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Thread: Looking at our division

  1. #1
    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Looking at our division

    Now granted it is only mid-December and there is still plenty of time left for teams to improve upon their current roster, but I gotta say so far that I don't see any of our now 4 remaining division mates as being notably improved.

    Brewers - For a team that has often been very active in past offeasons, I'm really surprised so far by their inaction. Their rotation is Gallardo and a series of question marks. I could see them going after Kyle Lohse or Edwin Jackson, but I'm not sure if they are willing to spend the money they will be looking for. I see them more so looking at guys like Brett Myers and Carl Pavano and perhaps trying for another Greinke/Marcum type trade. They have some sluggers, but right now the feckless Carlos Gomez is penciled in at CF and it seems likely that Jean Segura could have growing pains at SS.

    Pirates - They upgraded their catcher position and that's it. Their rotation is a series of question marks after A.J. Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez. They are basically the same team they were that lost all those games in August/September just with a better catcher. Can't write them off completely, but at some point they are going to have to actually prove they can have a winning season.

    Cubs - Epstein has done some nice patchwork with the rotation, acquiring solid starters like Scott Feldman and Scott Baker to go along with Matt Garza (who could still be traded) and Jeff Samardzija. Staying healthy is not the strong suit of these guys though. Like the Pirates, their lineup so far is basically the same barring a Soriano trade. It seems unlikely they will lose 100 games again this year but it's very, very hard to see them as a threat to the division right now.

    Cardinals - So far, traded Skip Schumaker and signed Randy Choate and Ty Wigginton. Obviously their lineup is set and their rotation is pretty much as well, though losing Lohse will hurt and Wainwright/Carpenter/Garcia each had injury/effectiveness problems in 2012. Still, they remain the biggest threat to a Red October.

    This is all just one man's opinion though. Feel free to chime in.
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

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  3. #2
    Member cincrazy's Avatar
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    Re: Looking at our division

    Good thread, I was thinking about this the other day. The Cubs and the Pirates are nowhere near as good as us in my opinion, the Brewers lost Marcum and Greinke from last year's opening day starting rotation, and the Cards haven't really done anything to get any better. Granted, I fully expect the Cards and Brewers to do SOMETHING before spring training. But not sure it will put either one of them on par with us.

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    Re: Looking at our division

    The Cards were plenty good last year, actually besting us in run differential.

    With a number of decent young pitching, they aren't going away anytime soon.

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    Re: Looking at our division

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    The Cards were plenty good last year, actually besting us in run differential.

    With a number of decent young pitching, they aren't going away anytime soon.
    Young pitching is always a huge question mark, and Carpenter and Garcia have a ton of question marks on their game going into next year. Can either last the whole year? And with Lohse leaving, that's another hole it creates. There's a lot of potential there, but also a lot of question marks. They bested us in run differential, but I think that's deceiving. After an unbelievably torrid April, they were a pretty average team.

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    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: Looking at our division

    I think the Cards will be in the race all summer and will push Cincinnati hard. The Pirates might make some noise but will ultimately fall off again; they are a few years away from being a force to be reckoned with. The Brewers need to get very lucky to contend but with the right moves and the right circumstances could be there at the end. The Cubs are flat out bad.

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    Re: Looking at our division

    Quote Originally Posted by cincrazy View Post
    After an unbelievably torrid April, they were a pretty average team.
    If there is one thing the Cards are not, it's an average team.

    They have some extremely high end prospects like Taveras, and some unusually high end pitching propsects.

    Their team is pretty much complete and there is no reason why the Reds and the Casds should not be battling for the division all year, with the loser being a wild card team.
    Last edited by PuffyPig; 12-14-2012 at 10:30 PM.

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    Never say Nevermore marcshoe's Avatar
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    Re: Looking at our division

    I look for a complete collapse from the Pirates. Not even an early season mirage. I think last year was totally disheartening, If this finally makes them dump Neal Huntington, this will be tor the best.

    The Brewers have a lot of work to do to contend again, and I don't see them getting the necessary pitching.

    The Cubs are a long way away still.

    The Cards remain solid. This should be a two team race.
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    Re: Looking at our division

    The Cardinals are still banking on a ton of offensive production from often injured and aging superstars...

    Oscar Tavares scares the heck out of me though...
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    Re: Looking at our division

    Not so sure about the Cardinals next season.

    They lose their Ace in Lohse with no one to fill that role. Wainwright should be better than he was last season, but history tells us he won't ever be as good he was before TJ surgery.

    But even if he does get back to Ace status, the rest of the rotation will be Lance Lynn, who fell apart after the league saw him enough times; Jake Westbrook, who will be 35, and was basically back of the rotation stuff at age 34; Jaime Garcia, whose coming off a big injury, and a down year, and Joe Kelly, who got knocked around his second time around the league. And while Miller and Rosenthal have nice arms, rookie pitchers are a huge risk.

    As for offense, they had a lot of guys outperform their talent and/or age, which is not likely to happen again. Beltran rarely has two good years in a row, and really wore down the second half last season, as did Furcal, who might be toast. No way Allen Craig OPS's near .900 again. And Yadier Molina's three wishes probably run out this season (or whatever else he used recently that comes out of a bottle to help his hitting.)

    I guess you can assume that they will always have their Cardinal magic, but in terms of talent, they aren't that good of a team.
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    Re: Looking at our division

    DP
    Last edited by 757690; 12-15-2012 at 03:30 AM.
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    Re: Looking at our division

    The Cardinals will still be our main competition. Barring any injuries this Reds team should run away with the central as we did last year. Our lineup is better for 2013. our starting pitching should be better with the addition of Chapman and another year under the belts of Latos and Bailey. Our bullpen may not be as strong as it was last year but a minor tweak here or there will solve that issue. This Reds team is built very solidly for the next 3 to 5 years IMO. Almost like the Indians teams of the 90's only lets hope we get to hang a banner.
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    Re: Looking at our division

    The differences between the projected St. Louis and Cincinnati lineups are health, age, 2B, starting rotation upside, and the pen.

    Health
    In short, the Cardinals are banking on oft-injured players at multiple positions. Freese, Furcal, Beltran, Jay-- all missed chunks of season last year and half of their offensive starters have significant injury histories. In the age of PED testing, counting on so many oft-injured players seems to be a very large gamble only a few teams take. Some years, everything comes together. Most years, however, the players are indeed what they say they are on the back of their bubble gum cards.

    Age
    Quick quiz: how many St. Louis regulars are over the age of 30? 35? Their lineup has three guys looking at AARP subscriptions and two more on the backside of 30. Only Jon Jay, Allen Craig, and David Freese (perhaps David Descalo) are in their prime seasons.

    Second Base
    In analyzing the teams, it pretty much all comes down to Brandon Phillips.
    Joey Votto >> Allen Craig
    Brandon Phillips >>>>> Danield Descalo
    Todd Frazier < David Freese
    Zack Cozart > Rafael Furcal
    Yadier Molina >>> Ryan Hanigan
    Matt Holiday > Ryan Ludwick
    Choo >> Jon Jay
    Jay Bruce = Carlos Beltran
    Yadier Molina < Choo

    The Cardinals can come close to matching the Cincinnati lineup when both teams are healthy. However, neither Descalo nor Wiggington are close to Phillips.

    Even if you add Oscar Taveras to the St. Louis lineup, who's he going to replace? Beltran? Likely. Jay? Perhaps. But, because both players are already very productive, the Cardinals gain little even if Taveras is the real deal (and, by almost all accounts, he's a year away and entirely for real).

    Starting Rotation Upside
    Carpenter is old. 37. He's been ridden hard and needs good stuff. There are huge question marks surrounding him. Adam Wainwright had a very good year coming back from TJ surgery, but I think we all agree he wasn't the Wainwright of old. Jaime Garcia struggled (and apparently ticked off teammates). Jake Westbrook is hurt, old, and largely a meh starter.

    Wainwright = Cueto
    Carpenter < Latos
    Garcia > Bailey
    Chapman > Miller
    Westbrook < Arroyo

    The Bullpens
    St. Louis really struggled with their pen for about three months last season. The Alphabet Brigade couldn't duplicate its post-season success from two years ago, and there just aren't that many high leverage arms for help on the St. Louis farm. In fact, depending on what's done with Leake/ Chapman, the Reds could dominate the pen rankings fairly easily.
    J. Motte = Broxton
    M. Boggs < Sean Marshall
    E. Mujica < Hoover
    M. Rzepczynski < LeCure
    T. Rosenthal = Arredondo
    R. Choate = Simon
    F. Salas < Ondrusek/ Simon/ Leake
    Last edited by Scrap Irony; 12-15-2012 at 08:10 AM.
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    Re: Looking at our division

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    The differences between the projected St. Louis and Cincinnati lineups are health, age, 2B, starting rotation upside, and the pen.

    Health
    In short, the Cardinals are banking on oft-injured players at multiple positions. Freese, Furcal, Beltran, Jay-- all missed chunks of season last year and half of their offensive starters have significant injury histories. In the age of PED testing, counting on so many oft-injured players seems to be a very large gamble only a few teams take. Some years, everything comes together. Most years, however, the players are indeed what they say they are on the back of their bubble gum cards.

    Age
    Quick quiz: how many St. Louis regulars are over the age of 30? 35? Their lineup has three guys looking at AARP subscriptions and two more on the backside of 30. Only Jon Jay, Allen Craig, and David Freese (perhaps David Descalo) are in their prime seasons.

    Second Base
    In analyzing the teams, it pretty much all comes down to Brandon Phillips.
    Joey Votto >> Allen Craig
    Brandon Phillips >>>>> Danield Descalo
    Todd Frazier < David Freese
    Zack Cozart > Rafael Furcal
    Yadier Molina >>> Ryan Hanigan
    Matt Holiday > Ryan Ludwick
    Choo >> Jon Jay
    Jay Bruce = Carlos Beltran
    Yadier Molina < Choo

    The Cardinals can come close to matching the Cincinnati lineup when both teams are healthy. However, neither Descalo nor Wiggington are close to Phillips.

    Even if you add Oscar Taveras to the St. Louis lineup, who's he going to replace? Beltran? Likely. Jay? Perhaps. But, because both players are already very productive, the Cardinals gain little even if Taveras is the real deal (and, by almost all accounts, he's a year away and entirely for real).

    Starting Rotation Upside
    Carpenter is old. 37. He's been ridden hard and needs good stuff. There are huge question marks surrounding him. Adam Wainwright had a very good year coming back from TJ surgery, but I think we all agree he wasn't the Wainwright of old. Jaime Garcia struggled (and apparently ticked off teammates). Jake Westbrook is hurt, old, and largely a meh starter.

    Wainwright = Cueto
    Carpenter < Latos
    Garcia > Bailey
    Chapman > Miller
    Westbrook < Arroyo

    The Bullpens
    St. Louis really struggled with their pen for about three months last season. The Alphabet Brigade couldn't duplicate its post-season success from two years ago, and there just aren't that many high leverage arms for help on the St. Louis farm. In fact, depending on what's done with Leake/ Chapman, the Reds could dominate the pen rankings fairly easily.
    J. Motte = Broxton
    M. Boggs < Sean Marshall
    E. Mujica < Hoover
    M. Rzepczynski < LeCure
    T. Rosenthal = Arredondo
    R. Choate = Simon
    F. Salas < Ondrusek/ Simon/ Leake
    You gotta figure 18 game winner Lance Lynn (with the 5th best K/9 ratio among starters in the majors) makes the team.

  15. #14
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Looking at our division

    The way I look at it the Reds are the best in this division and it isn't even close. With Choo they may have taken a step backwards on defense but their lineup will be much much much better. I also think you will see some improvement from Frazier, Cozart, and Mes next year, or at least you would hope these guys would get better after their rookie season. Their bench is also going to be improved without the services of Cairo and Valdez. I think Chapman over Leake in the short run will be an improvement, but it will put more stress on the pen.

    In the past two seasons the Cards have been the last team in the playoffs. My questions for them are how do their young pitchers do this season? How many game do Furcal and Beltran play? Allen Craig is a .900 OPS guy, really? Can Yadi continue to produce at the level he has without breaking down? As a catcher the guy plays 140 games, that has to take its toll. And finally what does the starting pitching staff do? Can Carpenter continue to defy age? What does Wainwright look like next season? How is Garcia's arm? I think they are second in this division but may be in a dog fight with the Pirates.

    I think this is the season the Pirates make a run at .500 and get it. I also wonder if this is the year the Pirates begin to flip some minor league prospects for a legit playoff run. As it is their lineup isn't good enough to compete and their rotation is solid but nothing spectacular. Do they find another Charlie Morton of 2012 or McDonald of 2011? I think they are 3rd in this division but wouldn't be surprised if they finished above the Cards or below the Brewers.

    If I were a fan of the Brewers I would be disappointed. They show up in droves and the organization tries, but it just doesn't pan out. Their has been talk of the Brewers doing something this off season but as it looks now they weren't players trying to get Grienke back. There was talk about getting Hamilton but that was just talk. Can their pitching hold up this season?

    The Cubs will get better this season but they will still be the Cubs.

  16. #15
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    Re: Looking at our division

    Meh. I tend to agree with this article about the Cardinals.

    http://mlbreports.com/2012/12/12/cardsinfield/

    Furcal is old and hasn't played more than 100-120 games in a season since about 2009. Descalso is a good glove, no hit 2Baseman.

    Holiday is 32 years old. Beltran turns 36 this April. Carpenter will be 38 in April.

    I was impressed with how Wainwright and Carpenter came back and pitched. But I think their best years are behind them due to injuries and possibly age. They will still be solid, but not great.

    I think their young pitchers will have to prove themselves all over again as the book is now out on them. Kind of like how Mike Leake's season went now that he's been scouted over and over.

    Yes. The Cardinals amazingly keep reloading with guys like Craig, Lynn, Freese, Jay and Kozma. But I think if you look at the key positions - age and chronic injuries are starting to catch up with them - Beltran, Furcal, etc.
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