Baseball Prospectus has ranked the Major League teams by projected finish for the 2009 season. They have projected the Reds to finish with a 79-83 record and 4th in the NL Central, one game behind the 3rd place Cardinals. BP has projected that the Reds will score 779 runs, to rank their offense at 9th in the NL. The pitchers are projected to allow 798 runs, ranking the pitching staff 10th in the NL.

These rankings are about what I’d expect, given the roster that the Reds are taking to spring training. Things could get better in the event a whole lot of “IFs” fall into place. What do you think? Are these Reds projections a reflection of what you expect for this upcoming season?

34 Responses

  1. GRF

    I would take those lines from the hitters, while I think the pitchers could out perform their projections.

    At the risk of being negative, the three gaping holes dragging down the lineup down are CF, C and SS, the three spots we were suppose to address during the offseason.

    And PECOTA sure seems to like Hairston…

  2. Bill

    Do I have this right? The Reds scored 704 last year and they’re predicting them to score 779 this year?

    In ’07, with an outfield of Dunn, Hamilton, and Griffey they only scored 783…

    I don’t see it…

  3. GregD

    2006 – scored 749 runs
    2007 – scored 783 runs
    2008 – scored 704 runs

    Looking at 2007…

    2007 was Phillips lone 30/30 year.

    Alex Gonzalez’s career year offensively (99 OPS+)

    An outfield of Dunn (136 OPS+) Hamilton (131 OPS+) and Griffey (119 OPS+). The lowest OBP of those three players was Hamilton’s .368. They combined for 89 HRs.

    Hopper had 307 at-bats in the outfield and hit .329 w/.371 obp

    Hatteberg didn’t have Votto’s power, but did put up a 310/394/474 line (avg/obp/slg)

  4. Steve Price

    The individual projections look virtually dead on what I would expect, including playing time. I am surprised at the overall results

  5. CeeKeR

    79 – 83… A little luck could mean a .500 record, which I guess is all we can expect this season. Unfortunately, that’s not good enough for me.

  6. GregD

    Individual player level detail is for subscribers only?

  7. Glenn

    I think the pitching staff will do a little better than that. Instead of 79-83, I’m hoping for 83-79.

  8. daedalus

    individual player levels:

    C – Hernandez – 379 PA (.259/.318/.396)
    C – Hanigan – 189 PA (.232/.315/.325)
    1B – Votto – 597 PA (.289/.370/.514)
    2B – BP – 628 PA (.282/.337/.458)
    3B – EdE – 567 PA (.283/.365/.493)
    SS – Gonzalez – 357 PA(.250/.309/.406)
    SS – Keppinger – 458 PA (.286/.343/.372)
    LF – Hairston – 308 PA (.284/.343/.450)
    OF – Hopper – 280 PA (.274/.330/.324)
    OF – Dickerson – 401 PA (.247/.333/.427)
    OF – Gomes – 165 PA (.217/.309/.419)
    CF – Taveras – 454 PA (.282/.336/.347)
    RF – Bruce – 613 PA (.283/.342/.509)
    Bench – Ward – 197 PA (.271/.371/.464)


  9. WishboneD

    To echo GRF, I’m pretty surprised by the pitching projections. I’m guessing that rating would be a decline from last year. While I don’t think we can expect the same numbers from Volquez, Harang’s year seemed to be an abberration. With any improvement from Cueto, a similar year from Arroyo (hopefully a little more even across the season) and what I expect to be an improvement at fifth starter, we should have a better staff than last year–Not a bottom-third staff. I never really followed these projection services, but as I understand it, PECOTA is a pretty good one…I hope they’re wrong. I did just see a comment on MLBTR from a ChiSox fan that they’ve been about ten games off on their predictions for that team for four of the last five years. In light of that, I’m putting the WISHBONED projection at a Wild-Card-inducing 89-73, haha.

  10. David

    As I said earlier, given the youth, you’d have to consider 79-83 a huge success. It’ll all hinge on Votto, EdE, Bruce, and BP. That’s a lot of weight for those guys to have on their shoulders.

    I am interested to see if a move is made in ST. Could Dickerson/Bailey be shipped?

  11. WishboneD

    Also, and let me know if there is a mathematical/weighting reason for this, PECOTA expects significantly better BAs from nearly every starter than the CHONE and ZiPS projections.

  12. John

    If this team scores 779 runs, I will eat my hat.

    They would need breakout years from Bruce, Votto, E5, and another 30/30 year from Phillips to come close to that. Hernandez will shore up the gaping hole of Valentin/Ross/Bako/Warm Body With A Heartbeat, but difference maker he is not. Same with the other acquisitions, unless Gomes and Dickerson go berserk.

    The reality is that if this team struggles to put up 700 runs again, we might be looking at a 100-loss season.

  13. Sultan of Swaff

    Looks like the Halos are going to get Abreu for 1 yr/$5mil. Gheesh. That’s Tavaras money for chrissakes. It would be a lot easier to project 779 runs with him. Looks like Walt should have taken a wait and see attitude this offseason instead of jumping the gun. I bet he wish he had a mulligan.

  14. David

    Not that I dislike Abreu, as I think that he is the best available FA for the Reds LF situation, but there is a reason he is getting that deal. Check out Peter Gammons’ article “Falling Back in Love with Defense”

    A quick snip – “Says another GM: ‘I still believe that one of the factors that has hurt some of the good offensive free agents this winter, like Manny Ramirez, Bobby Abreu and Adam Dunn, is the concern about how many runs they give back defensively. There is a great deal more appreciation for defense than there was a decade ago.'”

  15. Matt B.

    Ah, my bad, I got confused that the Denver Post was reporting this. Milton actually signed with the Dodgers. WORLD SERIES BABY!

  16. catcard202

    W/ the line-up, as-is…I can see no chance of 780+ runs being generated…But If they can manage to get in the 730/740 range…We may have something to cheer about…

    I firmly believe that the REDS pitching staff will give up way less than 798 runs…I could see them cutting 60-70 runs from that total.

    How??? Well…

    1) Walt Jockety cut 132 runs from the 2008 staff by dumping Majewski, Belisle, Fogg and Coffey…Those 4 accounted for 167+inn of 7+ERA ball..

    WOW…That’s some pretty crappy pitching, huh. I seriously doubt, that WJ allows any combo of pitchers to account for 160+ innings of 6+ ERA ball in 2009…Especially w/ the quality depth down in AAA.

    2) No way do the REDS get 28 starts of 7.6ERA ball from the #5SP in 2009. Yes… Belisle, Fogg & Bailey (7.9ERA over 8starts/36.1inn) were that bad over 28 starts in 2008. None of them had an ERA under 7.

    In 2008, Ramirez was VERY SOLID in the #5 for 5 starts (2.25ERA)..In 2009…W/ him battling a healthy Owings, yr wiser Bailey & as well as Maloney & Thompson…The REDS have to be better at the #5 than they were w/ Belisle & Fogg manning that role…I’m guessing, roughly 5.00 ERA ball over 25-30starts from the #5… (Or a 50-60 run improvement from the #5SP’s)

    3) It is unlikely that w/ the Reds will have anyone that will suck as bad as “Cup-o-Coffey” and the “Majic Man Majewski” from the bullpen (they combined for a 6+ERA over 59.1inn of work).

    All in all…The REDS pen allowed 212runs in 2008… A 10 run improvement is a realistic goal…And should be an obtainable one w/ the talent on the roster…(& Belisle/Majewski elsewhere). The 2009 pen appears to be better than the 2008 version…A Good..Not Great..NL bullpen.

    So, The way I see it…That’s a likely 60-70 run improvement on runs allowed..(730-740 total runs)…and that looks closer to reality (for 2009) than the 798 that they are predicting.

    If the REDS can mange those run totals… (creating a +/- 10 run-differential)…They MAY have a shot at a winning season.

    Personally, I don’t see it…I don’t see them scoring 700 runs or more…And even though the the pitching & defense may be much improved…I see a likely 72-90 record…and a 9th straight yr of SUCK in Cincy.

  17. pinson343

    I agree with the many who have said they don’t see the Reds scoring the projected number of runs, and see the pitching staff giving up fewer.

    The outfield situation is depressing. It reminds me of 1982, after the Reds let Foster and Griffey Sr. go, they said the offense would be fine, better defense, etc. but wound up losing more than 100 games.

    Not that I’m projecting that big a disaster, that team had only one good pitcher (Mario Soto) and did not have the likes of Bruce-Votto.

  18. David

    Cat – the only problem I have with your argument is that the Reds bullpen last year was 2nd best in the NL. So if they improve, I think the pen deserves more credit than a “good” bullpen.

  19. preach

    A solid rotation, solid bullpen, a couple of young stars in the making, and we still may lose 90 games. Don’t tell me with what we have to work with we couldn’t have acquired a big bat and with a move or two be contenders for at least the wildcard. That’s what really upsets me. We didn’t have to trade away the future to win now. We could win now and in the future. The way this team is constructed their is no way they will achieve anything remotely close to 800 runs. C’mon. They may scrape 700 territory. We have had years and years of sub-par pitching and now we have no offense. And as far as the defense, I just don’t see the great improvement (other than by subtraction of Griffey and Dunn). This team will finish in the ‘average’ category of that as well. With the addition of Ward and Gomes I even like our bench, as long as Hairston and Keppinger are on it more often than in the field. I really hope I am wrong, but what a terrible season this is going to be. I feel sorry for the pitching staff.

  20. nick in va

    I’m sticking with my 86 win prediction.

  21. nick in va

    I should add, my prediction is based on my proprietary system of taking into consideration my over optimism and a random guessing factor. This is my first year of guessing the number of wins this early. We’ll see how I do.

  22. Dan

    PECOTA is built on taking all the subjectivity out. There’s no “I think this guy is going to improve” in it. It’s simply looking back over baseball history and finding the most similar players to each current player, and using that to project 2009.

    My guess is that the projections of just about all pitchers who were good but not great last year would look disappointing, b/c that’s just really how it works. Pitching is SO volatile. Only the best – Hall of Fame level talent almost – can really be relied upon to be good and consistent from year-to-year.

    Hitting stats are just more consistent, more predictable.

    There are a lot more hitters who are good for 6-8 years in a row than there are pitchers who are good for 6-8 years in a row.

  23. Dan

    Anyway, re: the offense scoring more this year than last year, I think it’s possible b/c we’ve lopped off Patterson and Bako, who were 2 of the worst hitters in all of baseball last year. That alone should give us a decent bump.

    I’m no fan of the Willy signing, but even if he goes his usual lame, powerless .280/.330/.330, that’s a LOT better than what Patterson put up (.205/.238/.344).

    Similarly, Ramon Hernandez might not be an All-Star, but he’ll be a lot better than Bako was last year (.217/.299/.328).

    Patterson and Bako got 665 out of the team’s 5465 AB’s last year – that’s about 12% of the AB’s going to guys who were WELL BELOW replacement level.

    Lopping them off, even for so-so players, could help a lot.

  24. Bill

    But you’re still trying to replace Dunn and Griffey…I sure don’t see it. I hope you’re right, Dan…but I sure don’t see it.

  25. David

    Bill – what exactly was Griff’s production last year? Bruce is an upgrade both offensively and defensively. Dunn’s numbers are going to be hard to replace with one guy, but a platoon of Dickerson/Gomes/Hairston, Jr. could account for 30 HRs and 80 RBIs.

  26. GregD

    “what exactly was Griff’s production last year?”

    That’s why you should look at 2007. The team only scored 700 runs last year. The projection estimates that they’ll score as many as they did in 2007. Without the production of Dunn, Hamilton, and a productive Griffey.

    The problem with using counting stats…perhaps Dickerson/Gomes/Hairston actually do hit 30HR and 80RBI…but if they do it in the same number of PA’s as projected here, they would take 874 PAs to hit 30 HR. In other word, need 34% more PA’s than Dunn needed for his 2008 production (he had 651 PA’s.)

  27. Shawn

    He would have to take every at-bat in every game, for everyone. And hit lots of inside-the-park shots.

  28. Steve Price

    Griffey as a Red in 2008: .245/.355/.432, an OPS of 787 or OPS+ of 103

    Bruce as a Red in 2008: .254/.314/.453, an OPS of 767, or OPS+ of 96

    Griffey hit better than Bruce did in 2008. After Bruce’s first two weeks, he batted .232 I believe.

    Griffey won’t outhit Bruce in 2009.

  29. preach

    “He would have to take every at-bat in every game, for everyone. And hit lots of inside-the-park shots.”

    Now THAT would be pure, unadulterated havoc. He could do it ’cause he’s real fast.

  30. catcard202

    David….on my scale…The bullpen looks good..not great.

    abv avg
    bel avg

    It’s not that I’m slighting them…IMO, had they retained Affeldt…We may be talking about the best pen in the NL…But the REDS lost him & replaced him w/ a LOOGY (Rhodes)…

  31. Jen

    I think the Reds will be in contention at least for the wildcard. The outfield will see a major improvement over a combo of Griffey, Dunn and Hamilton/Patterson. Let’s face it, Hamilton was hurt all the time and Patterson, we’ll enough said. Griffey and Dunn when they managed to hit, had no relation to anybody being on base. The number of games where G & D sucked the life force out of any momentum was phenomenal especially given their big salaries. Seriuosly what did they contribute besdies some home runs in isolation. Give me a scrappy, hungry outfield over energy sucking players. I also think the influence of G & D over the whole team cannot be overlooked. In September, one they began to re-group, The Reds started to look like an exciting team.

    The pitching situation stands to improve with a solid 5th starter and a better bull pen (as stated, no Majewski or Coffey). Ya-hoo! The catching situation also will be improved without lifeless Ross and failure to clutch hit Valentin. The biggest downers for me are Gonzalez and Encarnacion. I’ve never been convinced by either of them, especially Edwin who I also would put in the energy sucker category. Still, the energy lacking factor will have dramatically reduced overall so maybe Edwin will be inspired!