmans ability to not make the stupid outs not hit in double plays.....I just wonder if he can stay healthy and I wonder how well he can carry a team. Him and Beltran together leave a ton of question marks

Berkman stayed healthy last year despite moving to the OF. I was worried about him pulling a hammy or something out there, but he lost a lot of weight in the off season and played very effectively. I was very surprised last year about just how fast the guy really was, but he lost about 20LBs before 2011 and it helped a ton.

I think moving him back to 1B will obviously be a good move for his health and stamina in 2012 as he ages.

10xWSChamps
03-01-2012, 12:50 AM
I think this is pretty fair overall. My only disagreement is with your prediction that our offensive output from catcher will go down this year. I actually expect it to be even better this year. Still a gap there defensively though.

I think the Cards probably win more of these battles. The only thing keeping these lineups close to a wash is Joey Votto is simply that much better than anyone else on either team.

Both offenses are really good.

Defensivly I think the Reds will be better at catcher. But Hernandez had a career year at the plate last year (and not so great defense), I just think the platoon of catchers you guys have this year will be too green to match the output of last year.

Moresco is a heck of a talent, but he'd really need to take off for the Reds to match what they had last year at the plate. I don't think he's ready to do that quite yet. It wouldn't be completely shocking if he had a ROY type season next year, but it would take that type of a season.

If Holliday can stay healthy, he'll be a nice #3 batter to counter Votto. Obviously Votto is more talented, but don't count out Holliday. I don't think his production should be too far behind.

10xWSChamps
03-01-2012, 01:00 AM
All of the projections that I posted are objective ZiPS projections. Most of what I have said is based on statistical analysis and projections from reputable sources (as reputable as projections get.)

I can definitely be a homer, but I was as objective as possible with that last post. Yes they're gettting Wainwright back and they gained Beltran but he's clearly in decline and a huge injury threat. Meanwhile the Reds added Latos, Marshall, Madson and Ludwick plus some pitching depth in the minor leagues to use in a pinch.

Do I think it's going to be easy? No. But I do think that the Reds have the best team in the NLC on paper.


;2540872']I'm a very optimistic Reds fan, but I also try to stay a realist. They problem with this ^ (Jamz) line of thinking is that it assumes EVERYTHING goes right for the Reds and NOTHING for the Cards. He's thinking, "the pitching is shored up! Cozart and Mes come on strong! Bruce finally breaks though! Stubbs and Arroyo have big bounce back years! Leake and Bailey finally mature into very solid starters!" While at the same time saying, "Berkman is getting old. Beltran will probably be injured. Molina will fall off. Jay won't be as good." Maybe not to that EXTREME, but you know what I mean.

Expecting everyone we're waiting on to break through to break through while simultaneously expecting everyone we need to bounce back to bounce back just isn't going to happen. Also, as far as weaknesses are concerned: yes, our pitching let us down last year, and yes we addressed that to a large extant this off-season. But it's not like the Cards have done nothing. Their bullpen was terrible the first half of 2011, and a full season of Motte closing with the rest of their revamped relief core will be huge for them. Not to mention they won 90 games without one of the better pitchers in all of baseball, who will be back this year. Even if Wainwright doesn't come back full strength this year, he's still intensely valuable. Let's say he doesn't pitch to full capacity, and is worth two and a half wins less than he was in 2010. He would still be more valuable than ANY Reds pitcher was last year, including Latos. ZiPS projects him to be better than any Red in 2012.

I think the Cards (and Brewers) are a lot closer than some here think. It could go to any of these three teams, really. I favor St. Louis a bit because of their SP, but I'm hoping (maybe foolishly) that Arroyo is decent enough to help us bring it home.


Basically, this would have been my reply.

I think that saying Moresco > Molina is outlandish. Also, I don't see Rolen and Freese being close. The two guys are just at opposite ends of their careers. None of the other ones, by themselves, are hard to believe. However the entire projection assumes everything going right for the Reds and nothing going right for the Cardinals. It's not going to work out like that...

10xWSChamps
03-01-2012, 01:09 AM
The Reds bench on Opening Day will most likely be

Devin Meseraco
Miguel Cairo
Jaun Francisco
Chris Heisey
Wilson Valdez

Though there's the possibilty that Todd Frazier makes it over Valdez and the even more minute chance that it's Paul Janish or Willie Harris.

Thank you :)

Everyone pretty much agree with this? I think I'll end up posting this in my Relievers matchup

[deleted]
03-01-2012, 04:14 AM
Basically, this would have been my reply.

I think that saying Moresco > Molina is outlandish. Also, I don't see Rolen and Freese being close. The two guys are just at opposite ends of their careers. None of the other ones, by themselves, are hard to believe. However the entire projection assumes everything going right for the Reds and nothing going right for the Cardinals. It's not going to work out like that...

You're really gonna need to figure this out if you want us to take you seriously, heh.

10xWSChamps
03-01-2012, 06:05 AM
How do you spell it? I asked earlier in one of these threads, sorry if I missed it.

Jamz
03-01-2012, 07:11 AM
Basically, this would have been my reply.

I think that saying Moresco > Molina is outlandish. Also, I don't see Rolen and Freese being close. The two guys are just at opposite ends of their careers. None of the other ones, by themselves, are hard to believe. However the entire projection assumes everything going right for the Reds and nothing going right for the Cardinals. It's not going to work out like that...

Again...these projections are in line with most other projections as well, I just used ZiPS because it's the most popular and (IMO) most accurate public projection method. There seem to be a lot of people in the know that are predicting a better year for the Reds.

As I also said I don't really agree with a couple of them, but they aren't my projections. I don't think that Mesoraco will be better than Molina and I don't think that Rolen will be better than Freese (though the possibility of both happening is there.)

10xWSChamps
03-01-2012, 11:26 PM
Again...these projections are in line with most other projections as well, I just used ZiPS because it's the most popular and (IMO) most accurate public projection method. There seem to be a lot of people in the know that are predicting a better year for the Reds.

As I also said I don't really agree with a couple of them, but they aren't my projections. I don't think that Mesoraco will be better than Molina and I don't think that Rolen will be better than Freese (though the possibility of both happening is there.)

I don't think there's any chance in hell of Mesoraco competing with Molina in any facet of the game: offense, defense, or the intangibles of handling a pitching staff/opposing lineup. I would be surprised if he even gets over 50 games started!

As for Rolen vs Freese, that is extremely unlikely to me as well. All signs for Freese are pointing up for his career, all of Rolen's signs are pointing down...

The rest I won't argue with you about. It's just that those two, especially Molina vs Mesoraco (who most likely won't even get over 1/2 of the starts!), are hard to believe.

lidspinner
03-02-2012, 07:37 AM
I don't think there's any chance in hell of Mesoraco competing with Molina in any facet of the game: offense, defense, or the intangibles of handling a pitching staff/opposing lineup. I would be surprised if he even gets over 50 games started!

As for Rolen vs Freese, that is extremely unlikely to me as well. All signs for Freese are pointing up for his career, all of Rolen's signs are pointing down...

The rest I won't argue with you about. It's just that those two, especially Molina vs Mesoraco (who most likely won't even get over 1/2 of the starts!), are hard to believe.


there is no way that any of our combined catching players outplay Molina....Molina is stud, bottom line...Cards win that one hands down....I agree but disagree with your Freese comparison.....and the only reason I do is because if Rolen can bat above the .270 line and still play GG defense and be the guy he normally is in the clubhouse then he is more valuable to me than David.....David has star written all over him, just as many before him have....once a guy gets a good year or two under his belt, other teams start adjusting their pitching for him, last 2 years teams really did not do that because they were spending all their time adjusting to Albert and Matt and last year Lance.....teams just cannot adjust to that many batters, they can try but its to much......this year, opposing teams will focus on David more than they ever have in the past, just as they will Lance a little more....they no longer have to scout what Alberts hitting and what he is not, so they will turn to other hitters.......and I just dont see many teams spending a lot of time on Beltran so that leaves David Freese as the guy who will get a ton of scout time.......

not saying I am right at all cause the true star players learn how to adjust to the scouting and they scout themselves and get ahead of the curve.....If David can put up a .300 year like last year and year before then I will call him the man and not even think twice about him being better than Rolen or Juan.....I just want to see David adjust, if he can adjust. you could tell how obvious it was in the world series and playoffs that teams just were not scouting David Freese, its like they just were not afraid of him...he made them pay for sure, I want to see if he can do that all year......

gonna be a fun year for sure....Cards have several question marks just like the Reds do, if both teams answer those questions then the title will go through the Central once again....both our teams can be a force if a few things go right for both teams.

texasdave
03-02-2012, 08:02 AM
In the last two years Reds' catchers have combined for 9.1 WAR. Cardinals' catchers? 8.7 WAR. And that is with Molina having an offensive season in 2011 that he is unlikely to match.
So, you are right. There is no way the Reds' catching tandem can match the production the Cardinals will receive from their catchers.

swaisuc
03-02-2012, 08:04 AM
I don't think there's any chance in hell of Mesoraco competing with Molina in any facet of the game: offense, defense, or the intangibles of handling a pitching staff/opposing lineup. I would be surprised if he even gets over 50 games started!

As for Rolen vs Freese, that is extremely unlikely to me as well. All signs for Freese are pointing up for his career, all of Rolen's signs are pointing down...

The rest I won't argue with you about. It's just that those two, especially Molina vs Mesoraco (who most likely won't even get over 1/2 of the starts!), are hard to believe.

There is definitely a chance. It's a hard comparison to make with an established solid player against a young phenom. To a Reds fan, this is like someone trying to compare Bronson Arroyo to Shelby Miller. They're so much different, its nearly impossible. There is "a chance" that Mes is the best catcher in baseball sooner rather than later and leaves Hannigan (and Molina offensively) in the dust. It's hardly a given that it happens this year though, but it might.

Magdal
03-02-2012, 08:09 AM
I know nothing of the 3 new Reds pitchers, but if the Reds starters become as good as the hitters and fielders I see no way they don't win the central.

I must dissagree with Freese/Rolen. They will both spend time on the DL, but when they are in there Freese is the better hitter, Rolen the better fielder. It's a wash.

The 2nd base comparison is flawed as the near worthless Shumacher will not be there now that TLR is gone. It looks to be Descalso (good glove, good clutch hitter vs.lefties) and Tyler Greene, still a question mark.

I'm afraid that you guys have over valued Matt Holliday: he really dropped off last year after a torrid April. He has become a walking eggshell, in and out of the lineup for dings and illness. He is clearly on the downside of his career. Like Pujols, his performance runs far short of his salary.

Should be a good pennant race between the big 3.

10xWSChamps
03-04-2012, 12:45 AM
There is definitely a chance. It's a hard comparison to make with an established solid player against a young phenom. To a Reds fan, this is like someone trying to compare Bronson Arroyo to Shelby Miller. They're so much different, its nearly impossible. There is "a chance" that Mes is the best catcher in baseball sooner rather than later and leaves Hannigan (and Molina offensively) in the dust. It's hardly a given that it happens this year though, but it might.

Arroyo isn't one of the best pitchers in the game and isn't even in his prime. Molina is one of the best catchers in the game and is just entering his prime years. I don't think that's a fair comparison.

Offensivly, Mesoraco should be considerably better then Molina over his career. But he hasn't shown anything in the big leagues to this date. He's very young. He'll also never be better then Molina defensively and IMO Molina is unrivaled in the other intangibles of the catcher position (such as calling pitches, being able to frame pitches, study/knowledge of opposing lineups and his ability to call a game for pitchers).

In 50 at bats last year Mesoraco had a .180 average. He hit .289 with a .855OPS last year in AAA. Good stats for AAA, but it doesn't seem to me that he's ready to come light the MLB on fire next year.

IMO it's going to take a few years before he could be better then Molina and that's assuming all of his (considerable) talent ends up translating.

10xWSChamps
03-04-2012, 12:46 AM
there is no way that any of our combined catching players outplay Molina....Molina is stud, bottom line...Cards win that one hands down....I agree but disagree with your Freese comparison.....and the only reason I do is because if Rolen can bat above the .270 line and still play GG defense and be the guy he normally is in the clubhouse then he is more valuable to me than David.....David has star written all over him, just as many before him have....once a guy gets a good year or two under his belt, other teams start adjusting their pitching for him, last 2 years teams really did not do that because they were spending all their time adjusting to Albert and Matt and last year Lance.....teams just cannot adjust to that many batters, they can try but its to much......this year, opposing teams will focus on David more than they ever have in the past, just as they will Lance a little more....they no longer have to scout what Alberts hitting and what he is not, so they will turn to other hitters.......and I just dont see many teams spending a lot of time on Beltran so that leaves David Freese as the guy who will get a ton of scout time.......

not saying I am right at all cause the true star players learn how to adjust to the scouting and they scout themselves and get ahead of the curve.....If David can put up a .300 year like last year and year before then I will call him the man and not even think twice about him being better than Rolen or Juan.....I just want to see David adjust, if he can adjust. you could tell how obvious it was in the world series and playoffs that teams just were not scouting David Freese, its like they just were not afraid of him...he made them pay for sure, I want to see if he can do that all year......

gonna be a fun year for sure....Cards have several question marks just like the Reds do, if both teams answer those questions then the title will go through the Central once again....both our teams can be a force if a few things go right for both teams.

You have a reasoned argument here. I think mine is a reasoned argument as well. As a Cardinals fan, I'll take Freese :thumbup:

10xWSChamps
03-04-2012, 12:48 AM
In the last two years Reds' catchers have combined for 9.1 WAR. Cardinals' catchers? 8.7 WAR. And that is with Molina having an offensive season in 2011 that he is unlikely to match.
So, you are right. There is no way the Reds' catching tandem can match the production the Cardinals will receive from their catchers.

Ramon Hernandez had a hell of a year last year (and also in 2010) offensively for a catcher. I don't see either of the Reds young catchers equaling that year in 2012. However, Hernandez strong suit as a catcher is by far his offense.

That isn't taking into account the huge amount of other things you have to measure for catchers, which I believe Molina should handily win those areas as well.

texasdave
03-04-2012, 11:08 AM
Ramon Hernandez had a hell of a year last year (and also in 2010) offensively for a catcher. I don't see either of the Reds young catchers equaling that year in 2012. However, Hernandez strong suit as a catcher is by far his offense.

That isn't taking into account the huge amount of other things you have to measure for catchers, which I believe Molina should handily win those areas as well.

You believe incorrectly. I posted two links showing you otherwise.
But I know neck tatts trump facts any day.

drowg14
03-04-2012, 11:27 AM
SS Zach Cozart vs Rafael Furcal --Cardinals--

Youth vs experience and experience wins. Both have had injury problems. The once nice prospect Cozart is at a make-it-or-break-it point in his career. At 26, he needs to prove he can stay healthy and play in the big leagues. There are a ton of question marks surrounding him.






Does Cozart have "injury problems?" I kind of feel like his injury was more of a freak accident, although I could be mistaken. Unless he was injured some in the minors that I'm missing, I'm not sure I agree he needs to prove he can stay healthy. Although he does have plenty of things to prove.

The DARK
03-04-2012, 03:38 PM
Does Cozart have "injury problems?" I kind of feel like his injury was more of a freak accident, although I could be mistaken. Unless he was injured some in the minors that I'm missing, I'm not sure I agree he needs to prove he can stay healthy. Although he does have plenty of things to prove.

I'm pretty sure he's been healthy except for that accident, and it wasn't even in his throwing arm if I remember correctly.

I'd honestly say there are a lot more question marks surrounding Furcal. He got off to a very, very ugly start in 2011, and there was speculation he'd retire after an oblique injury earlier in the year. Meanwhile, Cozart's been fairly consistent throughout his minor league career and got off to a great MLB start. I think we're in better shape than they are at the position.

The Beltran/Holliday/Berkman/Freese middle of the order will be tough, but relatively fragile. All of them are either getting up there in years or have had a real injury history. Beyond that, their offense doesn't look too good. Jay and Molina aren't horrible, but neither are exactly sluggers. Furcal and Descalso are likely to look like black holes in the rotation at some point. Overall, I'd say both our offenses are likely to put up about MLB-average numbers.

UPRedsFan
03-04-2012, 07:38 PM
Holiday > Heisey/Ludwick
Jay > Stubbs
Beltran< Bruce
Berkman < Votto
Schumaker < Phillips
Furcal < Cozart
Freese > Rolen
Molina > Hannigan/Mes

Beltran can't stay healthy enough again to produce more than Bruce in my opinion. And I think Cozart is being underestimated. I think he outproduces even a healthy Furcal. Cards have big advantage at 3b and LF but otherwise I'll take our lineup.

bmwreds31
03-05-2012, 10:39 AM
This is all opinionated and really based off past performances. We have a lot of young talent Blossoming And were close to firing on all cylinders.

And imo were much closer than the cards are. In the end Thats what makes a difference in a season.

Just look at the Miami Heat. I hate the NBA but it works when trying to make comparisons like this. If you compared the Miami Heats starting lineup a couple years back when they made the "Dream team" They would have won in a landslide. However it didnt work out very well in the season.


PS: i enjoyed how furcal Experience wins over youth for the OP. But freese youth beats out Rolens experience. Only a tad contradicting. ;)

texasdave
03-08-2012, 10:19 AM
Fangraphs has Bruce rated higher in 2012 that Beltran, FWIW.

swaisuc
03-08-2012, 10:47 AM
Ramon Hernandez had a hell of a year last year (and also in 2010) offensively for a catcher. I don't see either of the Reds young catchers equaling that year in 2012. However, Hernandez strong suit as a catcher is by far his offense.

That isn't taking into account the huge amount of other things you have to measure for catchers, which I believe Molina should handily win those areas as well.

There is definitely a chance you are right and Mes isn't ready. There is also a chance he is and I think you're underestimating his upside if he is. I still have no problem with people ranking the Cards as better at catcher, but Molina's ceiling is replicating 2011, Mes' ceiling is Buster Posey 2010.

The problem with preferring the Reds catching situation is that if neither happen, the Cards still get great defense.

10xWSChamps
03-10-2012, 01:19 AM
There is definitely a chance you are right and Mes isn't ready. There is also a chance he is and I think you're underestimating his upside if he is. I still have no problem with people ranking the Cards as better at catcher, but Molina's ceiling is replicating 2011, Mes' ceiling is Buster Posey 2010.

The problem with preferring the Reds catching situation is that if neither happen, the Cards still get great defense.

You think his ceiling for next year could be close to Buster Posey in 2010?

I guess it's not impossible, but I didn't see any signs from last year that would point to him being the ROY in 2012. If he could get off to that kind of a start so young he could be one of the greatest catchers in MLB history. Again, not impossible, but highly improbable IMO.

Him being "ready" is kind of vague. I think he's ready to play up at the MLB level in a limited role where he is going to be put in a position to succeed with limited starts. I don't think he'll even get enough starts to really come close to challenging Molina, let alone be able to come up and instantly start lighting the MLB on fire in a full time role.

So yeah, I see him as "ready" to make some starts and spend the majority of the time warming the bench next year. He's not even close to being ready to suddenly become one of the top 2-3 catchers in the MLB.

I like him a ton as a prospect, I'm jealous of not only him but the two catcher tandem you guys will have to choose from and eventually use one as trade bait! But for the next 3-4 years, and most certainly in 2012, I will take Yadier Molina!

TeamSelig
03-10-2012, 01:28 AM
Even if Meso struggles, Hanigan is a decent catcher and will get on base at least at a .350 clip.

If Molina has a typical season, I think Hanigan would out produce him.... if Molina continues his uncharacteristic power surge, it's a different story. Then there is always the chance of a failed drug test.

Magdal
03-10-2012, 07:00 AM
Even if Meso struggles, Hanigan is a decent catcher and will get on base at least at a .350 clip.

If Molina has a typical season, I think Hanigan would out produce him.... if Molina continues his uncharacteristic power surge, it's a different story. Then there is always the chance of a failed drug test. Molina is an enigma...sometimes he is really dialed in up there, almost impossible to strike out, but at other times he appears to be in a dream state, waving at pitches.

He seems to wake up in big situations to make good contact, and goes to right field like nobody's business. I have always thought that he should be a .300 hitter, but it took 'till last year for him to really step up.

God knows what effect the loss of the #1 hispanic on the team will have on him as he is now Hombre numero uno.

Stay tuned TeamSelig;)

TeamSelig
03-10-2012, 11:58 AM
He has always "hovered" around .300 batting avg

07 .275
08 .304
09 .293
10 .262
11 .305

What I was talking about is his strange power surger.

AB/HR

09 80.2
10 77.5
11 33.9

Magdal
03-10-2012, 12:11 PM
He has always "hovered" around .300 batting avg

07 .275
08 .304
09 .293
10 .262
11 .305

What I was talking about is his strange power surger.

AB/HR

09 80.2
10 77.5
11 33.9I see, but he IS a powerful guy. Prolly coming into his own.

I think his head has a lot to do with his success...every time he would be mashing, LaRussa would try to creep him up in the lineup and he would immidiatley fall off. Used to drive Cards fans crazy!

swaisuc
03-12-2012, 10:43 AM
You think his ceiling for next year could be close to Buster Posey in 2010?
I guess it's not impossible, but I didn't see any signs from last year that would point to him being the ROY in 2012. If he could get off to that kind of a start so young he could be one of the greatest catchers in MLB history. Again, not impossible, but highly improbable IMO.

Him being "ready" is kind of vague. I think he's ready to play up at the MLB level in a limited role where he is going to be put in a position to succeed with limited starts. I don't think he'll even get enough starts to really come close to challenging Molina, let alone be able to come up and instantly start lighting the MLB on fire in a full time role.

So yeah, I see him as "ready" to make some starts and spend the majority of the time warming the bench next year. He's not even close to being ready to suddenly become one of the top 2-3 catchers in the MLB.

I like him a ton as a prospect, I'm jealous of not only him but the two catcher tandem you guys will have to choose from and eventually use one as trade bait! But for the next 3-4 years, and most certainly in 2012, I will take Yadier Molina!

Yes. His numbers in the minors were almost identical to Joey Votto's on the same teams. I think people are changing their projections for his hitting based on his 50 ABs in the majors last year. The dude can mash offensively. He is truely the X factor for the 2012 Reds, either good or bad.