Re: Erardi- "Speed and defense": Is the defense as good as we're being told?
I don't have the numbers in front of me, but if I recall correctly the Reds' Defensive Efficiency Ratings in the last two months of the season (after Dunn and Griffey left) were not any better than the prior months.
I don't see how the team has improved now compared to the last two months of 2008. Taveras is a downgrade from Patterson. Hernandez is not an upgrade from Bako/Hannigan. Bruce was in RF and Dickerson was in LF already. An older, gimpy Gonzalez will be an upgrade over Keppinger, but not a whole lot.
So I would expect the 2009 Reds to have a very similar DER to the 2008 Reds.