yeah, there are so many variable involved that i am not even going to try to predict anything. I just hope he finishes sub-3.50 ERA. That would be great I think.
I will address it a little further.
C: Yadi is the best in baseball. But I do think the Reds platoon is in the top tier of catchers. One thing to note is while the Reds will do a good job of divvying up the C duty Yadi will catch more games than any other catcher in baseball. It looks good now but what happens in August?
1b: Votto is one of the best hitters in baseball. As much as I hate to admit it Craig is pretty good himself. Its Votto without a doubt but I wouldn't say by a mile.
2b: I think its Phillips and its not even close.
SS: Give me Cozart over Kozma any day of the week. Cozart has more pop and is a pretty good defender. Kozma is an AAA SS forced to play in the bigs because the Cards relied on Furcal.
3b: Push. If you go by history its Freese but he isn't playing well now. I think both are similar in that they can be streaky but can get red hot.
LF: Holliday and its not even close.
CF: Jay is the better defender but Choo is the better all around player. Advantage Choo.
RF: Over 162 its Bruce. Beltran has been better this season but if your going to project going forward for the rest of the season I go Bruce.
Bullpen: Reds and is it any question?
Starting Rotation: Here is where it gets interesting. If I had to rank the pitchers Wainwright would be #1 followed by Latos and Cueto. If you put the top 2 together I say its a push. I would take the Reds 3 over Westbrook right now because Arroyo is going to take the ball 32 times a season and Westbrook is now on the DL. The rest IMO is a crapshoot. I think Bailey can be the best of the bunch, probably as good as any of the top 4. However he hasn't shown consistency so far this year.
I think if you asked me where the Reds biggest advantage is, its a 162 game season. The Cards are placing a lot of faith in young arms (Lynn and Miller) who I doubt will be able to pitch at a high level for an entire season. I also question whether Molina and Beltran will stay healthy over the entire season. Its one thing to ride a 25 year old OF hard, its another to ride a 35 year old injury prone OF hard. Same can be said about Yadi, if he is a 1b then I have no problem with the Cards playing him every day, as a C it takes its toll.
I'm not seeing the Yadi argument considering that he's done it pretty much every year since he has taken over as catcher. Yadi batted .403 last August with a .999 OPS, which was far and away the best month he had last year. It's a moot point about him breaking down.
As for Cozart vs. Kozma, Cozart might have slightly more pop (slightly is the key word) but Kozma is the better hitter at this point. You're right that he is a AAA SS to replace Furcal but A. he's probably putting up the type of numbers Furcal would have put up if he was healthy and B. he's a better hitter right now than Cozart is. I think both are not long term solutions for their club and both clubs will have to address the SS position somewhere in the near future.
EDIT: I looked at the numbers. According to baseball reference, Kozma is putting up a .1 WAR this season and Cozart is putting up a -.3 WAR thus far. Not exactly great production from either. If we're talking about the best of the worst though, Kozma to me at least has the edge.
As for Cozart vs. Kozma, the question isn't whose doing better right now. That's a boring question that can be answered by simply looking at their baseball-reference pages. The question is who has has more talent. Which roster is likely to help produce more wins for their team over a 162 game schedule.
Comparing the talent levels of Cozart vs. Kozma, this is the most revealing stat to me:
Kozma's best minor league numbers aren't as good as what Cozart already produced in the majors last year.
"Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.
Kozma is a pathetic hitter.
Calling him better than just about anyone is a bit of a stretch. Not saying Cozart is much, but hard to argue that Kozma isn't one of the worst starters in the bigs at this point considering he isn't much of a rangy guy.
"I never argue with people who say baseball is boring, because baseball is boring. And then, suddenly, it isn't. And that's what makes it great." - Joe Posnanski
(Referring to Jack Hannahan signing with a Korean team)
Since there are no teams on the moon, I guess South Korea's far enough from Cincinnati to satisfy me.
As far as position by position, here's my take on the debatable ones.
Catcher: Clear advantage to the Cards here. The Reds have a nice solution, but Hannigan worries me. Mez is an unproven youngster with potential. Yadi is a perennial Allstar. I like our guys, but this one is the Cardinals, not even close
3b: Freese > Frazier. Honestly, I like Frazier, but let's say hypothetically for one year only, we could trade Frazier for Freese, no financial issues involved.. Who would not make that trade? That's a no brainer. Freese is off to a slow start, but he's got a 4 year track record. He will bounce back, unless there's an injury I don't know about.
SS: probably by the end of the year, Cozart is slightly better. Not a huge edge though.
RF: This is a tough one to call. I'm going to give the Cards a slight edge here though. Beltran is simply a more steady, more mature hitter than Bruce. I love Bruce though.
Starting rotation: Man, this is way too tough to call. Both have great staffs.
Carpenter is apparently throwing again, he might come back this year.
I really like Lynn. I am going to wimp out and call this a push at this stage of the season.
Thank you Walt and Bob for bringing winning baseball back to Cincy
Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!
It's definitely pretty close overall.
C: Molina, handily. Hanigan is probably his equal on defense, and Mesoraco could eventually be on offense, but Yadier's consistency is unparalleled.
1B: Votto, though you'd be a fool to ignore how good Craig can be.
2B: Phillips, though Carpenter has been flashing quite the bat.
SS: Cozart over Descalso, but Furcal gets the edge when he's healthy.
3B: Push. Freese is usually a little better, but he's also more injury prone and has had a bad season.
LF: Holliday, no matter who's playing.
CF: Choo without question.
RF: Beltran over Bruce. Bruce isn't that far behind, but he can't help but be maddeningly inconsistent.
SP: Slight Cardinals edge. It's safe to assume they'll come back to earth, and we get Cueto back soon, but the best ERA in the majors is hard to argue with.
RP: The biggest gap on the list. Reds have arguably the best relief crew in the majors, while the Cardinals have arguably the worst.
I'll chime in with the last four pages and say they're about even right now, with a slight edge to the Reds over the course of the season. I expect it to be back and forth up until the end, and the 2nd place team will probably make the wild card.
Cozart had a 2.3 WAR last year, had 52 extra base hits, and a.687 OPS.
Kozma had trouble maintaining a .600 OPS at AAA over the last 2 years. He's barely above .600 this year. And he's not even close to Cozart's league as a defender. Cozart was a gold glove finalist last year.
Even with Cozart's BABIP of .198 this year, he's close to Kozma's OPS lever this year.
Cozart may have his problems, but defence and being better than Kozma aren't on that list.