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.
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.