For all the complaining I’ve been doing (online and off), this club is still only 1 game under .500 (10-11) and 5 games back of the Cardinals. But as Bob Scanlan (of all people) was saying about the surprisingly inept Padres yesterday, “I don’t care about ‘games out of first,’ I care about the performance on the field – and the performance has been bad.”

The Reds been a little lucky: 93 runs scored vs. 109 allowed, “should” equate to 9-12 (or a touch worse). Though, according to Baseball Prospectus, they’ve actually been a bit inefficient, given their individual pitching/hitting stats, and should’ve scored a few more runs.

In any event, couldn’t sleep last night, so here’s an insomniac’s (partial) report card, 13% of the way through the season (other players to follow – though I’m moving over the next couple of days and may not have access):

Dunn: (A+) Fourth in the league in VORP, FIRST in OPS (1225), and “a .300 hitter.” Best of all, doesn’t seem to be playing *way* over his head at this level.

WMP: (A) Only weakness is an apparent inability to pinch-hit. Would probably drop from his 1184 OPS with lots more playing time, but is still raking. Second on the club in VORP, with only 45 PAs.

Joe Randa: (B) Super-hot start endeared him to fans, perhaps to the worse. Recent tailspin is bringing his numbers back toward Randa level, but he’s still sporting a tasty 902 OPS. Third on club in VORP, despite being worthless for a week (i.e. 1/3 of the season). Should NOT be batting 4th. Touted as a defensive wiz, but hasn’t impressed.

Ryan Freel (B) The good: Five doubles in 40 AB = .500 SLG; 7 BB = .468 OBP. The bad: Only 2/5 on steal attempts. The ugly: Defense is still, as Chad coined the phrase, “the 2b Funhouse.”

Felipe Lopez (B+) Why in the name of all that is good does Rich Aurilia play ahead of this guy? 929 OPS in very limited play. No sign of “inconsistent” defense (1.000 FPct).

Rich Aurilia (D+) Only this high becuase I have low expectations. Not hitting… not fielding…better be “veteran leading” pretty darn well. Take away the two-homer game and his line drops to .200 BA, .241 OBP, .272 SLG, 513 OPS. Makes Castro look appealing as a starter. For those of you who hate strikeouts, has whiffed 11 times in 55 ABs.

Jr. Griffey (C+) His VORP is barely replacement level. His OPS would be decent for a shortstop (668), and he looked really lost for a while. That said, he’s been hitting the ball pretty well recently, and *does* have 7 doubles (on pace for 54. Since Jr. hasn’t turned into Tommy Herr, to my knowledge, I doubt a season of 54 2b, 0 HR. Don’t expect $10M worth of production – but he’ll come closer to earning his salary than will…

Eric Milton (F) Jeez, this has been ugly, hasn’t it? And everyone told us so, too. Looks to be just a terrible signing. The pitching has been pathetic, and the excuses more so (“Milt just elevated some balls,” Miley said. “Those guys hit the pitches that were up.”) Will wrap up the franchise record for HR allowed by Independence Day. Other than the one start, has been throwing batting practice out there. Limiting himself to 5 BB saves him from the F-.

6 Responses

  1. Heath

    That’s why this is a very early report card.

    Baseball Season – not a sprint – but a marathon.

  2. Brian Erts

    Hmmm…. some of the performances on this team merit a parent teacher conference.

  3. jim

    I have a question and I am not trying to be a smart a%#. What exactly is wrong with this team. Is it pitching, management, scouting, what? this is ridiculous. We cannot compete with St. Louis or Atlanta ar even Chicago. Please, someone with some knowledge, please explain this to me.

  4. Heath

    Jim – If we had the answers, we wouldn’t be here.

    All I know its April 30th – see me around Memorial Day.

    In the meantime – enjoy Danny Graves. After he leaves Cincinnati, Maalox sales at Kroger will plummet.

  5. Jim V

    In my opinion, it’s 30% ownership and 70% management. Our last two GMs were pretty inept, and Uncle Linder hasn’t been willing to pay extra to make up for their mistakes (~$27 million for aging Larkin, ~$25 million for homerific Milton, huge amount for Casey). No that he necessarily should, I believe the Reds payroll has been enough to field a winning team, despite all the “small-market” whining. The pitching staff is especially problematic, or should I say, the way it’s managed, coached, and “developed” is. O’Brien thinks he should buy pitching in a seller’s market. He also has faith in Don Gullet, who has a long track record of failures when it comes to developing pitchers. The offense has hovered around league average for the past few years, despite what many fans and media outlets claim. Personally, I don’t expect much to change until we see a complete front-office overhaul, and that may happen sooner than later. Hopefully. Just my opinion though. I’m going to speculate that if there’s one thing that the future of the Reds hangs on, it’s signing Adam Dunn long-term.

  6. jim

    Thank you Jim V for your insight. i appreciate it.