Originally Posted by M2
In the first post Will said keys to competing for a playoff spot. Obviously a lot of stuff has to go right for that to happen, but my take is the thing most holding back the Reds is a horrific offense. The team needs to score about 750 runs if it wants to truly compete.
The top of the lineup is suspect in the OB department, which means big seasons from the middle of the lineup will be necessary. Votto will be hard-pressed to match his 2009 season, but he'll still be good. Bruce should be better. Rolen should be steady, but not overwhelming. Phillips, like I mentioned, needs to have his best season vs. RHPs. And the Reds aren't getting any meaningful production from the catchers.
That leaves LF, and Balentien strikes me as the one guy who could be a serious difference maker out there. I'm not saying he will be, but him realizing his potential is 100% of what the team most needs.
What about SS? If you're comparing 2009 to 2010 I think Janish to Cabrera can make a lot of hay offensively.
I disagree that Balentien is a key because if he falters there are so many other options like Heisey and Gomes.