Let me clear up just a few things that I said toward the end of last year on this blog. I was fairly ********** when I wrote some entries last year.
I would like to rescind a couple of statements:
Walt Jocketty is a GOOD GM not a bad one like I said. He did a great job filling holes this offseason.
The Reds have a very strong minor league system now thanks to some good work in this last 5 or 6 years to improve there (Wayne Krivsky actually helped a lot in this department).
The rotation ought to be:
5. Bailey (or Owings would be fine)
I am glad Corey Patterson is long gone!
I am optimistic and do not really think the Reds are the worst directed team in baseball. I like the current ownership and Baker and Jocketty.
The worst directed team, I would say, is the Nationals (Former GM Jim Bowden is a killer to any organization).
Let me be clear: I think the Reds are still away from being a solid year-long contender in the NL Central and in the playoffs. However, the Reds are very much improved, and Walt Jocketty has done a very good jobs of filling holes for the Reds.
Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Bruce, Cueto, Volquez, and even Chris Dickerson comprise one of the best young corp of players in major league baseball.
The Reds have found their leadoff hitter in Willie Taveras, who was non-tendered by the Rockies in the offseason. Taveras can keep constant pressure on the opposing defense by getting on base and using his blazing speed. He will most likely be followed by Chris Dickerson or possible Jerry Hairston Jr. if he wins the left field job. Both of those men have good speed and skills on the basepaths. Taveras and Dickerson would comprise a solid top of the order if and only if they can consistently get on base. Votto will bat third. He is the Reds best hitter and I fully expect him to hit .300 with 25 HR’s and around 100 RBI’s. Phillips will bat fourth and I maintain that he is not an ideal clean-up hitter. However, he is everything else you want in a baseball player: a great teammate, a 30-30 guy, and a defensive juggernaut. Bruce will bat 5th and needs to continue to improve his plate discipline to decrease his strikeouts.
Next will follow Edwin Encarnacion (All I will say is that I’m still hoping he can put it all together). Then in the bottom third of the order will be recently aquired Ramon Hernandez then Alex Gonzalez and the pitchers spot.
For the pitching rotation, Harang’s resurgeance is key as Volquez and Cueto will continue to develop into stars. Arroyo is also steady and will pitch 200 innings with 12-15 wins. I hope Bailey wins the 5th spot. He seems to be now more willing to accept coaching and he has been keeping the ball down in Spring, thanks to improved control on his fastball and curveball. In the bullpen, Fransisco Cordero has had a less than impressive spring. I think he will turn in another steady year though. Bray, Burton, and Arthur Rhodes will comprise the other three main options in the pen.
Cincinnati’s team has moved from one known for tremendous power and lackluster pitching to one with solid pitching and great team speed and defense up the middle. Taveras, Gonzalez, and Phillips definitely help pitchers breath a little more easily this year.
I hope the Reds compete this year, but honestly I think its going to take one more season, and next year the Reds will be a force in the NL Central. Go Reds!
The writer of the blog District Boy is absolutely right. The Cincinnati Reds front office is now definitely the worst in baseball. If they think that Cueto, Volquez, Votto, and Bruce are enough good players to depend on for the future then they are idiots.
Let me just name a few reasons the Reds team and ownership is pathetic:
1-Corey Patterson is still in the majors. He could not play on any other team in the majors. Chris Dickerson needs to be in the bigs NOW because he could be the center fielder of the future.
2-Josh Fogg is still in the rotation.-Darryl Thompson or Ramon Ramirez ought to be in the majors pitching. They have paid their dues in the minors and the management needs to find out if they can pitch in the majors.
3-Walt Jocketty is just not a good GM.
4-Dick Pole is not a good pitching coach. Mark Berry (3rd base coach) and Brook Jacoby (hitting coach) also ought to be fired.
5-Brandon Phillips is great but is the worst cleanup hitter in baseball. He does not come close to comparing to Prince Fielder, Aramis Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Lance Berkman, Albert Puhols or Josh Hamilton etc.
6- They dropped David Ross who was also awful but was the best catcher they had. Javier Valentin has an awful on base percentage and you cannot even afford to put him in the field becuase he is such a bad defensive catcher. Ross could atleast throw out a decent percentage of base runners
7-The Reds need to build for the future and quit lying to themselves saying they still want to win now because that is just a LIE.
Their lineup the rest of the way ought to look like:
Shut down Harang and hopefully he will come back better next year. Good Lord! I say this just becuase I end every entry this way- Go Reds!-but I say it half heartedly