MLB.com (not the most respected source for analysis, I know) has had an ongoing feature this week in which they rank the top 10 teams in each of the four major areas of production: lineup, rotation, bullpen, defense. Pretty quietly, the Reds have done fairly well:
#1 offense in the NL (5th overall)
#1 defense in the NL (3rd overall)
#4 bullpen in the NL (7th overall)
No Reds here, but the rotation list:
This certainly has me excited for the year. I think the defensive prowess of this team goes without saying, though I believe the Cards have just as much claim to the offense throne as we do. And the fact that our rotation doesn't crack the 'honorable mentions' list is somewhat telling - you could make a very real argument that there are 15 ML rotations better than ours, and I think we can agree that it's difficult to win a championship with a bottom-half of the league starting pitching core. Still, this has to get any Reds fan crazy excited for this season.