The Reds are not good this year. They are not bad either. And that's an improvement. I hope I'm wrong and the Reds find a way to compete for the playoffs this season, but through 25 games I honestly see absolutely no reason to believe we'll be in contention come September. This season has 78-82 wins written all over it to me-- and depending on how we get there, I could very well be fine with that.
So I'm not really watching the games right now with any real intent interest to be perfectly honest. These Reds are what they are-- a fairly mundane group that is better than some miserable recent incarnations.
But there is one thing that really interests/intruiges me and I would really like to enter next season having hammered it down.
Heading into 2011, I want to know EXACTLY what the rotation is going to be for the following 2-3 years. I want to be comfortable with the 5 guys and what their role(s) will be. I want to know who the ace is going to be, who the workhorse is going to be, etc.
IMO, if we enter 2011 with a scramble in the rotation or 2-3 slots that aren't producing, then 2010 will have been a failure, regardless of how many games we win.
I want two of those guys to enter 2011 as sure-fire top of the rotation guys. I want 2 more to be completely entrenched in the middle and I want another 1-2 to battle it out for the 5th spot....may the best man win, regardless of experience.
If I could realistically lay it out, it would go something like this:
Leake continues his stellar rookie year and Chapman proves by October to be fully ready for the rotation in 2011.
Leake and Champman are your 1-2 punch.
Cueto and Bailey both gain enough consistency for them each to be considered reliable 3-4 starters.
Wood and Volquez do well enough to allow us to deal Arroyo-- who has nice value for most any contending team.
Harang is gone
I want that to be set in stone next year. If that's the case and each guy has proven he belongs in his respective spot, then I think we can really start talking about meaningful baseball in Cincinnati.