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Thread: Silver Linings

  1. #1
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Silver Linings

    As we head into the exhibition season in a few days, I have an urge to be positive following a frustrating winter. 2009 may not be "the year" with continued problems up the middle in Cincinnati, but "the lost decade" will be coming to an end and there is a lot of reason to think the next decade will bring brighter days. Below is my list of 25 potential silver linings that will make 2009 an interesting year no matter how the record may wind up. Its the longest of shots that all of these things will come true, but if 60% or so do, then 2010 and beyond could shape up as a time of resurgence for Reds' baseball. The list is below, add some of your own and feel free to point out which you think are most and least likely of the items on the list:

    1 Jay Bruce becomes a monster and a yearly candidate for MVP and other awards.
    2 Joey Votto builds on his 2008 and becomes a ..285/.370/.500 guy.
    3 Edwin Encarnacion takes the next step and with Bruce and Votto forms a very solid middle of the order.
    4 Micah Owings establishes himself as a solid starting pitcher.
    5 Homer Bailey spends the year at AAA, dominates and re-establishes himself as a hot property.
    6 Nick Masset becomes a power arm for the late innings.
    7 Daryl Thompson moves to the Pen and makes Jared Burton like progress toward an 8th inning role for 2010
    8 Yonder Alonso destroys AA pitching and keeps it going in AAA and forces a move of Votto to LF.
    9 Chris Dickerson establishes himself as a solid platoon player with plus defense, plus speed and .270/.360/.440 numbers against RHP (He'll stink against Lefties though)
    10 Todd Frazier becomes a multi-position offensive force as he moves through the minors to provide the Reds a "Mark De Rosa type" player for the bench/line-up
    11 Aaron Harang regains his status as one of the top 10 Starters in the NL.
    12 Johnny Cueto makes a leap forward.
    13 Edinson Voquez regresses a bit but still is a solid starter with a high 3's/Low 4's ERA that can dominate any game.
    14 Bill Bray becomes a solid bullpen lefty
    15 Kyle Lotzkar stays healthy and effective for a full season in A Ball and gains national attention as a prospect.
    16 Danny Dorn continues to hit in AAA and the Reds finally notice.
    17 Zach Cozart has a decent offensive year in A+ raising his prospect status.
    18 Jordan Smith emerges as an ace in AA.
    19 Bronson Arroyo provides another 200 innings of league average pitching and is in demand at the deadline.
    20 Josh Roenicke continues to progress as a late inning relief option
    21 Robert Manuel follows up his great AA season with a similar year in AAA
    22 David Weathers provides more of the same and becomes a very marketable commodity as the Reds young pen arms push for a roster spot.
    23 Carlos Fisher does well in AAA and becomes an option as a multi-inning reliever.
    24 Dallas Buck steps forward with another year removed from surgery and with Homer, Smith and Lotzkar provides a 4 year run of guys who will be ready to assume a role in the rotation.
    25 Neftali Soto has a big year in High A ball and leaps to the top of the Reds prospect list
    Last edited by mth123; 02-21-2009 at 12:41 PM.
    "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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  3. #2
    Boom Goes the Dynamite Screwball's Avatar
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    Re: Silver Linings

    While I don't think anybody expects all those things to happen, the fun thing to consider is that they very well could. Not one of the items is out of the realm of possibility. At any rate...

    My most likely:

    2 Joey Votto builds on his 2008 and becomes a ..285/.370/.500 guy.

    Seeing as how he did it last year with a great plate approach, bat speed, and ability to make solid contact, I'm penciling him in for this kind of line in '09.

    My least likely:

    24 Dallas Buck steps forward with another year removed from surgery

    Would love to see it from him, but I just don't think Buck will ever regain/improve upon the velo he once had. While it's just my gut feeling, I see him as a guy we'll always describe as "Well, he's not there yet, but if he can just..." while he mires in the 20s of Reds' prospect rankings.

  4. #3
    Member wally post's Avatar
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    Re: Silver Linings

    We all have issues with some of the new signings for this year, but at least Walt has not traded away the kids for over the hill - or just about to be over the hill veterans. It could be worse, and it's SPRING TRAINING!!! go Reds!!

  5. #4
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Silver Linings

    Nice post mth.

    I disagree with Screwball on Dallas Buck. I think there's a good chance he develops into a top prospect this season. He'll be a year removed from Tommy John Surgery which is usually when most pitchers start to regain their velocity. This will be the first time in years that he's healthy. He fought through the pain in college and learned how to pitch without his best velocity while also improving his changeup in the meantime. He's one of my breakout candidates this season. You pair a low-90's fastball with great sink along with a quality slider and changeup; that's a strong arsenal. Baseball America thinks pretty highly of him too. In their prospect handbook they made note that he has top-of-rotation stuff when healthy.

    I'd like to add another potential positive to mth's list: Juan Francisco. If he carries over the improved plate discipline he showed in the Dominican Winter League then he could have a huge season.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

  6. #5
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    Re: Silver Linings

    Here are my silver linings for the Reds. Good thread idea, by the way. These are more general points about the club's direction.

    - Pitching emphasis. Reds now have some very good pitchers, good major league depth, good minor league depth. Great bullpen depth in the minors with, likely, Roenicke, Fisher, Herrera, Fultz, maybe Manuel, maybe Viola, all ready to help. Stewart soon. Maybe even Watson if his control improves, has the stuff.

    - Fewer station-to-station power guys. Reds for a long time were built around power guys who didn't cover ground defensively and made their mark with the long ball. The current crew brings a different emphasis, speed, perhaps higher BA types. Some of the personnel needs to improve, but I prefer this emphasis, particularly in GABP. You don't need sluggers in GABP, any good hitter will jack some out. And guys like Bruce still will hit plenty of homers.

    - Fewer lefty hitters. You need lefty hitters, but I don't like teams overloaded with them. Generally they are too susceptible to lefty pitching. Righties tend to be better against both types of pitching.

    - Minors intact. Reds have not depleted minor league system through trades. Top prospects still advancing. Great international signings last year. Great minor league depth. Team spent big bucks for Alonso.

    - Sticking with guys. While everyone likes to see upgrades, the Reds deserve credit for sticking with guys like EE and Dickerson. Gotta hope they put it together soon, guys have talent. I thought the EE two-year contract was a great show of support for him, let's hope he responds.

    -Recognizing and eliminating guys who didn't do well. The Reds had poor performances from some fifth starters last year and a couple of hitters. Reds didn't bring them back.

    I don't expect a great 2009, but overall the club is headed in a positive direction IMO.
    Last edited by Kc61; 02-21-2009 at 01:43 PM.

  7. #6
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    Re: Silver Linings

    This may be the first year the projection systems actually have the Reds higher than the Redszone cognoscenti. That's my silver lining.
    When people say that I donít know what Iím talking about when it comes to sports or writing, I think: Man, you should see me in the rest of my life.
    ---Joe Posnanski

  8. #7
    Member Spitball's Avatar
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    Re: Silver Linings

    Good thoughts, mth. With the season weeks away and still a chance to be optimistic, this is the kind of post I like to see.
    "I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton

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    Re: Silver Linings

    More on the theme:

    -- Bruce becomes the next fresh face of major league baseball.
    -- Votto becomes a Canadian Costello to Bruce's Abbott
    -- Danny Dorn becomes a fixture on Baseball America's Hot Lists
    -- Lotzkar learns location
    -- Tavares steals 100 bases. Plus.
    -- Parents in Sarasota and Carolina name their children Neftali.
    -- Juan Francisco picks up a catcher's mitt and thinks, "Hmmm..."
    -- Todd Frazier really can play defense at shortstop. Fairly well, actually.
    -- The pun "out Yonder" replaces "Dunn gone" in Cincinnati lexicon rather quickly.
    -- EdE shows why Redszone has confidence in him.
    -- Votto shows a cannon for an arm, quick feet, and a feel for... right field.
    -- Reds' officials finally notice the defensive numbers and put Jay Bruce back in CF where he belongs.
    -- Cincinnati drafts Austin Maddox in the first round and he plows through Billings and Dayton while being compared to Mark McGuire (without the juice, but with the power) while playing like Bench behind the plate. Redszone still questions the pick, as a college pitcher was available.
    -- Aaron Crow is available and picked by the Reds in the second round. Dougdirt exclaims.
    -- Cincinnati wins more than its Pythagorean suggests.
    -- Castrellini was right about the losing stopping, just off by 11 months.
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
    -- Christy Matthewson
    "Show me a good loser and I'll show you an idiot."
    -- Leo Durocher

  10. #9
    Member cincrazy's Avatar
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    Re: Silver Linings

    Jim Bowden's not our GM.

  11. #10
    Start the Reactor! *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: Silver Linings

    6 Nick Masset becomes a power arm for the late innings.
    That's my least likely...
    "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."

  12. #11
    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: Silver Linings

    I like the thread and post mth...al the negativity gets very old and stale - there is always something positive to look at.

    Masset is also my least likely and #17 Cozart emerging is probably on my top list of most important to the future of the team. Not all of them are likely to happen but I'll wager a goodly amount of them will be close or near enough to continue to have hope for that particular guy. I still stand by my prediction that enough if it will come true to get this team over .500 and right around 85 wins.

  13. #12
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Silver Linings

    I think one of the best things that could happen to the Reds organization this season is if Drew Stubbs' power develops. He's got great OBP skills (.098 IsoD), great speed, and he plays Gold Glove caliber defense. The only thing he's lacking right now is power. At 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, he has the frame to develop power and scouts still think he will. If he can develop just 15-20 homer power he could potentially be a game changer with his speed and defense.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

  14. #13
    Member Highlifeman21's Avatar
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    Re: Silver Linings

    mth

    what were those 25 things? I mean really....

  15. #14
    Member Topcat's Avatar
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    Re: Silver Linings

    Excellent post MTH and thanks for taking the time to project those thoughts of optimism .
    2006 Redzone mock Draftee's- 1(st) Daniel Bard(redsox), 1(st sup)( Jordan Walden (Angels), 2(nd) rd.- Zach Britton(Orioles), 3(rd) Blair Erickson(Cardinals), 3(rd) Tim Norton( Yankees),(cuz its a Tim Hortons thing

    Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory... lasts forever.

  16. #15
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Silver Linings

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlifeman21 View Post
    mth

    what were those 25 things? I mean really....
    All things that can reasonably happen. Not all will, but I'd bet a lot will.
    "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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