Chapman experiment impact.
Chapman experiment impact.
1. Frazier fell off a bit at the end of last season, but I am hopeful he can pull of another .800+ OPS.
2. As others have said, having a productive lead off hitter should be huge.
3. If Chapman is a good (not great) starter, it completely changes the dynamics of the staff. Having a good lefty in the rotation would be a nice balance.
Everything else is in place. It's only a question if the bullpen without Chapman can protect all those late game leads we'll have. Wonder if Leake can be a usefull piece in late innings (since I don't think they'll need a long man very often)
Votto's knee, Aroldis becoming a force as a starting pitcher.
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3) Choo's defense
1. If the cards fall right with Chapman, there's no telling how impossibly good this staff could be.
2. The 8th inning can't be Marshall every night. Hoover (and LeCure for that matter) seems like our best hope at filling those innings respectably. I'm already having nightmares about Ondrusek and Arredondo being handed that role.
3. I'm skeptical right now. What he does to the lineup is massive, but his D in center could range from below average to crippling. Let's hope for the former.
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Latos, Bailey, Cozart, Frazier, Chapman all need to just take the 'next step', and not digress.
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Everything else is in place.
Pitchers trusting the left side of the infield.
Cozart may now be a given for defense. Good range, good arm. Frazier needs to be 90% of what Rolen was defensively. Healthy, younger Rolen.
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The starting pitching not being injured for long stretches.
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If you look at certain players it has to be Votto's knee first. Hopefully he will be fully recovered with no lingering effects. If he's not and the knee turns into a chronic problem then the Reds will really be hurting. No just this season but for seasons to come.
The other player is Choo. A lot is expected of him. Can he be the leadoff man we expect from him? Lot of pressure will be on him and he handles that will determine much from this season.
One other one is Broxton. Can he handle being the closer on a daily basis? Can he be consistent in closing out games? Chapman was great last season and if Broxton starts blowing some games much will come down on his shoulders.
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A lot of people were upset/confused when we traded for Broxton last year because everyone thought we were fine and didn't need bullpen help. So our bullpen this year is the same as April-July last year, outside of the 9th inning. Plus Massett is back, Parra is in, Bray is gone, and Hoover/Simon have more experience.
In other words,I'm fine with the pen.
To answer the original question,
If Frazier stinks up the joint, Choo is bad in CF, and Chapman fails as a 5th starter, I think we're still WS contenders.
If Joey's knee bothers him or Cueto/Latos are out an extended period of time, we're in for trouble in the division, let alone playoffs.
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