Originally Posted by 757690
Do the Reds really have 97 win talent? Who ever thought that the Reds would win 97 games this season and win the division as easily as they did?
They have one of the best hitters in the game, but he was injured the entire second half of the season.
They have an All- Star worthy second baseman, and an All-Star RF, but other than that, their offense is rather pedestrian.
They have a Cy Young Candidate, but so do the Mets and Dodgers.
Their #2 pitcher is 24 years old, was a .500 pitcher last season, and has some anger issues.
Their #3 starter is coming off a 5 ERA season.
Their #4 starter had a 4.89 career ERA coming into this season
Their #5 starter is 24 soft tosser who never pitched in the minors, and was league average his first two seasons.
Their bullpen is strong, but had to overcome losing it's closer, setup man and LOOGY to injury for the whole season.
They have great defense, probably their strongest part of the team.
They have a lousy bench.
Does all of that look like a 97 win team to you on paper? Where's this overflowing talent that should be the next BRM or 1927 Yankees? I think this is clearly the best team since the BRM, but definitely not the most talented.
The Reds are pretty much above average at every spot on the field except centerfield once you consider offense and defense and baserunning. The centerfielder is a very talented under-achiever.
The Reds are way above average at every spot in the rotation except #5, and even Mike Leake is an average or better 5th starter. The bullpen is simply the best in baseball from top to bottom.
This team doesn't have any glaring weaknesses on the team at all until you get down to the two worst players on the team, Cairo and Valdez, who are worse than almost every team's 24th and 25th man.
We don't need to grade the team on what was expected of them coming into the season, when we didn't know what to expect from the likes of Ludwick, Frazier, Cozart etc.. We now know their true talent level of this team right up to date, and that talent level matches up very favorably with any team in the major leagues. I don't see another team in baseball with more talent at every position than the Reds.
The pitching staff is without question the strength of the team. It sure is nice getting to watch some real pitchers for the first time in a decade or more. It's also great to know that you don't have to score 6+ runs to win a game.
The hitting has been a bit of a disappointment even though there are plenty of good bats. Just a bit better lineup construction and less of a small-ball approach could do wonders to eke out a couple extra runs per week.
With all the young talent and potential for improvement the Reds have I am sure the Reds would be an ideal job for most managers to seek.