Paul Daugherty says that Jay Bruce is no savior, and it’s pretty much the first lucid thing he’s written or said in a decade or so (much of the rest of the column is ill-informed nonsense, but the thrust is correct). John Fay is saying the same thing. It’s true. If you are counting on Bruce to single-handedly turn this franchise around, you’re going to be disappointed.

However, Bruce is definitely a piece, the biggest piece, in the eventual transformation of this club into a contender. Along with Edwin Encarnacion, Edinson Volquez, Joey Votto (thanks, BenL), Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, and Brandon Phillips, Bruce represents the most talented cog in a very talented young core of players. With the Adam Dunns and Francisco Corderos and Aaron Harangs surrounding them, this team has a different look. A competitive look.

It’s fun, isn’t it?