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Thread: 2003 standings predictions-jan 8

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  1. #1
    Glenn Braggs
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    Predicting a third or fourth place finish for the Reds is in my opinion already optimistic.


    The key points, why the Reds won't be competive:

    1) No solid starting pitching (2 starters even have yet to be named - Haynes was luckier but not better than in 2001 when he lost 17 games)
    2) Only one durable starter (Dempster)
    3) Average bullpen
    4) Unproven closer (Williamson)
    5) Best relief pitcher (White) likely to get traded to shed payroll
    6) Average overall defense
    7) Little team speed
    8) No true leadoff hitter
    9) Junior's production & health remain questionable
    10) Offensive production from catchers have to improve
    11) Team carries & pays two useless players: Castro & Stinnett

    and at least for some here another negative point

    12) Bob Boone is the manager
    (maybe that's a good thing afterall?!)



    The Reds rotation still needs a radical overhaul. Trying Graves as a starter is only the first step. Losing Dessens in combination with moving Reitsma to the bullpen places the Reds rotation among the worst in the NL. As long as no equal or better replacement for Dessens is signed/traded for, even the Pirates have a better rotation on paper.

    The infield defense will be average at best. Larson is a downgrade compared to Boone at third base. Larkin's defense is fair, but his loss of range and not having a good throwing arm anymore will hurt the Reds. Larkin will have to stay healthy and put up good offensive numbers ... otherwise he will be able to watch Lopez play "his" position from the bench.

    Speaking of second base, I doubt that Aaron Boone will have better defensive abilities in his first season there as Todd Walker. Hopefully groundball pitchers like Graves won't have to suffer too much through inadequate infield defense.

    Overall the offense is a bit lefty heavy and relies too much on a comeback by Ken Griffey Jr. and also improvements by Adam Dunn. All three outfielders will have to stay healthy to create an offensive force, considering that the Reds have no idea what kind of production they will get from two other natural power positions; first and third base.

    Especially the weak rotation makes me worry if the Reds can be a .500 team in 2003. Personally I doubt it. A fifth or last place finish in the NL Central is my projection.

  2. #2
    Glenn Braggs
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    Haynes isn't durable?

    How do you define "durable"?
    In 2002:
    - Haynes averaged nearly 6 innings per start (~5.8)
    - Dessens averaged nearly 6 innings per start (~5.9)
    - Dempster averaged exactly 6 1/3 innings per start

    I would call a starter "durable" if he is able to pitch over 6 innings per start.

    Which directly leads me to the following point:

    Dessens had a career year, and there is no reason to believe he can keep last years numbers up. They were an aberration. He is a 6 inning pitcher at best w/ a 4.40 era. We could get that from Brian Reith.

    As you see, it's a legend that Haynes was more durable in 2002 than Dessens. Actually it was the other way around although you can say, that both are strictly 6 inning pitchers. I remember a good statement from Red Storm some time ago. He wrote, that Boone and Gullett handled Hanyes beautifully, as they more often than not pulled the plug on the questionables in the exact perfect spot in the 5+ IP range to save the team from worse damage.

    Btw, do you believe that Haynes could repeat his 15 win season? The truth is that he was about the same pitcher with the Brewers in 2001, as he was with the Reds in 2002. Speaking of his ERA, Haynes had a career year ... otherwise he had almost the same hit, walk and IP ratio like with the Brewers. His just got better run support (4.71 in 2002 compared to 3.75 in 2001).

    bullpen looks better than last year actually Willy finished very strong, as did Chen.

    Why does the bullpen look better???
    Rijo is over the hill
    Sullivan had a horrible year, hopefully his arm is sound
    Chen did not finish especially strong
    (His last 10 outings: 9.53 ERA!)
    Riedling looks promising
    Hudson is unproven and gives up too many walks. His fastball is fast, but straight.

    Willy is more than proven IMO.

    He has been around a while, but is not a proven closer as his 4 blown saves in 12 chances in 2002 state.

    Best relief pitcher we have is not White, but is probably Sully. I look for him to bounce back from a subpar year.

    Last season White was among the best LH reliever in the majors. Unfortunately he also wasn't available for a longer stint because of injuries. In contrast to other lefthanders, Gabe is a great control pitcher but I understand that the Reds would rather go with Chen, Heredia or Mercker who get paid way less than White.

    And yet the reds were among the league leaders in SB. Casey is slow, but the rest ain't too bad. just their baserunning judgement is poor

    Aaron Boone stole 32, Dunn 19. I just saw that the Reds finished third in the NL in stolen bases, which surprised me quite a bit. The team lacks a speedy leadoff hitter with a good on base percentage, though.

  3. #3
    Glenn Braggs
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    Originally posted by TRF
    I define durable as 200 innings.

    Dessens has done that when?

    Dessens pitched 205 innings for the Reds in 2001.

    Haynes NEVER pitched 200 innings or more so far in his career.

    But I understand where you are coming from. If Dessens wouldn't have been injured last season, he would have pitched about 200 innings (like Haynes) in 34 starts. It's a bit problematic to compare Jimmy with Elmer, because Haynes has been a regular starting pitcher since 1997 and Dessens wasn't converted into a starter before 2000. But he even has more complete games (2 in 88 career starts) compared to 1 in 181 career starts.

    Since both of them are starters, the statistics proof that it is a myth that Haynes is more durable. They are both 6 inning pitchers who fade after passing this mark. If I remember correctly, Jimmy has an opponent batting average well over .300 against him after 6 innings.

    I would take Dessens over Haynes anyday.

  4. #4
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    I don't make predictions when it comes to MLB, and I'm not gonna start now

    But if the Reds land another quality arm for this rotation, I wonder how many of you will be back here "editing" your selections? :evilgrin:

    Because if we can add an arm, and maintain our health (key issue), then I think (not predicting ) that we can win our division.

  5. #5
    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Matty, Williams has had maybe a season and a half where he was actually any good. He has been an innings eater until last year, that is true. But until he joined the Cards, He was a 4.40 era pitcher. So maybe Duncan is a genious, maybe he can do a williams on Tomko. I just think that past Morris, there are some question marks. Will the real Woody Williams be the lights out guy you have seen for a total of one season worth of baseball, or the one the Padres jettisoned? Can anyone get through to Tomko? Wjat is the other 2/5 of the rotation? Is Carpenter going into the rotation? You guys lost some bullpen, what are the replacements like? Enjoy Joey Hamilton. I'm asking, because I don't know, and would appreciate the input.

    The Cubs are going to rely on four young pitchers (Wood, Prior, Cruz, Clement) and Estes. They have also bolstered their bullpen by adding Remlinger and Veres. I don't think much of their offense.

    The Astros may have the 2nd best young rotation in baseball, and they have a tremendous bullpen. Plus they have no place for Carlos Hernandez, who may be hurt. They have a lot of young pitchers ready to contribute now. (Sarloos, Munro and Redding) The killer B's are another year older, but the acquisition of Kent certainly helps a very potent offense. They have to be considered the favorites in the Central. Lance Berkman is the best young hitter in baseball.

    As for my Reds... I think the offense rises to the occasion, The pitching surprises, and we win the central by 10 games
    Suck it up cupcake.

  6. #6
    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    ok good point. I had forgotten that elmer got 200 in 2001.

    But haynes era has dropped every year since 1999.

    I like that trend, and think it will continue. After the allstar break, haynes was much better than he was in the first half, just a bit unlucky. pre- allstar break 4.44 era post ASB 3.76. runs and earned runs way down in the second half. long balls cut in half.

    Gully saw something here he could work with, and I am looking for a huge year from Haynes.

    They'll call me a prophet.
    Suck it up cupcake.

  7. #7
    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    I think the Cards are in for a surprise. Their rotation doesn't look that strong. Seattle looks to have a major fall this year IMO anaheim repeats. Watch out for the Padres (sleeper pick) I like Towers as a GM. Toronto and the White Sox could surprise in the AL.

    Of course the Reds go wire to wire and win it all

    BTW thanks for the SS discussion. I haven't goofed off at work like this in months.
    Suck it up cupcake.

  8. #8
    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    RT I'll couter your argument with one from rila:

    Last season the reds were in 1st place for over 100 days with only 1 starter named befroe ST. We now have three.

    Haynes isn't durable?

    bullpen looks better than last year actually Willy finished very strong, as did Chen.

    Willy is more than proven IMO.

    Best relief pitcher we have is not White, but is probably Sully. I look for him to bounce back from a subpar year.

    you got me on defense, unless Lopez beats out Larkin for the starting job. yeah right.

    And yet the reds were among the league leaders in SB. Casey is slow, but the rest ain't too bad. just their baserunning judgement is poor

    #9 got me again. Murphy's law in overdrive on Junior.

    #10 I disagree somewhat with this.

    #11 yup


    Dessens had a career year, and there is no reason to believe he can keep last years numbers up. They were an aberration. He is a 6 inning pitcher at best w/ a 4.40 era. We could get that from Brian Reith.

    Yup we are relying on Junior's and Casey's return to health. It's a month before ST so I am optimistic that both are healthy. Being lefty heavy in a division with few LH starters, w/ a short right field porch? I'm ok with that.

    My darkhorse players to make the team out of ST...

    Luke Hudson (co-closer) and Jose Acevedo (starter). I also think Chen will make the rotation.

    I am predicting 94 wins.

    flame away.

    Suck it up cupcake.

  9. #9
    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    I define durable as 200 innings.

    Dessens has done that when?

    Haynes has been a consistent innings eater his entire career. Last year he got better as the year went on. I look for improvement in most of his numbers except wins, because yes he did get lucky alot.

    I see the 'pen as:

    Sully
    Reitsma
    Felix Heredia
    Hudson
    Reidling
    Williamson (closing, though he should start IMO)

    If Rijo makes the club, it'll be as 7th man in the 'pen.... mop up duty.

    Take a closer look at willy's numbers. Over the last two months he was flat out dominating.
    Suck it up cupcake.

  10. #10
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    I'll give it a shot

    AL EAST
    Yankees
    Boston (WC)
    Toronto
    Baltimore
    Devil Rays

    AL CENTRAL
    Minnesota
    White Sox
    Indians
    Royals
    Tigers

    AL WEST
    Oakland
    Seattle
    Anaheim
    Texas

    NL EAST
    Philly
    Atlanta (WC)
    Mets
    Montreal
    Florida

    NL CENTRAL
    Houston
    Cards
    Cubs
    Reds
    Pirates
    Milwaukee

    NL WEST
    Giants
    Arizona
    LA
    San Diego
    Colorado

    World Series: Yankees over Braves

  11. #11
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    Last season the reds were in 1st place for over 100 days with only 1 starter named befroe ST. We now have three.
    I've seen this argument a lot, so I figured I would respond to it. The Reds essentially played well until May 31, where they had a 32-21 record. Their record the rest of the season? 46-63. So to make the argument that the Reds played well enough to have first place for 50 days, you also have to acknowledge that they played so poorly the 4 or so months of the season that they dropped 17 games in the standings.

    It doesn't make a difference to me that we have 3 named starters rather than 1. Jimmy Haynes is to me a mediocre run-of-the mill pitcher who was blessed with tremendous run support last year. He is always good for a 1.5 WHIP and an ERA over 4, very close to the stats he posted en route to losing 17 games in 2001. Ryan Dempster has gone from All-Star to mediocre pitcher very quickly, and this is especially disturbing because Chris Welsh commented several times on the games last year that his velocity was down and that trainers thought he had too much bulk. He was so incredibly inconsistent last year that at times it looked like he was throwing BP and other times he was striking 8 or 9 guys out.

    Graves to me is our only All-Star caliber pitcher, and he is just learning how to start rather than relieve. I am thinking 15 wins from him, but the funniest thing in their conversion with Graves was 1) they did it at the end of the season last year when he wasn't really in the shape to do it (arguably a Bowdenesque move in that his save total was reduced and subsequently his arbitration paycheck) and 2) they have spent most of the offseason paying musical chairs in the infield when Graves is an extreme ground ball pitcher. I have always thought that if you have a somewhat suspect pitching staff, you need to at least play good infield defense so as to not give the other team an extra out.

    Anyway, I am not at all impressed with the pitching staff, especially if guys who I am not overly fond of (Acevedo, Chen, etc) vie for the last rotation spots. Given that the organization seems prone to rushing pitchers through the minors without much regard for their health or progress is equally disturbing, as not help is really in sight.

    The offense and defense aren't looking spectacular right now either. Essentially we have a very poorly constructed lineup. We have 3 middle of the order producers, and then essentially a lineup filled with 6-7-8 hitters. We have no viable top of the order candidates and generally lack team speed and baserunning skill. We have way too many critical guys coming off of some sort of injury. Our infield defense is shabby at best, and as I think VR said, reeks of late inning defensive replacements. Only about half of our lineup has regard for the strikezone anymore, with the likes of Boone, LaRue, Lopez, and now unfortunately Larkin barely posting OBP's over .300. We are putting in Larson at 3B, whom Bowden and Boone seem convinced will hit 40 homers without acknowledging that he has put up a career OPS under 500 against RHP.

    And even though I don't like arguments centered on intangibles, I honestly feel like we are sitting on a powder keg here. We are going to have some sort of controversy between Jr and Boone, there is going to be a whole "Larkin last year of contract" thing again, and Bowden is on the last year of his deal, meaning that if you think the gloves have already come off, think again. Unfortunately, right now 2003 reeks of 2000 right now. High expectations dashed in what overall is an organization on a downward spiral.

    I picked fourth place and without a huge pitching overhaul I can't see a much better finish. I'm sorry for being so negative but the last 6-8 months in Redsville has greatly disillusioned me.

  12. #12
    Member
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    AL East
    New York
    Boston (WC)
    Toronto
    Baltimore
    Tampa Bay

    AL Central
    Minnesota
    Chicago
    Cleveland
    Detroit
    Kansas City

    AL West
    Oakland
    Anaheim
    Texas
    Seattle

    Oakland over Boston
    Minnesota over New York

    Oakland over Minnesota

    NL East
    Expos
    Philadelphia
    Atlanta
    New York
    Florida


    NL Central
    Houston
    Cincinnati (WC)
    Chicago
    St Louis
    Pittsburgh
    Milwaukee

    NL West
    Arizona
    Los Angeles
    San Francisco
    San Diego
    Colorado

    Cincinnati over Arizona
    Montreal over Houston

    Cincinnati over Montreal

    Cincinnati over Oakland in game 7 Acevedo WS -MVP
    "As long as I have fun playing, the stats will take care of themselves." - Ken Griffey Jr.

  13. #13
    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    2003 standings predictions-jan 8

    Since I'm a glutton for punishment, here are my official 2003 standings/playoff predictions. (Someone archive this badboy)

    AMERICAN LEAGUE
    EAST
    1. Boston
    2. New York
    3. Toronto
    4. Baltimore
    5. Tampa Bay

    Central
    1. Minnesota
    2. Chicago
    3. Cleveland
    4. Detroit
    5. Kansas City

    West
    1. Oakland
    2. Seattle (Wild Card)
    3. Texas
    4. Anaheim

    Oakland over Boston
    Seattle over Minnesota

    Oakland over Seattle

    NATIONAL LEAGUE
    East
    1. Philadelphia
    2. New York
    3. Montreal
    4. Atlanta
    5. Florida

    Central
    1. St Louis
    2. Houston (Wild Card)
    3. Chicago
    4. Cincinnati
    5. Pittsburg
    6. Milwaukee

    West
    1. San Fransisco
    2. San Diego
    3. Arizona
    4. Los Angeles
    5. Colorado

    St Louis over Philly
    San Fran over Houston

    San Fran over St Louis

    World Series
    Oakland over San Fran

  14. #14
    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    Originally posted by red-in-la
    Did I accidentally logon to the National Sportswriter's forum? You guys don't give the Reds much credit.
    What exactly have the Reds done that makes you think they'll be able to catch the Cards, Astros, and/or Cubs?

    All three of those teams are arguably stronger then when the season ended and the Reds are weaker.

  15. #15
    Man Pills
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    Same old, same old for the NL

    Atlanta, Houston, St. Louis, San Fran are clearly the best teams in the league on paper. I suspect a surprise will crop up though--Montreal? Florida? Pittsburgh?


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