Originally Posted by Sea Ray
I don't know that we can blame a diluted offense for these low scoring games. It seems to me the only areas where recent change has taken place is:
1B- from Casey to Hatteberg/Conine
C- LaRue to Ross
SS-Lopez to Gonzalez
OF-Kearns to Freel
Where have we experienced a dropoff? 1B is a wash as is C. Freel and Kearns are different kinds of players but this team needs Freel's skills more than Kearns so I think that helps the lineup more than hurts it. Over the course of a season Lopez will likely put up better offensive numbers than Gonzalez but he is hitting .350 so far and you can't gripe about that.
I wish this offense was more potent and intimidating but it actually wasn't that good after May last year.
I think with Kearns in the middle of the lineup it gave the Reds a more potent attack. I also think that Lopez at number two, after Freel, gave the Reds a somewhat better table setter situation. So I think the offense is diluted. The offense is also diluted by Griffey's performance. He hasn't been the same hitter for almost two years now.
So I think the Reds are a weaker hitting team. I also think they are a better rounded team and, with a couple of moves, can be very good.
Notice they lost three game this year -- all of which were started by lefties against them. The Reds are not nearly as potent against lefties as they are against righties. The only really good righty hitter they have is EE, who has cooled down since his initial flurry last year.
Ultimately, the Reds will need to add offense. There will be one or two new outfielders and a new first baseman. But Rome wasn't built in a day.