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Thread: The Reds are not a contending team.

  1. #1
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    The Reds are not a contending team.

    They are certainly a contender in the "Redszone fantasy world", but not in the real world.

    Clay Davenport, one of the original founders of Baseball Prospectus and smart dude, released his projections for the 2014 season. He projects individual seasons, mocks up the playing time as best he can, and gets his spreadsheet to spit out some projected records.
    The AL East is a tight race, but the Rays are the best team
    The Tigers and Cardinals are clear favorites in the Central divisions
    The Mariners are greatly improved, but still fourth-best in the West
    The Nationals just a hair ahead of the Braves, and the Mets aren't that bad

    There aren't too many inflammatory projections mixed in, either. You were expecting the A's to be good and the Astros to be bad, and everything else is just a matter of scale.

    Except, hold on. There's a playoff team from last year that's projected for an under-.500 season if they don't make any improvements before the season starts.



    That's at least moderately surprising, right? And in the interest of hard-hitting baseball research, here is the exhaustive list of every player that team has acquired this offseason:

    Mike Wilson
    Max Ramirez
    Brayan Pena
    Skip Schumaker
    Argenis Diaz
    David Holmberg
    Corky Miller
    Chien-Ming Wang
    Ruben Gotay
    Trevor Bell
    Bobby Keppel
    Thomas Neal
    Jeff Francis
    Hernan Iribarren

    It's not like the Reds have been completely inactive. They've just been completely uninteresting. And completely uninterested in making a stronger team, apparently. The Reds are likely to lose Bronson Arroyo, and they've already lost Shin-Soo Choo. I'll wager that those 14 free agents up there won't combine for as much WAR for the rest of their careers as Choo and Arroyo will in April.
    Individually, all of those players make some amount of sense. Collectively, they're the foundation of an underwhelming lineup. If they're average, that should be enough to help the Reds contend. Hope that they're average and hope the pitchers stay healthy. That's the plan, and it could happen. But it's an overly optimistic plan. It's like adding to your collection of VHS tapes because you're sure collectors will come around, just like they did with vinyl. Could happen! Maybe not the best idea to expect it, though.

    And this isn't even getting into Joey Votto's selfish refusal to expand his strike zone and drive in runs**. Meanwhile the Cardinals are cutting limbs off their young hitters and pitchers so they can grow new ones in Petri dishes, and the Pirates have youth on their side. The Brewers aren't that bad, and they got stronger last week with Matt Garza. Several members of the Cubs seem very nice.
    The Reds' window, considering their pitching and the age of their best hitters, is clearly now. There's no reason to make do now, and figure there's always time to fix the problems in future seasons. Votto and Phillips are aging. Bailey and Latos might leave over the next couple seasons. The minor leagues aren't expected to offer a lot of impact help after Hamilton.

    But right now, the offseason is Skip Schumaker and a bunch of people you haven't heard of. There's still time to fix that. There are still deals and swaps and mystery teams. Until those deals go down, though, welcome to the most baffling offseason in the majors. The optimism is refreshing. Not sure if it's warranted, though.
    http://www.baseballnation.com/2014/1...n-do-something

    The first step is removing non-contenders. This is necessarily subjective, but the way I figure, if you project for a .500 record, the error bars are big enough that youíre able to be a dreamer. Replacement level is just under 48 wins, per team, so a .500 record would require just over 33 WAR. Setting a minimum threshold of 33.3 WAR eliminates the following teams, and all of their positions:

    Marlins
    Cubs
    White Sox
    Twins
    Brewers
    Astros
    Mets
    Reds
    Phillies
    Padres

    Maybe itís not fair to exclude the Reds, but here we are, and the Reds could use some help if they want to go to the playoffs. Some of these teams might aim to contend, but right now they donít look like contenders. And all of these teams obviously have needs, but theyíre less pressing than they are for teams with more ambitious missions. There are positional messes here, according to the projections, but how much does that matter, really, if the overall team doesnít?
    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-w...ntending-team/

    Stop living in a fantasy world. We have to be objective in evaluating our team.

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  3. #2
    They call me "chef"
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    Re: The Reds are not a contending team.

    Since we already know which teams are making the playoffs, we can cancel the season and get a head start on our playoff projections so we don't have to waste time & play those games too. I want to be able to tell my grandchildren that "I was there, sitting in front of the computer in my boxers, when the 2014 World Series winner was posted in February."
    Cincinnati Reds 2014 W-L Record: 76.6-85.4*

    Cincinnati Reds 2015 W-L Record: TBA

    *UPDATED: 2/11/2014

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  5. #3
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    Re: The Reds are not a contending team.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Schuler View Post
    Since we already know which teams are making the playoffs, we can cancel the season and get a head start on our playoff projections so we don't have to waste time & play those games too. I want to be able to tell my grandchildren that "I was there, sitting in front of the computer in my boxers, when the 2014 World Series winner was posted in February."
    Do not misinterpret what I am saying. You know that's not my point.

  6. #4
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    Re: The Reds are not a contending team.

    Clay Davenport is wrong. Where can I place a large bet with said individual?
    Zero chance the Reds miss the playoffs!

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  8. #5
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: The Reds are not a contending team.

    The Baseballnation .com article has a couple of paragraphs that say very well what I've been trying to get across. The Reds position players aren't terrible. Individually, they all fit as players who could, and probably even should, start somewhere but collectively this position player group is the equivalent of a rotation filled with 4th and 5th starters. Phillips, Frazier, Ludwick, Cozart and maybe even Mesoraco and Hamilton all have cases that can be presented on their behalf, but collectively that's a ton of warts to be lumping together in one line-up. This is the best part of the article IMO.


    It's not a repugnant bunch of hitters, and Joey Votto makes up for a lot of shortcomings. Here's the problem, though: It's a lineup filled with players the team doesn't feel like they have to replace. There's a deceptive lack of urgency. Cozart's fine as a defense-first shortstop. Ludwick isn't the worst idea as a bottom-of-the-order thumper. Todd Frazier can still be valuable if he's hitting .240, so why replace him? There's no reason to eat money just to have Brandon Phillips play for someone else. Mesoraco might not be the offensive asset he was supposed to be when he came out of high school, but he's not a bad option as a starting catcher.

    Individually, all of those players make some amount of sense. Collectively, they're the foundation of an underwhelming lineup. If they're average, that should be enough to help the Reds contend. Hope that they're average and hope the pitchers stay healthy. That's the plan, and it could happen. But it's an overly optimistic plan. It's like adding to your collection of VHS tapes because you're sure collectors will come around, just like they did with vinyl. Could happen! Maybe not the best idea to expect it, though.
    I think the Reds rotation, short of a lot of missed starts by the top 5, will be enough to separate them from the non-contenders. I just think there are too many teams with rotations good enough to contend that have a better collection of position players for this team to win the Division or be one of the top 2 non-winners. The Reds probably have a better chance to win the Division than they do to be a wild card IMO. For either to happen a bunch of question marks need to be answered positively and some stuff on other teams needs to go wrong. At least in the Division, only the Cardinals need to have a lot of bad luck to put the Reds right there with teams they are fairly evenly matched with (Pittsburgh and Milwaukee). 3 or 4 teams would need to have stuff go wrong for the Reds to be one of the top 2 non-division winners IMO.

    As of now, assuming everybody plays as expected, I'd say the Reds would finish third in the Central and 7th or 8th overall in the NL. OF course, guys get hurt, some play way better than projected and others fall off a cliff. The season is about seeing how that plays out, but the off-season is about putting the team in position to withstand more things going wrong internally and avoiding the need for pleasant surprises from within or bad luck for the competition. IMO, the Reds have done a poor job of that. When some of us say the plan seems to be all about hoping, that is exactly what we're talking about.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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  10. #6
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    Re: The Reds are not a contending team.

    It kinda makes me sad to see ALL of the reds off-season moves collected in one list...*

    *Adding Nelson to said list doesn't improve the sadness...

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    Re: The Reds are not a contending team.

    I'm not sure I can rely upon any projections that have the Pirates ranked ahead of the Reds in runs allowed.

    Assuming the Pirates lose A J Burnett, the Pirates stop starter last year in innings pitched is Locke with 166, with Liriano the only other one topping 117.

    I'm not seeing it, with the Reds maybe losing Arroyo but gaining Cueto for a full season.

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  14. #8
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: The Reds are not a contending team.

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    I'm not sure I can rely upon any projections that have the Pirates ranked ahead of the Reds in runs allowed.

    Assuming the Pirates lose A J Burnett, the Pirates stop starter last year in innings pitched is Locke with 166, with Liriano the only other one topping 117.

    I'm not seeing it, with the Reds maybe losing Arroyo but gaining Cueto for a full season.
    Yeah, as is, I have the Pirates finishing 4th in the Central and winning less than 81 games. It's not just Burnett, but not sure Liriano will repeat and Locke already fell off a cliff. They would need to get a big year from Cole and big debuts from Taillon and Polanco to finish in the hunt IMO and I think it's a year too soon for that. What they need is out there if they're willing to give-up a draft pick or two. They should sign Kendrys Morales and maybe a back-end innings guy like Paul Maholm or even Arroyo.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

  15. #9
    Daffy Duck RedTeamGo!'s Avatar
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    Re: The Reds are not a contending team.

    Quote Originally Posted by junkhead View Post
    Do not misinterpret what I am saying. You know that's not my point.
    Do not misinterpret what you are saying? You did not say anything. You very rarely say anything original. You normally copy and paste the thoughts and efforts of others and do not even add to it. I suppose you did add "you need to stop living in a fantasy world" though.

    I agree with Shuler. I am glad the season has already been settled. Now I can just forget about it and watch reruns of Three's Company all summer.

    I am not one that is very optimistic this season, but to say the idea this team can make the playoffs is a "fantasy" is absurd. There are only a handful of teams that do not have a chance (I am looking at you, Miami) and the Reds are certainly not one of them.

  16. #10
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: The Reds are not a contending team.

    Well if we are going to play that game, ZiPS thinks the Reds are contenders, so we can just go ahead and lock this thread up.

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    Re: The Reds are not a contending team.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Well if we are going to play that game, ZiPS thinks the Reds are contenders, so we can just go ahead and lock this thread up.
    you were first

    wanted to say that I read on fangraphs the ZiPS prediction and they think the reds are contenders!

    our starting rotation and bullpen is expectet to produce lots of wins...

  19. #12
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: The Reds are not a contending team.

    I think the point of this thread is spot on and evidently some other knowledgeable baseball people do as well.

    Even if you disagree, post something useful that explains why. The whole, "I guess we don't have to play the games" non-sense is not only stale and been posted about a trillion times already, it seems fairly rude and squashes real discussion. It's not my board, but if it were, any such post would come with a lifetime ban. JMO.

    Thanks for posting junkhead, keep right on doing so.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    Re: The Reds are not a contending team.

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    I think the point of this thread is spot on and evidently some other knowledgeable baseball people do as well.

    Even if you disagree, post something useful that explains why. The whole, "I guess we don't have to play the games" non-sense is not only stale and been posted about a trillion times already, it seems fairly rude and squashes real discussion. It's not my board, but if it were, any such post would come with a lifetime ban. JMO.

    Thanks for posting junkhead, keep right on doing so.
    The point of saying "why even play the games" is to undermine projections and point out what they are - completely inept at predicting the future. The subject of the thread is a definitive statement, the body of the OP is pure conjecture. While I really enjoy what junkhead brings to the board, I don't think he can be surprised that his "fantasy" comment drew some reaction. Lifetime ban, c'mon.

  22. #14
    Daffy Duck RedTeamGo!'s Avatar
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    Re: The Reds are not a contending team.

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    I think the point of this thread is spot on and evidently some other knowledgeable baseball people do as well.

    Even if you disagree, post something useful that explains why. The whole, "I guess we don't have to play the games" non-sense is not only stale and been posted about a trillion times already, it seems fairly rude and squashes real discussion. It's not my board, but if it were, any such post would come with a lifetime ban. JMO.

    Thanks for posting junkhead, keep right on doing so.
    His post was a definitive "the Reds are not contenders" and told redszone to stop living a fantasy world. He then went on to copy and paste the thoughts and work of another. What an excellent post. Bravo.

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  24. #15
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    Re: The Reds are not a contending team.

    His 2013 AL Projections. I do not see how his predictions hold any more water than a random fans. Luckily for them the Red Sox were living in a fantasy world last season

    East Won Lost Runs Runs A
    TBY 87 75 666 619
    TOR 86 76 768 722
    NYY 84 78 732 699
    BOS 82 80 776 760
    BAL 78 84 703 733

    Cent Won Lost Runs Runs A
    DET 93 69 799 680
    CLE 79 83 690 706
    KCR 79 83 699 719
    CWS 77 85 702 741
    MIN 73 89 672 748

    West Won Lost Runs Runs A
    LAA 91 71 716 629
    OAK 85 77 692 652
    TEX 85 77 762 727
    SEA 75 87 604 655
    HOU 73 89 690 768

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