Re: 2008 Sun Deck Prediction Thread
On Paper, with break-out seasons from all the kiddies, and a healthy KGJ, and a bullpen resurgance, we COULD approach 90 wins.
However, Dusty is running the show, and methinks he runs too long with vets when they don't return from slumps, etc, and he won't put Votto in the 2-hole after AGon comes back from injury, putting our Opening Day lineup - which actually looks pretty decent given that we have Keppinger penciled in as the #2 hitter - in serious downgrade mode. I'd put our 3-6 hitters up against anyone in the NL Central, and arguably the entire NL. It's the 1-2 and 7-8 that will make the difference offensively.
We also are relying on 2 young guys for 40% of our rotation, and some combination of Fogg/Belisle/Bailey for the 5th spot. Our bullpen back-end should be MUCH better, but with Fogg and the rookies, I think our 6th/7th innings becomes our biggest challenge. That's where Affeldt/Coffey/Burton come in, and that's the shaky/biggest question mark part of our pen IMO. Stanton hopefully is only a loogy/long relief when losing guy, and Weathers and Cordero own the 8th/9th.
IFF you could assure me that we'd put Votto at #2 and AGon at #7 for the majority of the year and that the combo of Patterson/Hopper/Freel can put up a collective .333+ OBP in the #1 spot, I'd lean more toward the 90, because I think our bullpen CAN improve - it can't get any worse!
For now, I'll stick closer to the lower-end, but will split the difference almost down the middle at 83.
Anything over that mark, I will give full Credit to Dusty Baker for NOT messing things up, and actually Contributing to the player development - exclusively from a leadership/motivation perspective, because we know he (historically) cannot do it from a game management/stat perspective.
I think that in a year or two, one of these guys - Frazier, Dorn, Valaika, Cumberland, Stubbs - will be ready to replace Dunn. They won't hit as many home runs as Dunn, but they should have similar OPS. - 757690, July 22, 2008
Alonso will be playing 1B for the REDS and batting 4th one year from today. - Kingspoint, July 9, 2009