Tagged: Cincinnati Reds

2010 Cincinnati Reds Preview

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reds.gif2009 Record: 78-84, 4th NL Central

2009 Prediction: 83-79, 3rd NL Central

2010 Prediction: 1st NL Central

 

Impact Player: Joey Votto

Impact Pitcher: Johnny Cueto

Top Prospect Player:
OF/2B/3B Todd Frazier

Top Prospect Pitcher:
LHP Aroldis Chapman

 

Manager: Dusty Baker, 3rd Season
(152-172, .481)

 

Significant
Acquisitions
: SS Orlando Cabrera,
INF Aaron Miles, RHP Jose Arredondo, LHP Aroldis Chapman

Significant Losses: INF Adam Rosales, OF Jonny Gomes,
C Craig Tatum, RHP David Weathers

 

The Reds didn’t make very many changes to their team this
past offseason, but the moves they did make were significant.  The acquisition of Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman might be the most
significant offseason move that any team made with the exception of course of
the Phillies and Roy Halladay.  As many as 15 teams were rumoured to be in
the running for the fire-balling lefty, including the Jays, but the Reds won
out and it might be a defining moment for a franchise that has been to the
playoffs just once since winning it all in 1990.  Do the Reds have the talent to challenge for
the division or will they continue to be a mediocre team with a bright future?

 

Pitching

johnny-cueto.jpg

Chapman will probably be in the rotation at some point in
2010, but it isn’t likely that he’ll be there on opening day.  Cincy will likely send him to AAA to get a
feel for professional hitters, but expect him to pitch around 125-150
major-league innings in 2010.  Until the
phenom arrives, the Reds have some solid talent in their rotation.  Aaron
Harang
was once a perennial Cy Young contender, but his last two years have
been about as bad as any two years in baseball. 
Combined between 2008 and 2009, Harang is 12-31, losing more games in
that span than anyone else in baseball. 
There’s no doubt that Harang has the stuff to be a top-of-the-rotation
pitcher and he’s still only 31, and the Reds are hoping he can get back to the
form that saw him win 32 games in ’06-’07. 
Bronson Arroyo could be one
of the more underrated starters in the league; last season, the former Red Sock
posted 15 wins and a 3.84 ERA.  Arroyo’s
biggest asset may be his durability; he had 220.1 innings pitched last season,
the fifth straight year he’s notched at least 200.  This is the year Johnny Cueto should step into the light as a true number one
pitcher.  After bursting onto the scene
in the first month of his rookie season, Cueto has struggled while showing
flashes of just how brilliant he can be. 
The Reds will attempt to push him over 200 innings for the first time
this season and don’t be surprised if Cueto has 15+ wins at the top of this
rotation.  Homer Bailey has been this franchise’s highest-touted prospect for
a few years and should finally be with the team for a full season.  Last year, Bailey was 8-5 in 113.1 innings
and looked to be turning the corner late in the year.  The fifth spot will be a Spring fight between
Chapman, Micah Owings, Justin Lehr, and Matt Maloney.  The team’s
best pitcher, Edinson Volquez, is
out until at least August recovering from Tommy John surgery.

 

Francisco Cordero
has quietly become one of the game’s best closers and is back this year.  Last year, Cordero had a 2.16 ERA and 39
saves in an All-Star campaign.  The Reds
have some nice options to bridge the gap to Cordero as well with 40-year-old
lefty Arthur Rhodes and righthander Nick Masset expected to be the
lefty-righty setup combo.  Daniel Ray Herrera and Jared Burton will be the lefty-righty
combo in the middle innings, while the team took a flyer on Jose Arredondo who will look to rebound
from an awful 2009 with the Angels.  One
of the casted-out starters will pitch in long-relief.  Pedro
Viola
, Carlos Fisher, Mike Lincoln, Jon Adkins, and Kip Wells
will compete for spots as well.

 

 

ROTATION

Age

B/T

Aaron
Harang

31/2

R/R

Bronson
Arroyo

33

R/R

Johnny
Cueto

24

R/R

Homer
Bailey

22/3

R/R

Micah
Owings

27

R/R

 

 

 

BULLPEN

 

 

Francisco
Cordero

34/5

R/R

Arthur
Rhodes

40

L/L

Daniel
Ray Herrera

25

L/L

Nick
Masset

27/8

R/R

Jose
Arredondo*

26

R/R

Jared
Burton

28/9

R/R

Justin
Lehr

32/3

R/R

 

 

 

POSSIBILITIES

 

 

Edinson
Volquez
Out until at least
August

26/7

R/R

Pedro
Viola

26/7

R/L

Aroldis
Chapman*

22

L/L

Matt
Maloney

26

L/L

Carlos
Fisher

27

R/R

Mike
Lincoln

35

R/R

Jon
Adkins

32/3

L/R

Kip
Wells

33

R/R

*=newly acquired

 

 

Lineup

joey-votto.jpg

The Reds have far too much firepower to finish 11th
in the NL in runs scored and 8th in homeruns again.  Expect a big change in that regard in
2010.  As good as some of the young pitchers
are on this team, the offense is what will carry them.  Jay
Bruce
is one of the best pure power hitters in the NL.  In only 758 career at-bats, Bruce has 43
homeruns and 110 RBI.  This should be the
year that Bruce is left in to face lefthanded pitching and has a monster year;
he’ll play rightfield.  Drew Stubbs will be given the chance to
play center after Willy Taveras was
unloaded in a trade.  Stubbs showed
terrific speed and power in a short stint with the big club last year, and the
speed should stay; don’t expect huge power numbers or a terrifically high
average just yet.  Chris Dickerson is the expected leftfielder although he’ll likely
be in a platoon with Wladimir Balentien.  Laynce
Nix
also hit 15 homeruns last season and could get a look somewhere.

 

Toronto-native Joey
Votto
(who I played against a few times back in my teen years; and yes, he
was really good then too, my friend Ryan who played with me back then says Votto
hit a 420 foot homerun off of him at only 16 years old) is back at first
base.  In spite of losing his father and
battling depression throughout the year, Votto still hit .322 with a .567
slugging percentage and 25 homeruns.  A
healthy Votto could be an MVP candidate. 
Brandon Phillips is one of
the best offensive second basemen in the NL; he drove in 98 runs last year in
another 20/20 season.  Scott Rolen was acquired from Toronto
last July for Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Roenicke and prospect pitcher Zach Stewart and is back at third
base.  Rolen isn’t the power-hitter he
once was, but he’s still a .300-hitter who plays terrific defense.  The Reds surprised a lot of people when they
signed shortstop Orlando Cabrera in
the offseason.  Cabrera is a solid player
with a ton of playoff experience and is coming off a 77 RBI year with Oakland
and Minnesota.  The catcher will be Ramon Hernandez who was hurt for much
of last season but is still a great defensive catcher who is adept at handling
his pitching staff.

 

Balentien and Nix are the extra outfielders, while Paul Janish and offseason acquisition Aaron Miles are the extra
infielders.  Ryan Hanigan is as solid as they come for backup catchers and will
do a nice job starting if Hernandez gets hurt. 
Utility-men Drew Sutton and Chris Burke could also crack the roster
and veteran infielder Miguel Cairo
is going to Spring Training on a minor-league contract.  The Reds are outfielder Josh Anderson‘s fourth organization in a year, and he’ll also look
to make the team out of Spring.

 

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Pos.

 

Age

B/T

CF

Drew
Stubbs

25

R/R

SS

Orlando
Cabrera*

35

R/R

1B

Joey
Votto

26

L/R

2B

Brandon
Phillips

28/9

R/R

RF

Jay
Bruce

23

L/L

3B

Scott
Rolen

35

R/R

LF

Chris
Dickerson
(CF, RF)

28

L/L

C

Ramon
Hernandez
(1B)

33/4

R/R

 

 

 

 

 

BENCH

 

 

OF

Wladimir
Balentien
(RF, LF)

25/6

R/R

OF

Laynce
Nix

(LF, CF, RF)

29

L/L

C

Ryan
Hanigan

29/0

R/R

INF

Aaron
Miles*
(2B, 3B, SS)

33

S/R

INF

Paul
Janish
(SS, 3B)

27

R/R

 

 

 

 

 

POSSIBILITIES

 

 

UTIL

Drew
Sutton
(2B, SS, 3B, LF, RF)

26/7

S/R

INF

Miguel
Cairo*
(2B, 3B, 1B)

35/6

R/R

UTIL

Chris
Burke*
(LF, RF, 2B, SS, 3B)

30

R/R

OF

Josh
Anderson*
(RF, CF, LF)

27/8

L/R

 *=newly acquired

 

I don’t think the Cardinals will be anything special this
season, therefore you don’t need to be special to win the NL Central.  The Reds have some depth in their pitching
staff and a young a lineup that’s ready to take the next step and become one of
the elite in the NL.  Players like Cueto,
Votto, Bruce and Chapman are about to become stars and the Reds appear to have
a very good shot at surviving the season and getting into the playoffs.

Final Prediction:
85-77, 1st NL Central

Chapman appears to be headed to the Queen’s city

Well, the pipe-dream of the Jays one day brandishing a starting rotation that includes both Kyle Drabek and Aroldis Chapman appears to be all but over.  Chapman has reportedly agreed to a five-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds, according to multiple sources.

It was worth a shot and I commend Anthopoulos for trying, but in the end it was not to be.

At least he won’t be suiting up for an American League foe…or worse, the Yankees or Red Sox.

In other news, Vladimir Guerrero has signed with the Texas Rangers.  The deal is reportedly for one year with a mutual option for a second year with a buyout on the club side.  Guerrero is apparently going to be the DH which should help him stay healthy and possibly return to the form he has exhibited throughout his career.

’09 Preview — Cincinnati Reds

MLB_Reds.gif2008 Record: 74-88, 5th NL Central
2009 Prediction: 3rd NL Central

Impact Player: Jay Bruce
Impact Pitcher: Edinson Volquez
Top Prospect: Yonder Alonso, 1B

Significant Acquisitions: C Ramon Hernandez, CF Willy Taveras, P Arthur Rhodes, 1B Daryle Ward, OF Jonny Gomes, OF Jacque Jones
Significant Losses: C Paul Bako, OF Corey Patterson, OF Ryan Freel, C Javier Valentin, UTIL Jolbert Cabrera, P Josh Fogg, P Matt Belisle, P Jeremy Affeldt, P Gary Majewski

The Reds haven’t had a winning season since 2000 and haven’t been to the playoffs since 1995 when they lost to the world champion Braves in the NLCS.  The 2009 Reds, however, have many young bourgeoning players who are on the verge of becoming superstars.  The team enters the spring with the most promise it’s had since they acquired Ken Griffey Jr. in 2000.  The NL Central is expected to take a step back as a whole this year so it could be the year that we see a winning team in Cincinnati again.ont Definitions */
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Pitching
When the Reds traded Josh Hamilton to the Rangers last off-season for little-known prospect pitcher Edinson Volquez, many people thought Cincinnati got the raw end of the deal.  Indeed when Hamilton went on to post MVP-type numbers in Texas, it appeared as though that was the case.  Volquez, however, ended up balancing the scales of the trade when he made the NL All-Star team and finished with a 17-6 record and a 3.21 ERA.  Volquez is now the ace of this staff and should be for years to come.  Bronson Arroyo emerged as a solid #2 pitcher posting 15 wins but his ERA was a bit high at 4.77.  However, that could have been partially because Great American Ballpark is about the size of a little league diamond.  Aaron Harang had a forgettable ’08 tying Barry Zito for the most losses in the NL at 17.  Harang’s ERA was only 0.01 higher than Arroyo’s and he still has solid #3 pitcher-type stuff; expect a rebound in ’09.  After those three, three pitchers are expected to compete for the final two jobs with the frontrunners being 23-year-old Johnny Cueto and 26-year-old Micah Owings who was acquired in the Dunn deal last July.  Cueto was 9-14 with a 4.81 ERA in 174 innings last year while Owings was 6-9 with a 5.93 ERA mostly with the Diamondbacks.  Highly-touted prospect Homer Bailey might have a shot at cracking the rotation as well but was 0-6 in a short stint with the club last year and never really recovered at the AAA level.

The Reds bullpen could be one of their strenghs in 2009.  Closer Francisco Cordero is back after posting 34 saves last year and a 3.33 ERA.  He’ll look to be a little more consistent this year however; he blew 6 saves in ’08.  39-year-old David Weathers is back for another year and was solid last season posting a 3.25 ERA and Jared Burton will look to help him setup Cordero.  From the left side, the Reds bring back 26-year-old Bill Bray who was outstanding last season with a 2.87 ERA and should benfit from a full season at the major-league level.  The team also signed near-senior Arthur Rhodes who posted a 2.04 ERA last year with Seattle and Florida including a stupifying 0.68 ERA in 25 games with the Marlins.  A number of other pitchers could vie for the final one or two spots including Mike Lincoln, Nick Masset, Ramon A. Ramirez, Josh Roenicke, and lefty Daniel Ray Herrera.

Rotation (Handedness/Age on June 30, 2009)

  • Edinson Volquez (R/25)
  • Bronson Arroyo (R/32)
  • Aaron Harang (R/31)
  • Johnny Cueto (R/23)
  • Micah Owings (R/26)

Bullpen

  • Francisco Cordero (R/34)
  • David Weathers (R/39)
  • Jared Burton (R/28)
  • Bill Bray (L/26)
  • Arthur Rhodes (L/39)
  • Mike Lincoln (R/34)
  • Nick Masset (R/27)


Lineup
The Reds have one of the best young lineups in the NL and they are poised to put up big numbers in the diminutive Great American Ballpark.  Jay Bruce emerged as an everyday player in ’08, bursting onto the scene with one of the best starts a rookie has ever had.  He finished the year with 21 HR and 52 RBI in only 108 games.  He will likely start in Right.  In Center, the Reds acquired a bonafide lead-off hitter in Willy Taveras from the Colorado Rockies.  Taveras stole a surreal 68 bases last year, 12 more than second-best Jose Reyes’ 56.  Jerry Hairston Jr. hit .326 in 80 games last year and that might be enough to get him the starting Left Field job.  If he can’t hang onto it, however, Chris Dickerson and minor-league invitees Jonny Gomes and Jacque Jones could have a shot.  In the infield, the Reds return three high-quality run producers in Edwin Encarnacion (3B), Brandon Phillips (2B), and Toronto-native Joey Votto (1B).  Votto and Encarnacion emerged as true big-league power threats last year and Phillips is one of the most productive two-baggers in the league.  At Shortstop is defensive wizard Alex Gonzalez who missed most of last year with an injury.  If he can’t regain his form Jeff Keppinger is still around.  Catching duties will belong to Ramon Hernandez who was acquired in a deal that sent utility-man Ryan Freel to the Orioles.

On the bench, the Reds will look to Dickerson, Gomes, and Keppinger along with backup catcher Ryan Hanigan, and veteran First Baseman Daryle Ward who was signed in the off-season.  Keppinger and Ward are also two of the best pinch hitters in the league.  If Hanigan can’t stick at the major-league level Humberto Cota was also signed to a minor-league deal.

Lineup (Handedness/Age on June 30, 2009)

  • CF  Willy Taveras (R/27)
  • LF  Jerry Hairston Jr. (R/33)
  • RF  Jay Bruce (L/22)
  • 3B  Edwin Encarnacion (R/26)
  • 1B  Joey Votto (L/25)
  • 2B  Brandon Phillips (R/28)
  • C    Ramon Hernandez (R/33)
  • SS  Alex Gonzalez (R/32)

Bench

  • INF Jeff Keppinger (R/29)
  • C    Ryan Hanigan (R/28)
  • OF  Chris Dickerson (L/27)
  • 1B  Daryle Ward (L/34)
  • OF  Jonny Gomes (R/28)


Outlook
The Reds aren’t a true contender yet, but with players like Bruce, Encarnacion, Votto, Volquez, and Cueto they may not be more than a year off.  I believe this team will make huge strides in ’09 and may even make people believe they could attain a playoff spot well into August or September.  Thier pitching wasn’t good last year but the only need to hold the leads their terrific offense will supply them.  Final Prediction: 83-79, 3rd NL Central.