Now that Walt has put together a decent team from A to Z I have been thinking of what is key if the Reds are going to compete for a playoff spot.
I came up with three things I feel are the most important.
1. Health. Pretty true for every team but always at the top of the list. I sigh when I think what a healthy Edison would have done for this years team.
2. The team has a lot of solid players & a few above average players (Arroyo, Cordero, Rolen, Phillips). However we have only one true star: Votto. For the 2010 team to rise up and win 90 games we are going to have to see several guys step up to be star players. Candidates? IMO Bailey, Bruce & Cueto. All have good minor league pedigrees. All have experience in the bigs.
3. 5th starter production. As I said above the team is solid but seems to have a lot of decent yet unspectacular players. So we can't afford a pitcher with an ERA of 5.50 starting one out of every five games. Lets say the 5th starter stinks and we go 11-21 in the 32 games he starts. To win 90 games we would have to go 79-51 in the games started by the top four starters. Thats a tall order IMO with the pretty average offense we expect.