Originally Posted by bucksfan2
The Reds have built a pretty darn good "run prevention" club. Rolen, Phillips, Bruce, Stubbs, and Hanigan are all well above average defensive players. You can throw Votto into the mix as an above average defender and depending on which direction the SS position goes it could be Cozart of Janish who are above average. The only position that is questionable defensively is LF and it all depends on who plays there.
To be honest I think bats, especially in the OBP area, are the primary need of this club.
Again, "need" is the wrong word here. Adding offense may be the most cost-effective strategy to improve our run differential at the moment. As you point out, there is less room for us to improve the team through defense. But the presence of those plus defenders elsewhere and relatively poor offense elsewhere in the lineup doesn't change the value of the defense Stubbs provides. His additional runs prevented count just the same as if his teammates were poor defenders and good hitters.
There are not really diminishing returns so long as that guy is going to get playing time. If you're a 700 RS/ 700 RA team, it doesn't matter if you get to 720/700 or 700/680. Now, strategically speaking, in terms of how you use your resources to improve that differential, there are limits to how much you can improve on either side of the ball - but that's because there are only 9 guys on the field at any one time. If you're adding a guy who is one of those 9, the effect is the same.
So long as your goal is winning and not just winning in a particular way, runs are runs, and it doesn't really matter whether you're improving your offense or your defense. It's not where you're improving; it's that you're improving.