Volquez steps up and gives the team a legit number 2. Harang and Arroyo provide more of the same. Cueto struggles from time to time but still ok at number 4 and provides reason to believe he'll be better in 2009. Number 5 is a revolving door, but overall the starting pitching is above average. The offense gets a boost from Votto. Patterson is better than expected. The Middle IF suffers a drop-off from 2007, but Keppinger plays enough to provide a boost. Dunn hits 50 bombs and is more mobile in the field. Griffey declines a bit and looks even worse on defense. Jay Bruce is blocked and spends much of the year in AAA. EdE settles in as an average 3B. The catching situation is horrible. The Bullpen prevents this team from getting to the play-offs. Stanton proves last year wasn't an anomoly. Weathers declines sharply. Burton and Bray move from prospects to suspects. Coffey rebounds a bit. Roenicke and Viola arrive too late. Cordero is good, but too often leads disappear prior to him getting in the game. They finish above .500 and feel like a team on the rise.
"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
75 wins. Hope I am wrong.
Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.
This rotation is improved vastly over what we've been seeing, IMO. The young guys keep them in it until September, but may not have the experience or stamina to get over the hump. Still, I think they win more than lose.
Put me down for 83 wins.
I'm just like everybody else. I have two arms, two legs and 4,000 hits."
The Reds struggle out of the gate with the platoon of Hopper and Patterson not working in center, and with the likes of Stanton getting banged around in the bullpen. The Reds come to their senses, promote Jay Bruce and Josh Roenicke amongst others, Volquez and Cueto become more consistent during the second half of the year, and the Reds use a blazing second half of the season to finish over .500 and give a good glimpse of what's to come in 2009.
85 wins. Sets them up nicely for a move in 2009.
The other point you raise about Phillips and Edwin is also worth repeating -- if those two don't find a way to hit LHP better, its going to be a long season.
24 Years and Counting...
First time I've projected a better than .500 record since 2000.
Kevin Gregg and Jason Marquis will bring back memories of the Lost Decade.
78 The Reds will have basically three rookies in the rotation for most of the season and that will keep the win total under the 500 mark. But they along with Bruce and Votto will give the Reds a boost into a very good 2009 season.
Reds Fan Since 1971
ďA healthy Reds team is a strong Reds team"
When all is said and done more is said than done.
Talent is God Given: be humble.
Fame is man given: be thankful.
Conceit is self given: be careful.
85 wins. First time I've been optimistic about the team since 2000.
"....the two players I liked watching the most were Barry Larkin and Eric Davis. I was suitably entertained by their effortless skill that I didn't need them crashing into walls like a squirrel on a coke binge." - dsmith421