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  • Where are improvements needed?

    2014 is obviously over, the only question that remains is whether the Reds will stay ahead of the Cubs in the division. What positional improvements need to be made in 2015 for the team to be competitive again? Assume Votto, Phillips, etc will be healthy.
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  • #2
    A shortstop who can hit regularly would be nice. It's not a stretch to say a fully healthy Reds team would be a pennant contender.
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    • #3
      I selected SS and LF as those are the most glaring.....more detail below:

      1B - Yes, Votto will never be the 30/120 guy again after the knee issue has zapped his strength. With that being said, when he's on the field he is still a .420+ OBP guy. Fit nicely into the #2 hole on any lineup. Let's not let the salary blurr that fact.
      2B - Phillips has long been over rated as an offensive contributor. With that being said, he's great defensively and can be a run producers when given ample opportunities. The Reds definately have other priorities to improve in and it's not like Phillips is worthless.
      SS - Cozart had the second worse OBP of any qualifying hitting in the NL. He is great defensively, but horrible at the plate and didnt even hit for power this year. I see the SS as an open spot.
      3B - Frazier put together a nice year. He can be streaky and disappear for weeks, but again, the Reds have other priorities to fill.
      LF - The only reason this position didnt rank last as far as OBP for qualifying players is that because no one qualified. Absolute must that the Reds add a power hitting OF this off season, likely by trade.
      CF - Hamilton gives the Reds a lead off hitter for years to come. He is going to win Rookie of the Year, but lets not overlook that his OBP was 9th worse in the NL for qualifying hitters. Also, he got caught stealing 23 times this year after being uncatchable in 2013. He has room to grow so let's let him do just that.
      RF - Probably the most concerning because of what happened. Bruce had the dead last OBP for qualifying hitters. Didnt hit for average or power. After solid years this year was awful and let's hope it was an aberration.
      C - Bright spot. Mesoraco had a huge year and there is no reason to think he can do even better. My only concern is that he may get burnt out catching every day....
      SP - Position of strength. One of the best staffs even with the injuries. Cueto, Latos, and Leake will be free agents after 2015 and it's unlike the Reds will be able to retain two or three, if any of them. May be the time to trade....
      RP - again, position of strength. Was able to move Broxton to clear some salary. Chapman would be good trade bait......

      It was very disappointing season. Looked so good going into AS break. The injuries of Phillips and Votto definately hurt, but Bruce's historic drop off and the black holes that were LF and SS left the Reds with 1 or 2 productive guys in the line up on most nights. I thought some moves needed to be made last off season, but definately think something has to happen this time around. Simply cant go back into another season without some moves for the offense. With Stephanson close and i still believe in Cingrani - we've got some starters, like Latos, that could be attractive to teams.

      G Man

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      • #4
        With the Cardinals, Pirates, Brewers and Cubs being as good or better in 2015 than they were in 2014 and the Reds still run by Walt Jocketty, the team is in a no man's land where they can't sell the farm for a 2015 run and they aren't equipped to compete in their division long-term.

        The biggest improvement needed by this team is in the front office. IMHO, the Reds' window of opportunity with their current roster is all but closed. Better for the team to spend this year getting a head start on the rebuilding process than watching their competitiveness die a slow death.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Brad Harris View Post
          With the Cardinals, Pirates, Brewers and Cubs being as good or better in 2015 than they were in 2014 and the Reds still run by Walt Jocketty, the team is in a no man's land where they can't sell the farm for a 2015 run and they aren't equipped to compete in their division long-term.

          The biggest improvement needed by this team is in the front office. IMHO, the Reds' window of opportunity with their current roster is all but closed. Better for the team to spend this year getting a head start on the rebuilding process than watching their competitiveness die a slow death.
          You mean like it was before Jocketty became GM?
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          • #6
            The Brewers will be in 4th or 5th place in 2015. They were the healthiest team in the division (by far), had tons of guys overperform and are still barely over .500.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bothrops Atrox View Post
              The Brewers will be in 4th or 5th place in 2015. They were the healthiest team in the division (by far), had tons of guys overperform and are still barely over .500.
              I agree that the 2nd half Brewers is more what to expect in 2015. With that being said, they wont be a pushover and the Cubs will be better...

              This is a tough division and the Reds need to improve in the off season or they'll fall farther behind.

              G Man

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              • #8
                I think the Reds still have all the pieces to compete for a WS. They have a fairly deep lineup (1-8) and play great defense.

                I thought we went into this season a little thin on the bench. Once the injuries occurred, we had no one to fill in. Bryan Pena is not a legitimate 1B.

                Billy, D-Roc, and Frazier will all have another year under their belts. We have a great starting staff and Rob Stephenson in AAA.

                I don't like the idea of trading Cueto. I think what we saw last year was the absolute bottom for this squad. Everything went wrong and they were still competitive for a good chunk of the year.

                What we need is Votto to scrap the OBP book and worry about WINNING. No one cares if you swing at a ball outside as long as you knock in a run - look at the Panda in the playoffs.

                ... and we need a Left fielder

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sabo-metrics View Post
                  I think the Reds still have all the pieces to compete for a WS. They have a fairly deep lineup (1-8) and play great defense.

                  I thought we went into this season a little thin on the bench. Once the injuries occurred, we had no one to fill in. Bryan Pena is not a legitimate 1B.

                  Billy, D-Roc, and Frazier will all have another year under their belts. We have a great starting staff and Rob Stephenson in AAA.

                  I don't like the idea of trading Cueto. I think what we saw last year was the absolute bottom for this squad. Everything went wrong and they were still competitive for a good chunk of the year.

                  What we need is Votto to scrap the OBP book and worry about WINNING. No one cares if you swing at a ball outside as long as you knock in a run - look at the Panda in the playoffs.

                  ... and we need a Left fielder
                  They're in a tough division, but they
                  re as good as anyone else top to bottom. Trading Cueto would be a mistake. There's no way they'd be able to get a fair trade if you go by how much the Tigers gave up for David Price.
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                  Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
                  Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
                  Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
                  Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

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                  • #10
                    What they dont have is a deep lineup. There are holes. Even some of the guys you count on, like Bruce and Hamilton have questions. My point is that their pitching is a strength and they may need to make some tough decisions and trade from a position of strength to improve a weakness - the offense. Cueto is my favorite player and i have no doubt he'll turn in another dominating 2015. Id hate to see him go.

                    G Man

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                    • #11
                      It is not the deepest lineup. But look around baseball, which 2B would you take over BP? There are not many.

                      Cozart's bat was awful, but a Gold Glove at Short is something we haven't had in a long time and he does have some pop. Maybe batting him 2nd wasn't so bad b/c he got decent pitches to hit and was more ready when we needed him, instead of sticking him down in the 8 spot every night not expecting anything.

                      Votto, Bruce, D-Roc, Frazier, and Hamilton are all above average players at their position with a TON of upside collectively.

                      The one thing we don't have is a left fielder, and that should be one of the easier positions to fill. We do have a lot of questions, but go up and down the other lineups in the league and there are a lot more holes to fill. IMO

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                      • #12
                        Phillips had an OPS+ of 91 last year, his third straight year below league average. He's not getting any younger and considering his contractual value, there are quite a few 2B i'd swap out to get. Dont get me wrong, i love BP and he still is a wizard in the field, but let's face it, offensively he is below league average.

                        Reason i said it's not a deep line up - Left field was a black hole. As you mentioned, we got next to nothing offensively from SS either. Bruce had by far his worse offensive season. Hamilton, for everything good he did, and may win the NL ROTY, was still in the bottom 10 in OBP in the NL (Cozart and Bruce were last and next to last). Combine that with Votto and Phillips being hurt for long stretches, it was a struggle to score runs. Not only was the line up not deep, but the starters they went into the season with didnt produce.

                        Its not a lost cause. The pitching is awesome. I expect Votto back and even without the power he is an on base machine, perfect for the 2 spot. They need an impact bat in left and bounce back campaign from Bruce. Mesoraco is a bright spot - i could see him getting even better in 2015.

                        G Man

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                        • #13
                          I agree with your analysis for the most part.

                          Votto...I have to wonder if this is a Reds' training staff and/or medical staff issue. I am not a huge Tim Kremchek fan. Griffey, Jr. began going downhill rapidly after Kremchek began working on him. Coincidence???
                          BP...Injuries have robbed him of the twilight of his career. Can he find the Fountain of Youth? The Reds are banking on it.

                          What is going to bring them the most? Cueto because they will not be able to keep him unless Mr. C wins big in the stock market. That would probably bring them a big bat and potentially some a prospect shortstop as well as a couple of low level prospects. I hate to see Cueto leave but the Reds have little choice. Latos is not going to bring much right now due to his injury plagued 2014 campaign. Leake is steady but will not bring the Reds a LF. I think that I would feel better if we knew if Cingrani is going to be a capable starter. He has been injury plagued as well.

                          The Reds have to make some "out of the box" moves this year because the Cards are always going to be relevant, the Brewers are steady, the Pirates are right there, and now with the Cubs hiring Joe Maddon, they are not going to be a pushover anymore. This is now a four team race and the "in division" games are going to be more important than ever. I have to be honest, I am very concerned about 2015 and the future taking into consideration we have so few prospects.

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                          • #14
                            WE CAN NOT TRADE J-Cue-47!

                            I believe the window for winning is still open. This might be our last year with that window, but we should try to make one more run. I don't think the Reds can win a world series without Cueto. Plus he wants to stay, and who says we absolutely can't sign him?

                            The lineup was not deep last year, I'll give you that. But overall I maintain that it stacks up with most of the best lineups out there. BP is slipping offensively, but he knocked in 100 RBI from the cleanup spot 2 years ago and he leads off, bats 2nd, 3rd etc. Not another 2B who can do that, especially with that glove (maybe Cano).

                            Walt Jocketty built this team to win now. If we always build towards the future, there will never be a present.

                            The time to win is now. The window is still open and let's go all in before Votto is too old!

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                            • #15
                              This line up does not stack up with others in NL. It falls pretty short of that. That is why they fell off the map last year and were basically non competitive for the entire second half.

                              Cueto is my favorite player and i'd hate to see him go. He obviously would return the most in a trade. I'd like to think they can keep him at least this year and make one more run at it while filling weaknesses in other ways. The window is not closed but this is the last year with this unit, especially from the pitching staff wide of the house.

                              G Man

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