Re: The Reds team how it is now
I don't expect the Reds to compete even if they sign an Abreu or trade for someone else. Right now I don't see enough separating the Reds from Houston, St. Louis, and Milwaukee outside of the "potential" for the pitching to rebound. I think they are a 75 win team tops, unless the pitching rebounds and they get improvements from Phillips, Bruce, Taveras and Hernandez.
With that said I will still try to make a couple games and these are a few of the story lines that will keep me interested.
1.Youth movement- I don’t expect to see many guys taking the time to watch a potential double hit off the wall and being held to a single because they thought it was a HR.
2. Jay Bruce should improve his numbers this season, I still say he was rushed a little as I think he obviously needs a little refinement on his plate discipline but I think he will be able to get his OBP up to around 340.
3. Johnny Cueto, Edison Volquez, Homer Bailey, Daryl Thompson, Matt Maloney, Micah Owings- Cueto and Volquez will hopefully be starters from here on out and if the Reds can find another arm in that group that can contribute for them that bodes well for the future.
4. Chris Dickerson- He was fun to watch last year, hopefully his SO don't hurt him and he can keep getting on base effectively.
5. Adam Rosales, Danny Richar, Wilkin Castillo, Danny Dorn, Sean Henry, Shaun Cumberland, - A lot of these guys could see some valuable playing time this year if things don't go as planned.
6. The Bullpen- I expect the pen to be pretty good this year and there will be decent depth out year as well.
7. Will Harang rebound?
8. The Edwin experiment- he is valuable offensively but he needs to provide some defense at 3rd, maybe the arbitration process will give him a little extra incentive to perform.
9. A minor league system worth following- Obviously the system isn't perceived to be as strong without Bruce, Cueto, and Votto but there are still guys worth keeping an eye on who will be at AA or above (Valaika, Stubbs, Dorn, Frazier, Alonso, Fransisco, Heisey)