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Thread: So What Is Different, If Anything, From This Year's Team To Last Year's?

  1. #1
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    So What Is Different, If Anything, From This Year's Team To Last Year's?

    I was drinking my morning coffee while sitting on my back deck this morning, and this question came to me, which got me to ponder on it. Caffeine can do that to us old folks.

    Now lets begin by working on an ASSUMPTION (nothing more). Because I realize it's only May and we've been in this position before, as far as W-L record goes, only to see it disappear as the season progresses.

    This team's "winning ways" began last Sept/Oct, when we finished the season 20-11, and has carried into this season... April we finished 12-11, May we're 17-9.

    But when I look at this current team I see basically the same team as last year with a few additions. We added Rolen, and called up Stubbs, in the second half of last year. We acquired everyone's fav SS in Cabrera in the off-season, and have witnessed the surprise called Leake to the rotation, and added Cairo to the bench, as well as youngsters Sutton and Heisey.

    And I might add there were also some positive subtractions from last year.

    But it appears to me that we really can't say that any one particular player, or even category, such as hitting, pitching, etc., has really been the sole factor in carrying this team so far.

    I really think it's been a team effort with practically everyone, at some point, stepping up and performing, contributing to our current winning ways.

    Our starting pitching certainly has been a huge plus this past month. The starting staff is 9-0 with a 2.82 ERA in 14 games since May 14.

    Ofensively.... check this out...we currently lead the NL in Runs, Hits, Hrs, RBIs, BA, OB%, SLG% and OPS. En fuego!

    We seem to have a good mix (blend) of veterans and youth. And the results we are seeing can found in both tangibles and the intangibles. Intangibles meaning, in that clubhouse and dugout, they seem to have a different attitude, that this team believes in itself, that they can play with anyone and win, and most importantly - they just don't give up.

    And I give credit to Baker for that too.

    But besides the "good ol' reliables", like a Rolen, Votto, or Phillips, we are getting positive production from "unlikely" sources, like a Cabrera and even Cairo, that many said wouldn't be there.

    I definitely see a different Bruce in 2010 at the plate. Maturity? And can the same be said with some of the other youth on this roster. We just need to play them, be patient, and quit putting so much pressure on them.

    And one can quote all the career stats they want on Cabby, but since Baker dropped Stubbs down to #8, and took some of the heat off of him, and put Cabrera at lead-off, with Phillips batting second, it looks like a stroke of genius on Dusty's part.

    Cabby, since he's been leading off, is batting .321 and has an OB% of .372. I could care less what his OPS is. Those other two are the most important stats for me leading off.

    Phillips in the #2 slot? .296 BA .367 OB% .500 SLG% .867 OPS

    These guys are leading the way in getting on base in front of guys like Votto, Rolen, Bruce, and Gomes.

    And I definitely like our catching tandem in Hernandez and Hanigan.

    I'm really beginning to believe in this 2010 team, and that it's not just a fluke, meaning, I think they will make this one helluva race in the NL Central, and could win it.

    Thought?
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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  3. #2
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: So What Is Different, If Anything, From This Year's Team To Last Year's?

    It's team chemistry, plain and simple.

    Seriously, I think a big factor is Scott Rolen's influence toward professionalism. I know his history is that he gets fussy after awhile, but he seems to be exactly what the franchise needed to instill an attitude of professionalism and bringing intensity. The young core is eating it up and benefitting from that attitude.

    One thing that impressed me I heard in a telecast the other night. Rolen told Welsh that when he is taking grounders in pregame warmups, he throws seeds across the diamond the same as he would in the game to properly prepare. It is that type of thing that sets the tone for how the Cincinnati Reds go about their business and it is infectious.
    Can't win with 'em

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  4. #3
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: So What Is Different, If Anything, From This Year's Team To Last Year's?

    Last year at this time the Reds were above .500. But a lot is different. Jay Bruce is not the lazy fly machine he was last year. Arroyo is off to a better start. Rolen is a huge upgrade and if Votto is back soon instead of missing a month that will be a huge upgrade. Of course, even a poor hitting Stubbs is a mega-gigantic-super-huge upgrade over the non-baseball player that was in CF in 2009. Last season started out with the awful idea of a judy hitting platoon in LF of Dickerson and Hairston. Hairston went on a bit of a power streak that helped get The Reds over .500 at this point last season, but the production from Gomes/Nix/Heisey has been a big upgrade as well. Cabrera and Hernandez are both doing well compared to Gonzalez and last year's version of Hernandez. And Finally, Mike Leake is a huge upgrade in the 5th spot in the rotation over Micah Owings.

    Its offset a bit by the bullpen. Last season Masset was lights out, Herrera was good and Cordero was solid. This year they are all dramatically worse.

    Last season the rotation went south at about this time. Arroyo had a horrible June, Volquez was lost in late May and Cueto started giving it up a lot. As poor as the left side of the IF and the OF was, the rotation blowing up (in a bad way) ended any hopes for contention before the offense could completely kill it on its own.
    "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

  5. #4
    You're being very UnDude. sonny's Avatar
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    Re: So What Is Different, If Anything, From This Year's Team To Last Year's?

    Don't forget about the importance of experience. A little seasoning goes a long way on the field and in the clubhouse. I do agree Rolan has set the tone for this teams attitude, and Gomes is quirky enough to keep them loose. I like this team, They remind me of the 2008 Rays
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    Member VR's Avatar
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    Re: So What Is Different, If Anything, From This Year's Team To Last Year's?

    Situational hitting has been spectacular.

    Odd little observation....but these guys are coming to the plate with the lead or guys in scoring position with blood dripping from their mouth.. instead of sucking their thumbs as in years past.

    Starters are obviously the huge difference that gives hope for sustained success as well.
    Harang is the 5th starter, and LeCure, Wood, Chapman and Volquez all look to be in the queue as well.
    Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand

  7. #6
    Member membengal's Avatar
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    Re: So What Is Different, If Anything, From This Year's Team To Last Year's?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    Last year at this time the Reds were above .500. But a lot is different. Jay Bruce is not the lazy fly machine he was last year. Arroyo is off to a better start. Rolen is a huge upgrade and if Votto is back soon instead of missing a month that will be a huge upgrade. Of course, even a poor hitting Stubbs is a mega-gigantic-super-huge upgrade over the non-baseball player that was in CF in 2009. Last season started out with the awful idea of a judy hitting platoon in LF of Dickerson and Hairston. Hairston went on a bit of a power streak that helped get The Reds over .500 at this point last season, but the production from Gomes/Nix/Heisey has been a big upgrade as well. Cabrera and Hernandez are both doing well compared to Gonzalez and last year's version of Hernandez. And Finally, Mike Leake is a huge upgrade in the 5th spot in the rotation over Micah Owings.

    Its offset a bit by the bullpen. Last season Masset was lights out, Herrera was good and Cordero was solid. This year they are all dramatically worse.

    Last season the rotation went south at about this time. Arroyo had a horrible June, Volquez was lost in late May and Cueto started giving it up a lot. As poor as the left side of the IF and the OF was, the rotation blowing up (in a bad way) ended any hopes for contention before the offense could completely kill it on its own.
    They had hit their high water mark right before this point, mth, and the back-pedaling had begun. My hopes are buoyed by the fact that this team is putting its foot to the floor at the moment, and that the wins are continuing.

  8. #7
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: So What Is Different, If Anything, From This Year's Team To Last Year's?

    The attitude is there as well...these guys seem like they are enjoying themselves, not just going through the motions as in years past.

  9. #8
    Flash the leather! _Sir_Charles_'s Avatar
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    Re: So What Is Different, If Anything, From This Year's Team To Last Year's?

    What's different? IMO the biggest change is health. Plain and simple. Sure, Cabrera's helped, as has Rolen and Leake. But just being healthy is an unbelievable boost to this team IMO. I still firmly believe we could've seen something like this (not to this extreme) last year if not for all the DL trips. This team's chemistry was solid last year as well.
    2014 predictions:
    99-63 WS champs (Cards take 2nd WC, Mil 3rd, Pit 4th, Chi 5th)
    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
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  10. #9
    Kmac5 KoryMac5's Avatar
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    Re: So What Is Different, If Anything, From This Year's Team To Last Year's?

    For me it has been the batting order adjustments. This team started to take off once Dusty made the changes to the line up. O-Cab to lead off, Stubbs down to 7th, Phillips finally out of clean up spot and into the 2 spot, and Rolen into the coveted 4 spot. Everything now depends on whether or not folks can keep this current rate of production up.

    This change in the line up coincides with the team getting better starting pitching right around this time so not only were they hitting they started pitching really well too. I wonder how much credit we can give Price for the good pitching this team has been getting.

    I felt we had a good team at the beginning of the season looks like a jump start was in order to shake things up a bit. Glad Dusty finally started to read the threads on here about moving guys around in the order.
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  11. #10
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: So What Is Different, If Anything, From This Year's Team To Last Year's?

    I don't think there's anything mystical about it other than offensive synchronization (that is, "when" hits occurs is synching up for everyone) and better starting pitching.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

  12. #11
    Member paulrichjr's Avatar
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    Re: So What Is Different, If Anything, From This Year's Team To Last Year's?

    One bit of cold water. The Reds are 20-11 in the Central. The Cards are 12-10. We have played 9 more games against our own division that is by the way not real good. I expect the Reds to win everyday which is a complete 180 for me but there is no doubt that some of this hot streak has been made on some bad teams.
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  13. #12
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: So What Is Different, If Anything, From This Year's Team To Last Year's?

    Mostly a combination of good young players aging and good luck in that veterans are all producing at the same time.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  14. #13
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: So What Is Different, If Anything, From This Year's Team To Last Year's?

    Quote Originally Posted by sonny View Post
    Don't forget about the importance of experience. A little seasoning goes a long way on the field and in the clubhouse. I do agree Rolan has set the tone for this teams attitude, and Gomes is quirky enough to keep them loose. I like this team, They remind me of the 2008 Rays
    Agree that some guys growing up is a big factor.
    "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

  15. #14
    Tired of talk. Win! Joseph's Avatar
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    Re: So What Is Different, If Anything, From This Year's Team To Last Year's?

    Sushi at the ballpark.

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  16. #15
    Member cincrazy's Avatar
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    Re: So What Is Different, If Anything, From This Year's Team To Last Year's?

    I think a huge factor is the depth of the lineup. There are no easy outs, 1-8, especially since the switch was made to put Stubbs in the 7 hole. When Nix plays against righties, he can hurt you, when Heisey gets a spot start, he can hurt you. The depth in the lineup is just shocking to me, because before the year I thought the offense would be average at best. So far, and I know it's early, but so far, it's been the best in the NL.


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