Re: Three bold predictions- 2012
1. Rolen stays healthy and plays 130 games, gold glove caliber defense with a bit less range but his bat is crucial in the middle of the order.
2. Zack Cozart struggles early but adjusts and by the end of May begins to hit and ends the season with a .270/.345/.455 line. Devin Mesoraco struggles and goes down to AAA for more seasoning, Navarro comes up to take his place. Hanigan does the bulk of catching playing 110 games. Mes returns in time in late August to be playoff eligible and this time he hammers the ball.
3. Latos/Cueto/Bailey and Leake emerge as one of the NL's best 1 thru 4 starting rotations, with Arroyo giving the Reds an innings eating 5th starter at a league average ERA. It's the pitching that propels the Reds to the division title and the NL pennant with a lockdown bullpen that is the best in baseball. Health issues are moderate and Francis and Brackman pitch extremely well when called upon. Chapman stays down until late August and returns to be playoff eligible. Aroldis pitches well as a starter but not overwhelmingly so - he has issues as he learns new pitches and works on command but is much improved and ready to take the hill when he makes his first start on August 20th.
4. Jay Bruce becomes a true offensive force - 40 homers 135 rbi to go with Votto's 1.010 OPS season.
5. The Reds go in first place to stay on August 8th. Their final celebration is when Madson records the final out of the World Series. Mesoraco is the surprise Series MVP.