Re: 2004 Reds Staff vs. 2005 Reds Staff
Given the potential pitching staff, what is to be expected for the upcoming year? Here is my "expectation".
Ortiz - improvement. Perhaps big improvement. He's coming from the AL, which allows him to face a pitcher instead of a DH each time through the lineup. I also think a change of scenery will help as well.
Wilson - same or slightly worse.
Milton - improvement from last year. More towards career norms.
Harang - slight improvement from last year.
Claussen/Hudson/Hancock - improvement. As long as they are pitching from the 5th spot in the order, there should be a decent gain here from what the Reds ran out to the mound every 5th day last year.
Mercker - not as good as last year for him, but a vast improvement over White/Norton of last year.
Weathers/Weber - I think they will fill the Todd Jones role. Should stay about the same.
Acevedo - mixed bag. He should improve from his starting numbers, but I don't think he is as good in the pen as his small sample size showed. So, about the same.
Bong - slight improvement
Hancock/Hudson - whoever loses the 5th starting spot will be the long reliever here. Last year, this spot went to Van Poppel. I can't imagine that Hancock or Hudson would be worse.
Wagner - wild card. With the veterans that this team has, I don't see a clearly defined role for Wagner. In reality, he should be in AAA working on either becoming a dominant closer in preparation for Graves departure or developing another pitch to see if he could be a starter. I think he's wasted in Cincinnati right now.