Originally Posted by redsfandan
The Success of this Season hinges on ... making the playoffs.
Everyone would agree that if Votto had been 100% all season the Reds would've won more regular season games. But, if Votto had been 100% in October would they have made it farther in the playoffs? It's easy to say yes but, in reality, it's an impossible question. In a short series anything can happen. Maybe we'll catch a lucky break when the ball is hit right to a Reds defender and a scoring opportunity for a playoff opponent turns into a double play momentum changing play. And maybe that ball will be hit just beyond the Reds defender and it's the start of a really bad inning in the playoffs.
It's at least debatable that how good the best 3 starting pitchers are in October (whether it's Cueto, Latos, Bailey or Cueto, Latos, Chapman) could matter more than if Votto is 100% or 80% in October.
The Reds have a lot of good and really good players and one great player. Would having no great players but one more really good player matter more than if the starting pitching delivers when it matters? If the starting pitching can stay healthy when we need them to be? If the defense downgrade of Choo in center and Frazier at 3rd will hurt them too much on a team that's been built around defense?
There's probably alot of questions that can be thrown out there about the fortunes of the 2013 Cincinnati Reds. But, if the 2013 Cincinnati Reds don't make the playoffs I doubt many people will be calling the season a success.
Well, sure, I doubt you'll get much disagreement that the success of the season depends on being a playoff team. I'd take it a step further and say a deep run in the playoffs. A Division Series loss won't hack it. Playoffs and playoffs wins are the result of the things discussed in this thread.
This all an interesting discussion and I'm sure a successful rotation, a good bullpen, a productive bench, and a good starting 8 all play into success
, but I just don't see the Reds making a deep playoff run if Votto doesn't resume his near-MVP form. I think every elite team needs a elite player to anchor the lineup. Maybe lots of good players will work, but I think the odds of success are much higher with Joey being his normal potent self.