Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Reds should stand pat

We've reached the All Star Break. And the Cincinnati Reds are stumbling into the second half of the season at a season low of 42-45. To finish the season at 86 wins, Homer 1530's Lance McAlister calculates that the Reds would have to go 44-31 the rest of the way. (.587 winning percentage) That isn't going to happen. There are too many breakdowns to demonstrate that type of winning. Let's go over the problems.

The Offense

This was a problem at the beginning of the year. Take a look at our current outfield. Jay Bruce has a broken wrist and is probably gone for the bulk of the year. But he was struggling badly. (Avg. .207) The best I can say about the rest of the outfield is that they are professional major league baseball players. If you look at the last time the Reds were in contention, 1999; that team had Greg Vaughn, and Mike Cameron in the outfield. Vaughn could take you out at will. This outfield looks like a good team's bench players.

The Pitching

This was supposed to be a strength but is now too inconsistent to be trusted. Bronson Arroyo is too streaky. Aaron Harang is also inconsistent and not the rock he is supposed to be. Johhny Cueto looks like the kid that he is. Edinson Volquez is injured and not likely to come back soon. There is way too much dependence on David Weathers as the set-up man. Note to Manager Dusty Baker. Put Nick Masset as your set-up man and demote Weathers to middle relief.

I cannot see a scenario where this team will reel off a long winning streak with those types of breakdowns.

Hold Your Ground.

While I would listen to offers for Harang or our closer Fransico Cordero, I wouldn't trade them away cheaply. Those two should command another team's top prospect, ones who should be ready in one or two years.

I would hold my ground. I still believe that Harang will come around and anchor the staff. That will help Cueto, Volquez and yes, Homer Bailey fill out a formidable staff for the future.

The Future

Enough of the lose to win strategy. i.e., losing seasons to get top prospects in the draft. I don't advocate spending Yankee money but if there are holes such as the offense, you have to fill them. If you have to spend extra to lure a free agent here then do so. It might have costed you more to bring Raul Ibanez or Bobby Abreu here. But look what happened when you brought in Greg Vaughn.

Jay Bruce

No comments: