Originally Posted by Scrap Irony
I realize it's a small sample size, but the Reds played .600 ball at the end of last season. Consider:
They got rid of a HUGE black hole at 3B (one reason I like the Rolen deal-- it obviously improved the team, no matter the cost).
They got rid of another in CF with Stubbs.
They got rid of a third black hole in the fourth starter spot with Bailey, who can now be counted on as a solid starter rather than a gigantic question mark. (Any team in baseball would want Bailey in its rotation at this point, something that certainly couldn't be said before July.)
Gomes provided an above average bat for LF and Bruce got better in RF. Not only that, Francisco hit well in an extremely short try-out and he and Heisey should provide some depth at the minor league level in case someone goes down.
True, their fifth and sixth black holes (SS and C) haven't been addressed. Too, it's also possible Gomes is non-tendered and either Dickerson, Heisey, or Francisco end up in LF rather than as bench and/or AAA depth.
But this isn't the team they played with in the middle of the summer. It's a much better product.
I agree. I understand the caution about late-season signs of life (in previous years it's been when support grows to keep the interim manager for next year), but these were structural improvements in the team. Also, we aren't remembering just how devastating the injuries were for most of the season. Off the charts, legendary amount of injuries.
I guess the one caution now is whether the off-season moves will create another set of poor lineup choices that the team eventually has to overcome to right itself.