Over at USA Today, Bob Nightengale actually has a reasonably in-depth roundup of the Reds organization, under the title “Young pitchers hold key to Reds’ NL Central fortunes.” It’s a better article than you’d ever expect out of a national publication, so I urge you to take a look.

It starts with some optimism:

Cincinnati Reds general manager Walt Jocketty isn’t making any promises, but he says if everything falls into place, there’s no reason his team can’t be a sleeper next season.

“We’re coming,” Jocketty says. “We just have to build around the young nucleus that we got. And if things come together, good things can happen.”

The Reds finished their 2008 season with a 74-88 record, two games better than their 2007 mark, but it was hardly the year they envisioned. They had their eighth consecutive losing season.

“We’re getting better,” manager Dusty Baker says. “I think you’re going to hear from us soon. We have a great group of core players, and other players around the league are telling me that we’re not that far away. I believe it. I feel the same way.

“We have a couple of things we have to add.”

The rest of the piece is a comprehensive look at the Reds 2009 projected lineup, the minor league system, and the salary situation. Good stuff.