The team played bad down the stretch, but they have made the playoffs the last two years, and the team is spending more money than ever. The players are still rather young so the window of opportunity is still there for another few years. What the Reds do this off season will say a lot. They have to resign Bailey, they need to fill left field, and they have to figure out the catching situation. The platoon system between Hannigan and Mesoraco isn't working.
First lets start by finding a capable manager. Next I'm all for getting Brian McCann for our everyday catcher. Resigning Choo would really tickle me he would be a very good Left Fielder. He would also make a great 2 hole guy behind Hamilton! Bailey is a must resign, he's finally starting to figure it out! And a new hitting coach. This team is set up to play small ball and we need a manager and hitting coach who recognizes that! Next we need some gritty guys on the bench who know there role but are leaders.
Wow, I bet the players don't know this... or any of the reporters. If they did, I wouldn't see all these happy go lucky stories for the pirates fan base. This stat could very well be the most shameful stat ive ever read with knowing this team and how they have performed last few years (making playoffs but can't win one game at home!!)
Hanigan and Mesoraco is an interesting dilemma. They were horrible offensively. Yet Hanny is one of the top 3-4 defensive catchers in the NL and Mes has real potential in his bat. I look to trade Hanigan for a mid level prospect (don't laugh, as a top defensive backstop Ryan would easily fetch a decent mid level prospect - no top 20 guy but still a guy with potential)and end the platoon nightmare for Mes. Sign a backup from the scrap heap (there are several uninspiring but capable as backup types). Make Devin the majority catcher and lets see if 2014 is the year his bat catches up to his potential. Barnhart should be ready as his backup by mid summer or 2015. McCann? No way. I'm not giving up on Mesoraco yet. I can spend that money better.
Left field? You better get ready for, and hope for, a healthy Ludwick. They are not going to pay him to sit on the bench while someone else plays. Face it.
They are not going to re-sign Choo. That's my prediction. And ready or not (not) Billy Hamilton opens in CF. I hope they can extend Latos because I seriously doubt Bailey will sign. Homer Bailey is not going to stay in Cincinnati. Enjoy him in 2014. This will be a boring frustrating winter. Playing in the dumpster, finding cheap replacements for Izturis, Parra and 1 or 2 others. Maybe a backup move - like Hanigan above, or Hi-C or Paul for someone similar to change some faces. Truthfully, at this moment I am nervous about 2014. Visions of 2011. I hope I am wrong and some meaningful moves are made this winter.
The only playoff game I ever attended, I am 1-0.