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Cincinnati Reds Preview

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, March 29, 2010 07:10 PM | Comments: 6
Analysis, Opinion, Posts

Cincinnati Reds: (78-84, 4th place – NL Central in 2009)

Same old, same old for the Cincinnati Reds. It’s been a decade of mediocrity, and nothing was done a year ago to change that same old, same old mentality.  True, they aren’t the Pirates, but they are close.  The Reds have averaged just 74 wins over the past nine seasons, or, since their last winning season.  That was in 2000 when they won 85 games. It go so bad, the Phillies managed to run up a 22-1 victory over Cincy in June.  Just that kind of year.

In 2009, Dusty Baker’s crew was slightly unlucky.  Injuries ravaged the club from top to bottom.  Joey Votto, their young, slugging first baseman appeared in only 131 games, yet somehow managed a .322 average with 25 home runs. His .981 ranked third best in the National League behind only Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder.  Votto is in some serious company.  Now, if only the rest of his team could catch up.

Other injuries included ace pitcher Edinson Volquez undergoing Tommy John surgery after just nine starts.  Third baseman Edwin Encarnacion was walking wounded throughout his Reds career and ’09 was no different as he missed two months with a broken wrist, then was traded to Toronto for Scott Rolen. Their lineup was a merry-go-round of players, as only two regulars (Votto and second baseman Brandon Phillips) reached 500 plate appearances.  Yikes.

2010 Season:

How will it get better for the Reds?  Well, there are several “What-if’s”.  What if the Reds get some pitching? Of course, it’s always about the arms race and a year ago they were just plain awful.  Bronson Arroyo was the best tosser of the bunch, going 15-13 with a 3.84 ERA, his best stat line in four years.  Johnny Cueto needs to do a 180 back to his sizzling rookie year and Homer Bailey finally needs to take a step toward becoming a major league pitcher.  An Aaron Harang comeback couldn’t hurt either.  He won 32 games in 2006 and 2007, then just 12 in ’08 and ’09 .  They need him.

As for phenom rookie Aroldis Chapman; it’s a harsh reality that Dusty Baker might be handling him this year.  Baker has been known to overwork his young pitching and wear out their arms, just as he did with Mark Prior in Chicago. Let’s hope he’s easier on Chapman.

Offensively, will anyone hit?  It’s a basic question, but the answer is one that has eluded this Reds ballclub. As a unit, they managed a .247/.318/.394 split line, which was near the bottom in the NL for each category. They are led by Votto and Phillips and will need to be once again.  However, Jay Bruce, Rolen, and new shortstop Orlando Cabrera need to make this a feared lineup.  Easier said than done.  Because it hasn’t been done since the turn of this century.

With the Central strong at the top with St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Chicago, it’ll be tough for Cincinnati to make a move up.

PREDICTION: 75-87

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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1714 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Burrgundy

    The Reds paid a lot of money for Scott Rolen, who is 35 this year and very, very injury prone. He has lost a lot of power and I would be surprised if he lasted 100 games. I hope he has a good season but he is a gamble I would not take, not for the money he is being paid this year.

     
  • Posts: 0 Blaise

    I think the Reds finish in a distant second.

    They have pitching depth, even if they don’t have an emerging ace, all are very solid. Homer Bailey was a monster towards the end of the year.

    The offense has a lot of potential with Phillips, Votto, Bruce and Rolen. Bruce is the deciding factor. If the top 3 are great, and Rolen is solid, the Reds will be a nice surprise this year.

    Can’t stop Coco either. AND DANNY RAY HERRARA

     
  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    I think they have the talent to surprise – Cabrera will really help out by getting on base for Philips (the 2nd best 2nd baseman in the NL) and Votto. They still have a lot of holes, though, and not a lot of veteran leadership (Iwouldn’tcall Rolen a leader, and Arroyo wants to be a rock star vs a pitcher). Dusty will probably kill the young pitching staff (the day they signed Chapman, they shold have fired dusty). If I owned the Reds, I would try to get Moyer for the player/coach role he performed so well as a Phil.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I kinda think Rolen has a good year.. playing on grass again… a hitter’s ballpark

    Cabrera, Rolen, Phillips, Votto, Bruce, … Drew Stubbs

    Harang.. has had up & down seasons, but he’s a legit pitcher when he’s ON
    Bronson Arroyo.. their version of Joe Blanton?
    Cueto and Volquez . . . when healthy are both nasty
    Homer Bailey.. had a nice 2nd half, everyone still thinks he can be nasty

    and Aroldis Chapman . . . probably the second most talked about pitcher in Spring Training behind Strausburg of the Nationals

    with Francisco Cordero as a Closer . . . I think they’re about a .500 team

    of course, staying healthy is the key.. but they’ve been banged up so much, they are due for a healthy season, combined that with a whole bunch of up & coming talent. . . . the Reds realyl could surprise some people

    I thought it was a joke when they were a “sexy” pick early this year.. but in reality, they’ve got more talent than MOST of the National League

    If everyone is afraid of the Marlins.. this is a team with the same amount of Pitching Talent.. a better top to bottom offense.. and a better bullpen . . . and they play in a weaker division

     
  • Posts: 0 Phil

    I have liked your previews thus far, but I completely 100% disagree with this one. The Reds young talent is astounding. Drew Stubbs, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, and Aroldis Chapman is a ridiculously good young core. Then they have their nice veteran presence in Rolen, Phillips, Harang, Arroyo, and Cabrera. They have a good bullpen, as well. Their defense is also pretty good.

    Look at what Bailey did down the stretch last year. His numbers were great. It shows me that he finally started to find his own. They have a lot of pitching depth, too if someone goes down. Cueto was lights out the first two months of the year. He’s still very young, so I think he can bring it together for a full season of being good. Volquez comes back mid season, and that’s like trading for a top of the rotation pitcher in the middle of the year. They also have a very good prospect brewing in the minors whose name is slipping my mind right now. He’s projected to play 1B and Votto will move to LF or vice versa.

    The Cardinals are a good team, but they are a very top heavy team…probably the most top heavy in baseball. If Pujols, Holliday, Wainwright, or Carpenter get injured then they are going to be in a world of trouble. The Cubs have a decent pitching staff and offense, but nothing that really stands out to me. The Brewers have a very good offense and a mediocre pitching staff. The Pirates and the Astros aren’t good at all. I honestly think the Reds can make a run at the division, but it will all rely on the health of the Cards top 4. If they stay healthy then the Reds have no shot. If one goes down I can actually see the Reds winning the division.

     
  • Posts: 0 Kymberly Odam

    We are so sad that lost has completed, I adored this tv show very much.

     
 
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