Both next year and beyond?
I believe Scott Rolen, when healthy, can continue to be a productive hitter in the Reds' lineup. However, based on the last 6-8 weeks of this season, it's going to be obvious the Reds should not expect that to be true in more than 80-100 games next season. I imagine 2012 will be much worse.
So my question: what do the Reds plan for 3B? Juan Francisco is neither qualified defensively or remotely ready offensively. His power is legit, but his lack of discipline and the huge holes in his swing make it unlikely he's anywhere near being more than Edwin Encarnacion redux.
Is Todd Frasier the long-term solution? He showed improvements last year, but right now I'm personally having a hard time projecting him as a ceiling much higher than league average. If he reaches that plateau, I'd be more than happy with him being transitioned into the starting role over the next 2 years. But if that's his ceiling (and maybe I'm undervaluing him), is that realistic to expect?
This current team, for this past year, was a good group and one that was good enough to do what it did. I fear the Reds taking too much a hands-off approach thinking lightning will strike twice next season, leaving too many holes to repeat this year's performance.
I hope the Reds are aggressive seeking a LF upgrade and, if Frasier or someone else won't be counted on to produce next year, a 3B replacement. Maybe Miguel Cairo is the answer, I don't know. He had a great season, though late down the stretch I thought he fell back to earth a bit. Because of his defense, I can at least live with Janish at SS. But LF and 3B concern me.