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Thread: Comparing the 2008/2009 Reds

  1. #1
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Comparing the 2008/2009 Reds

    First Base - same. I expect Votto to OPS in the .870 area again while carrying over his excellent second half defense.

    Second Base - same, maybe slightly better. Phillips posted a .754 OPS last year and played Gold Glove defense. I think we may see a slight improvement (.770 OPS) with the bat.

    Shortstop - same. Reds shortstops posted a .689 OPS in 2008. We may see a slight improvement with the bat but the defense will still be bad unless Gonzalez returns and plays up to his 2006/2007 form (unlikely).

    Third Base - better offensively. I think this is the year where Edwin breaks out and has a big year with the bat. His power and walk rates spiked last year which could be an indicator that his bat is on the verge of breaking out. I'm expecting an .850-.875 OPS out of EdE in 2009. FWIW, Reds third basemen as a whole posted a .792 OPS in 2008. I'm hoping Edwin improves defensively...

    Left Field - Worse offensively, better defensively (when Dickerson plays). Right now we're looking at a Dickerson/Gomes platoon in left field. If everything goes well, we may be able to squeeze an .850 OPS out of Dickerson/Gomes. Gomes has a career .879 OPS vs LHP while Dickerson hit well vs RHP in the minors. .850 would be awesome but .800 is more likely.

    Center Field - same, slightly worse. Reds center fielders posted a .249/.299/.401 - .700 OPS in 2008. I think Taveras will rebound defensively but I don't much out of him with the bat.

    Right Field - better. Reds right fielders posted a .764 OPS in 2008 while playing some of the worst defense in the game. Bruce alone posted a .767 OPS and I expect that to improve this year. The defense should be better too. I think at the minimum he'll post an .800 OPS with .825-.850 being his likely destination. There's always a chance he explodes and develops into a superstar a year or two earlier than expected but I don't expect that type pf production out of him this season.

    Catcher - better. I'm expecting a .740ish OPS from Hernandez in 2009 which would be a 60 point upgrade in OPS from what the Reds received from their catchers in 2008. I also think Hanigan is capable of posting a .720ish OPS as a backup.

    Bench - better. With Gomes/Dickerson, Hairston, Daryle Ward, Hanigan, and Keppinger/Gonzalez, the bench should be solid, or at least better than what we've seen in the last few years.

    Starting Rotation - better.

    Aaron Harang - I see no reason why he won't return to his 2005-2007 form.

    Edinson Volquez - He may drop off a little but I still think he'll post an ERA at or below the 3.50 mark.

    Johnny Cueto - Has the stuff to take a huge leap forward but I'll be realistic and predict a slight improvement with an ERA around 4.50.

    Bronson Arroyo - About the same as last year. 200 innings of roughly league average baseball.

    Micah Owings - I like Micah Owings more than most. His minor league peripherals suggest he's going to be a solid big league starter. Even if he posts a 4.90 ERA he'll be a big improvement over what the Reds received from their fifth starters in 2008.

    Bullpen - same, maybe slightly worse. Francisco Cordero, Jared Burton, Bill Bray, and Arthur Rhodes are solid. Mike Lincoln and David Weathers will dictate how good the bullpen is. The good thing is the Reds have some solid depth in Triple-A (Fisher, Roenicke) in case one or both of those two guys falter.

    JMO.

    The 2008 Reds won 74 games despite Griffey and Harang having bad years, numerous shortstops going down to injury, and Bako and Patterson combining for roughly 650 atbats of pure awfulness. Right now, as constructed I think the 2009 Reds are roughly a .500 team with a chance to improve if some of the young guys step up and a vet or two have have career years. And of course that goes both ways ... if a couple of the young guys have sophomore slumps and a vet gets injured then we could be looking at another 73/74 win season.

    I guess you could say I'm slightly optimistic about the season, I always am around this time of the year ... but I'd be feeling a lot better if Dickerson/Hairston were platooning in CF and Abreu was signed to play left field. I'm still holding out hope that Walt signs Abreu.
    Last edited by OnBaseMachine; 02-09-2009 at 07:09 PM.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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  3. #2
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Comparing the 2008/2009 Reds

    I'd agree with a lot of that. My major point of disagreement is Volquez. Looking at his 2nd half last year, his hit rate and HR rate which were abnormally low both normalized and his ERA shot up in to the mid 4's. He's got great stuff, but unless he improves his control and/or the Reds defense takes a huge step forward, I don't think he's going to post a sub 4.00 ERA.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Comparing the 2008/2009 Reds

    IMO some of Volquez's second half problems were due to him reaching unchartered territory in innings pitched. And while he'll never have Pedro Martinez type of control, I do think he'll improve some in that area and knock 15-20 walks off his 2008 total. I do agree that the Reds defense will hurt him some but I still think he'll post a sub 3.50 ERA. But I won't complain if it's in the 4.00 area.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Start the Reactor! *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: Comparing the 2008/2009 Reds

    I'd just like to point out that despite a 74-88 record the 2008 Reds had a Pythag W-L of 72-90 so that should be the baseline for comparison...
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

  6. #5
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Comparing the 2008/2009 Reds

    A 4.00 ERA is a pretty reasonable expectation.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: Comparing the 2008/2009 Reds

    Center Field - same, slightly worse. Reds center fielders posted a .249/.299/.401 - .700 OPS in 2008. I think Taveras will rebound defensively but I don't much out of him with the bat.
    I agree with most of your post, but I think you can be cautiously optimistic of improvement from the centerfield spot too.

    Even in an awful 2008 Tavares still OBP'd over .300. Call that his basement.

    Career OBP is .330. Call that reasonable.

    His peak year saw him OBP over .360. Call that wishful thinking.

    In every scenario, Willy Tavares should be an improvement over the Reds' CF production last year. Throw in all those SBs too (remember Cor-Pat only had 14 last year) and I think there's reason for more optimism still.
    I have a love-hate relationship with Albert Pujols. Mostly hate.

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    Start the Reactor! *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: Comparing the 2008/2009 Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by I(heart)Freel View Post
    I agree with most of your post, but I think you can be cautiously optimistic of improvement from the centerfield spot too.

    Even in an awful 2008 Tavares still OBP'd over .300. Call that his basement.

    Career OBP is .330. Call that reasonable.

    His peak year saw him OBP over .360. Call that wishful thinking.

    In every scenario, Willy Tavares should be an improvement over the Reds' CF production last year. Throw in all those SBs too (remember Cor-Pat only had 14 last year) and I think there's reason for more optimism still.
    Reds CFs hit .249/.299/.401 for exactly a .700 OPS. That is above Willy's career OPS. Call me pessimistic but GABP is an environment that will suppress Willy's game and the only way his base running can overcome the plus plus defense the Reds got out of CF in 2008 is if he steals 70 of 75...
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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    Member Reds Fanatic's Avatar
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    Re: Comparing the 2008/2009 Reds

    I agree with most of your post but I do worry about Volquez and Cueto getting burned out this year. Between winter ball and pitching in the World Baseball Classic I think it is going to be hard to get a complete healthy season out of both of them.

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    Re: Comparing the 2008/2009 Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by I(heart)Freel View Post
    In every scenario, Willy Tavares should be an improvement over the Reds' CF production last year. Throw in all those SBs too (remember Cor-Pat only had 14 last year) and I think there's reason for more optimism still.
    The Reds' '08 CF included solid-to-strong time from Bruce and Dickerson.

  11. #10
    Brett William Moore Will M's Avatar
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    Re: Comparing the 2008/2009 Reds

    First Base - better. Votto was a rookie last year so he should show improvement.

    Second Base - same, maybe slightly better. Phillips can OPS better than 754. he needs to work at laying off the pitch he can't hit (low and away)

    Shortstop - huge unknown. spring training should tell us a lot about Gonzo

    Third Base - better offensively. same old same old defensively. on the plus side a healthy Gonzo means that 3B is our only gaping hole defensively. a BIG improvement over recent years

    Left Field - Worse offensively, better defensively. IMO we are looking at a Dickerson/Hairston platoon in left field.

    Center Field - better. strong D & an improved OPS causes Redszoners to eat crow.

    Right Field - better. Bruce will improve over his rookie year

    Catcher - Hernandez/Hanigan is much much better than the 2008 catching fiasco

    Bench - better.

    Starting Rotation - better. Cueto is the big unknown. can he make the leap from a #5 to a #2? The 5th spot in the rotation is vastly improved.

    Bullpen - same.

    The keys to the Reds are (IMO):
    Cueto
    Gonzo's health
    LF & CF. IF Taveras can get on base like its 2007..., IF Dickerson plays like he did at the end of 2008..., IF Gomes or Hairston can be a solid RH part of a LF platoon, IF they can all stay healthy. Lots of IFs there.
    .

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    Start the Reactor! *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: Comparing the 2008/2009 Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Will M View Post
    Center Field - better. strong D & an improved OPS causes Redszoners to eat crow.
    So... does Taveras get hurt or does he OPS over 700? Is his defense going to be better too?
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: Comparing the 2008/2009 Reds

    If Taveras has a .350 OBP and steals bases at the rate he did last year, I really do not care what his SLG percentage is. If he OPS .650 with a .300 slg percentage I will not complain.

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    Brett William Moore Will M's Avatar
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    Re: Comparing the 2008/2009 Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    So... does Taveras get hurt or does he OPS over 700? Is his defense going to be better too?
    IMO the leadoff hitter is the one spot in the lineup where OBP matters more than OPS.

    Taveras's defense in CF will be the best in our division.

    As to injuries what I mean is this: Taveras needs to have an OBP > 350. The LF platoon needs to produce. Both need to stay healthy as the Reds depth is better than 2008 but still not very good.
    .

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    Start the Reactor! *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: Comparing the 2008/2009 Reds

    What makes you think Taveras can OBP .350? Get hit lucky again? Like I said, GABP is not a conducive environment for a slap hitter.

    Sure, you can use the leadoff spot in the batting order to leverage a low SLG hitter, but SLG is still an important component of run production. Lets just do some simple math:

    Willy Taveras averages 0.35 home runs every 100 ABs over his career. If he gets 600 ABs that is 2.1 homers. Give him a generous GABP boost and that is 3 homers. Add on another 2 homers for his replacement on his off days and you get 5 home runs out of the CF position. Now, in 2008 Reds CF hit 20 home runs. So that's 15 runs right there without any runners on base. That's ignoring doubles and triples.

    SLG% always matters, no matter which role you think they play in the batting order...
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: Comparing the 2008/2009 Reds

    Add his stolen bases to his SLG%.


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