Okay, let’s hear ’em.

The Reds are 42-45, in fifth place, five games behind St. Louis. There are 75 games remaining in the 2009 season. The second half gets back underway tomorrow, with a home series against Milwaukee (I’ll be there Friday and Saturday, if anyone wants to stop by to say hello.)

What record will the Reds have at season’s end, and where will they be in the standings?

48 Responses

  1. pinson343

    Hmmm, it’s hard to predict without knowing what WJ is going to do about the SS and OF situation. And if we’re sellers, who does he sell ?

    I predict that he’ll mostly stand pat and look ahead to 2010. We’ll trade some pitching, which will hurt us in 2009. So I predict 77 wins.

  2. GRF

    75-87, 4th place. I think we move some relievers, and maybe a starter, before the break and the pitching breaks down somewhat down the stretch.

    The rumors the Braves are shopping Escobar are starting again. Not sure how well we match up with what they want, but I would at least ask.

  3. nick in va

    I’m sticking with my 86 win prediction from early this year. With Dusty at the helm I have my doubts though.

  4. BigRedMike

    77-85

    5th place

    Need to trade Arroyo, improve at SS, and in the OF.

  5. rpa

    i think at the beginning of the year i thought this was an 80-85 win team. think i will revise downward.

    74-88, 4th place. (no way this team is worse than the astros, right?… right???) :worried:

  6. preach

    Well, it’s like fishing: Would you rather get a small fish with every other cast, or come back empty most of the time but pull in the whopper before sunset?

    I’m going with a Dusty prediction: Whopper before sunset.

    You heard it here first…

  7. Sultan of Swaff

    I’ll pull out Rumsfeld’s old ‘known unknowns’ line first. So much depends on two things: whether we dump vets and sink the final month, and whether we quit using the TWO WORST HITTERS* in all of baseball at the top of our lineup. Given Dusty’s penchant for veterans, I’m not hopeful, but I do have faith in our pitching and a healthy Votto.
    I’ll stick by my preseason guess, 82-80.

  8. Sultan of Swaff

    We’re in the same boat as the Cubs, sadly. If the offense doesn’t improve, it doesn’t really matter how good the pitching is.

  9. RedBlooded

    I go 81-81 and right in the middle of the division in 3rd place just as far from first as we are from last. How’s that for balance. There are so many unknowns. Things could be as bad as the first half in terms of injuries or we could get some breaks. If we have most of the key players for the full time (minus Bruce obviously) and/or Tavares goes on the DL and/or Dusty gets a brain transplant, we could hit that or a little better. More lost days from our better players and we will do about the same as the first half or a little worse. For now hitting is better with Votto and Encarnacion back, especially if EE gets into a groove. Volquez back will help. Having added Bailey may be a help. Hopefully Cueto gets over his tired arm. Hitting from RF may be a little better with Bruce out. He is the RF of the future for sure. He has not been the best RF for 09 however.

  10. mike

    I think the Reds will go 34-42 the rest of the way and finished with 76 wins and end up in 5th place.

    as Pinson stated it’s impossible to predict how the Reds will finish because we don’t know what WJ is going to do. My projection is based on the Reds not making any deals. The minute they make a deal everything changes.

    How fast, if at all this seasons, Volquez and Bruce return is also a huge wild card

    I hope they trade Arroyo, Weathers and Rhodes. I like Rhodes but he’s old and it would be a big case of selling high because he’s had a great season.

    and maybe we will wake up tomorrow and Taveras won’t be a Red anymore….that alone could have a big impact on their wins

  11. pinson343

    I like the Dusty brain transplant suggestion.

  12. GregD

    They’ve got a rough go of it out of the gate.
    4 against Milwaukee
    3 in LA
    3 in Chicago

    After a 4-game series vs. San Diego (2nd worst in NL but swept Cincinnati in the first half), they have 12 straight against teams with .500 or better records: Col, ChC, SF, StL.

    22 of 26 against good competition.

  13. GregD

    Looking at who they’ve played so far
    and what their record is against these teams

    Against teams that would make the playoffs if the season ended today:
    7-10 Phi & StL
    – have not yet played LAD or SFG

    Record against “.500” teams
    Atl, ChC, ChWS, Fla, Mil, NYM, Tor
    14-20

    Against division teams they “should” beat
    10-5 vs Hou & Pit

    Against other teams they “should” beat
    11-4 vs Cle, Was, & Ari
    0-6 vs SD & KC

  14. mike

    Greg I think those are telling #s.
    The one that stands out is 14-20 vs the .500 (or near) teams
    It’s understandable to not beat the best teams and to beat up on the bad teams but to look at the teams that are right around .500 tells me we aren’t good enough to be .500
    if we play .500 teams at .500 the team has 3 more wins. That puts them over .500 and in 2nd place.

  15. David

    I think the Reds are going to end at 85 wins.

  16. Dan

    75-87, 5th place.

    I predict that Jay Bruce is done for the year (might be ready in Sept. but why bother), and Arroyo will spend time on the DL and become virtually untradeable.

    Sigh…

  17. doktor

    I am going to say 82-80, meaning a 40-35 2nd half.
    I base this on the following points
    -Arroyo second half splits, the last 3 years stronger in 2nd half
    -Harang also solid in 2nd half, should rebound to balance 1Half
    -Cueto, has had his rough spell, his stuff is still good
    -Bailey, has talent, has has some success, he can he build on it.
    -bullpen should still be solid, especially if Burton is on track
    -Votto, will be in lineup everyday , should help Brandon
    -Brandon, despite the crappy #1 and #2, on a 100+ rbi pace
    -Taveras, based on his career numbers, cant be this bad the whole year(can he? :worried: )
    Guess I am always a Reds optomist.

    if the reds do become sellers, 🙁 , i think it a good plan to keep one of Arroyo or Harang for 2010, to show the young guys dont always need dominant stuff to win. Also fine with them moving:
    Ramon H, teams in the hunt seem to also look for vet catcher
    “Stormy” – not sure he would get much unless packaged
    Rhodes – sell high, LH relievers always coveted
    Gomes/Nix – Gomes has playoff experience, Nix able to play all OF
    Hairston – like “Stormy”, probably not a lot unless packaged

    Go Reds.

  18. Dan

    Other random predictions…

    –Only Jonny Gomes will finish with an OPS over 1.000, and he will have less than 200 AB’s.

    –Votto will regress but will still be very good, finishing at about .310/.380/.530 with about 80 RBI.

    –Phillips will finish with a .315 OBP, 101 RBI’s, and 27 GIDP’s.

    –The best starting pitchers in the 2nd half will be Volquez and Bailey.

    –Homer will not be back in the minors in his career (unless it is a rehab start or something).

    One man’s random thoughts…

  19. Dan

    Finally, Laynce Nix will hit a ball over the Sun/Moon deck, then as he rounds the bases his head will begin to smoke and bolts will emerge from his neck.

  20. justcorbly

    If the injured return and everyone plays up to their potential, they can finish a game or two above .500. If not, they will finish several games below .500.

    Arroyo and Harang seem like trade bait, if only for money reasons. Starting pitchers will not be obtained in return, so factor in several more losses. Harang might go to a club that thinks it knows what is wrong with him and how to fix it.

    On the other hand, it is very tempting to stand pat and go with Volquez, Bailey, Cueto, Arroyo, and either Harang or Owings.

  21. Dan

    But he’ll be rebooted and all will be fine…

  22. David

    Why would you kick Harang (97:27) out of the rotation before Arroyo (59:41)? That being said, the prediction that Arroyo will go down in the second half is a rather doom and gloom prediction considering Arroyo has had at least 32 starts in each of his last five seasons.

  23. Chris

    The bullpen can’t keep this up. Taveras can.

    30-35, 72-90

    4th place. Houston is terrible.

  24. mdccclxix

    David,
    It would seem Harang could walk some better hitters more often to avoid the big hits, eh?

  25. GRF

    Chris, that should be pst of the day. Short, sweet and hard to argue with.

  26. Steve Price

    I predict 74-88.

    Found this quote in a book by Rob Neyer the other day. This Neyer book is called “Rob Neyer’s Big Book of Baseball Blunders…and I was wrong…I can’t to a quote…it’s a whole chapter called “Cubs Hire Dusty Baker.” The books isn’t about fielding errors; it’s about mistakes in judgement.

    But, this is the Dusty quote I was looking for…Baker’s quoted from 2005:

    “I remember my old general manager Al Campanis telling me that a player doesn’t reach his peak until he’s somewhere between thirty-two or thirty-six and beyond, and it depends on how his legs are and his desire and if he keeps his weight down and his waistline down.”

    There’s a whole chapter about Dusty playing veterans and it notes that Dusty has NEVER managed a rookie of the year (sorry Hanigan)…no one has. Dusty’s contenders? In 1994, William Van Landingham received nine points and finished seventh. In 2002, Ryan Jensen came in sixth place with four points. (book was written in 2006).

    Neyer says that between 1993 and 2006, eleven Braves have received at least one point in the balloting. Rafael Furcal won in 2000, Chipper Jones came in 2nd in 1995, Greg McMichael second in 1993, Ryan Klesko third in 1994, Andruw Jones fifth in 1997, and Jeff Francoeur third in 2005.

    Joe Torre has managed five players who finished four or better while with the Yankees. ten other players received ROY votes while he managed the Mets, Braves, and Cardinals while under Torre.

    Tony LaRussa managed Albert Pujols (first), Rick Ankiel (second), and Matt Morris (third).

    I’ll stop there. I know he’s played some young guys with the Reds and I think he’s been pretty good not using the young pitchers…but, this does explain some of his playing time habits when it comes to the veterans.

  27. David

    Chris,

    I disagree the bullpen can’t maintain but agree it will be hard. Last year the pen was 2nd in the NL. They are a very good group. While guys like Rhodes may come back down to earth a bit, I would imagine a guy like Burton could as easily find his form and be recalled.

    I agree with you that Taveras could continue to be this bad, if you look at his 2008 game log he got progressively awful as the season wore on. It’s quite possible he does the same this year.

  28. David

    Steve – good stuff….

    The flip side of course is that I think to a certain extent Dusty really hasn’t had a great pool of young talent to work with prior to coming to the Reds. The Cubs and Giants were not stocked with young players.

    You can’t forget that Votto has been an everyday player and that Dusty chose to play Votto over Hatteberg.

    I find it interesting that Baker is accused of over-using young pitchers and under-utilizing young position players.

  29. Steve Price

    Went looking at Dusty’s teams…

    1993-94 Giants: 1b J. R. Phillips was considered a big prospect at the time, but didn’t pan out. Playing ahead of him? Will Clark filed for free agency after 1993 season; instead of playing 24 year old Phillips who had hit 27 AAA homers in 1993, Dusty played “sluggers” Todd Benzinger and Dave Martinez (I guess Martinez was the Ramon Hernandez of that team…Martinez was a good defensive outfielder). Phillips hit 27 more homers in AAA.

    1996 Giants: Now playing Mark Carreon at 1b instead of yound David McCarty or Phillips; Giants traded away young SS Royce Clayton to play younger SS Rich Aurilia, so Dusty played Shawon Dunston half the time;

    1997 Giants: Now playing ss Jose Vizcaino instead of Aurilia; benched 27 year old youngster Marvin Benard for 32 year old Darryl Hamilton in OF;

    2001 Giants: catchers Edwards Guzman and Bobby Estalella can’t get playing time ahead of 36 year old Benito Santiago;

    2002 Giants: catcher Yorvit Torrealba can’t play ahead of Santiago;

    2003 Cubs: 1b Hee Seop Choi stuck behind Eric Karros;

    2005 Cubs: ss Ronny Cedeno stuck behind SS Neifi Perez; of Matt Murton and Jason DuBois stuck behind OF Todd Hollandsworth;

  30. Kurt Frost

    They go 20-56 amd Dusty is fired. Half of Redleg Nation ruins a pair of underpants.

  31. GregD

    wrt Baker, I’ve looked into this in the past for prior discussions here, and had this argument with Cub fan friends before. In Chicago, he really didn’t have prospects to play.

    Choi? He was playing about 5 of every 6 games until he went on the DL in early June with a concussion (he got tangled up with Kerry Wood, landed flat on his back and hit the back of his head on the ground. I still remember that scene on Fox Sat game of the week.) At the time, he was batting .239 w/.845 ops. Karros spends June & July hitting .338 w/900ops. Choi’s back off the DL at the beginning of July, but Baker doesn’t sit the hot bat. Playing about 1 game per series, Choi bats .172 w/550 ops. They traded him for Derrek Lee, which turned out to be a HUGE steal.

    2005 – Cedeno, Murton, and Dubois? They’ve all gone on to be as successful as Choi.

    Cedeno and Murton did both play fulltime under Baker in 2006. Cedeno played all of 2004 in AA and started 2005 in AAA. Murton spent most of 2005 in AA and made the jump over AAA to the majors for 140 at-bats that year.
    In 2006, at age 23 and 24 respectively, Cedeno and Murton played fulltime. Cedeno with a 610ops and Murton 809. Both saw their playing time cut significantly in 2007 under Pinella.

  32. Travis G.

    32 year old Darryl Hamilton

    I think this guy has been on every team Dusty’s managed, hasn’t he?

    The Reds, alas, are who we thought they were: A team with some young but talented starting pitchers, a quality bullpen, two (now one) very good young left-handed hitters, overrated defenders, no leadoff man, no shortstop, no cleanup hitter and a manager who fills out highly questionable lineup cards.

    I predict the Reds will win 76 games and finish ahead of Houston and Pittsburgh, who are both terrible. We’re just slightly less so.

  33. GregD

    Prediction:
    We will see this lineup too much in the 2nd half –

    Chris Dickerson RF
    Willy Taveras CF
    Joey Votto 1B
    Brandon Phillips 2B
    Laynce Nix LF
    Ramon Hernandez C
    Edwin Encarnacion 3B
    Jerry Hairston SS

  34. GRF

    Greg, that is akin to predicting that water will be wet or that the sun will come up in the morning.

  35. Matt WI

    76 Wins, 4th place. Thank you Houston and Pittsburgh.

  36. GregD

    The more I look up the supposed prospects that Baker “benched for veterans” the more I see that Baker really hasn’t had many prospects to manage.

    Phillips?
    Spent all of 1992 in AA. 497ab, 32bb, 165k w/686ops

    1993, as you mentioned they had Will Clark. Phillips was promoted to AAA. 506ab, 53bb, 127k w/833ops

    1994, Phillips spent most of the season in AAA again. He played in 15 MLB games in June.
    – AAA: 360ab, 45bb, 96k w/1013ops
    – MLB: 38ab, 1bb, 13k w/361ops

    1995, Phillips spent full year on the Giant roster. He started 29 of the first 32 games. He hit .101 w/426ops. Carreon played most the rest of the year batting .301 w/833ops.

    IMO Phillips is yet another case that illustrates that strikeouts & k/bb ratio in the minors DO matter.

    This is a thing that concerns me about a number of the Reds current prospects.

  37. GregD

    Which brings me back to the Votto situation. Here they had a guy in Hatteberg who was in his 3rd year with the club. His first two years he has almost 1000 plate appearances batting .299 & .844 ops. OPS+ of 114.

    2008 – Hatteberg is having a great spring and Votto a terrible spring. Votto makes the club, which surprised some. They split the first 10 games started. Votto is batting .235 w/.471ops and he starts playing almost every day. In fact 134 of the remaining 152 (though 8 of those 18 days off were bereavement leave when his father passed away…so 134 of 144 games he spent on the roster)

  38. Jimmy

    I predicted 84 wins before the season, but it is feeling more like 79.

  39. Steve Price

    Greg,

    I’m not arguing that the “youngsters” didn’t pan out; arguments could be made that they didn’t get their chance, that their at bats came against tougher pitchers, or their opportunities came after the other players were gone…or, frankly, may be they weren’t even prospects. A lot of the guys in Neyer’s book weren’t necessarily prospects, they were 4A players who were in their prime which probably could have offered more than a player on the downward slide.

    The chapter isn’t long and I can’t quote all of it, but there are some real doozies…

    1) Start with the first quote I mentioned above…”a player doesn’t reach his peak unil he’s somewhere between thirty-two or thirty-six and beyond”

    2) With Cubs, 38 year old Lenny Harris bats 146 times with a .183 BA and an OPS of 484

    3) Shawn Estes, the Cubs fifth starter posted a 5.74 ERA in 28 starts; Estes was 30…24 year old Juan Cruz was on the team and started six games; 24 year old Todd Wellemyer didn’t start any

    4) Baker quote: “(Mark Bellhorn) has been programmed, before we got him, by the A’s. Their philosophy is taking a lot of pitches and getting deep in the count. Most times, I notice guys who come from the American League to the National League weren’t used to being aggressive and took a lot of pitches. It’s going to take time to change your mind-set.” (which league scores more runs?)

    5) Neyer’s article (co-written by Jason Brannon), says “Time and again, (Cubs GM Jim) Hendry would promote or trade for a player only to have him languish on the bench. Rather than order Baker to play Choi or Bellhorn, Hendry seemed to adopt a strategy of moving players Dusty didn’t favor, and bringing in ones he didn, whenever possible. Thus, Randall Simon, Jose Hernandez, and Tony Womack were acquired, and Bellhorn was jettisoned (this pattern repeated itself in 2005, when Jason Dubois was traded to Cleveland.) Choi, who barely played in September ’03 and was left off the roster for both of the Cubs’ postseason series, was sent to the Marlins in November, in a challenge trade for Derrek Lee. That deal obviously worked out, but most such transactions, made not so much to improve the team but to indulge the manager’s predilections, did not. In this way, Baker had de facto control over the roster.”

    6) “hard to understand why Tom Gooddwin was allowed to step up to the plate 184 times in 2004. he was thirty-five and absolutely punchless (.200/.254/.276) in what would turn out to be his last season. It seems like a lot of ballplayers end their careers as Cubs. Rey Ordonez also played his last season with the Cubs in ’04. he was worse than Goodwin.”

    7) “Does Dusty know the difference between a good ballplayer and a bad one? His handling of Todd Hollandsworth would suggest he does not….a fine fourth outfielder…had a nice season in limited duty for the Cubs in ’04. But after losing Moises Alou to free agency, Baker, resisting, all entreaties to play Jason Dubois (who’d smacked fifty-seven extra-base hits with Iowa the previous year), stretched Hollandsworth into a regular role in ’05, one for which he’d spent many years proving he was ill-suited. Around the time Dubois was thrown overboard, Matt Murton, a superior outfield prospect obtained from the Red Sox in the Nomar Garciaparra deal, was 1) promoted to the majors and 2) essentially ignored by his manager. Despite Murton’s hitting .337/.396/.505 at three levels in 2005, it wasn’t until Jim Hendry sent Hollandsworth to Atlanta at the trade deadline that Murton given the chance to play that he’d already earned.”

    8) “His odd penchant for Proven Veterans adds a complicating element to the job. Instead of simply hiring or promoting players who might help your team, Dusty’s general managers must also wonder….Will Dusty play Jason Dubois or Mark Bellhorn or Ronny Cedeno? Or will he bench them in favor of older, lesser players like Todd Hollandsworth or Neifi Perez, whom Dusty viewed in 2005 as some sort of savior, ‘I hear a lot of people say, ‘Hey, put Cedeno in.’ What am I supposed to do, push Neifi out now? This guy has saved us.”

    In review…how many Cubs names can you replace with Reds names here? Notice…Neyer didn’t even mention the pitching staff…he mentioned giving players chances…Dusty, as we know, “ain’t no front-runner” and it appears that, while some Cubs/Giants prospects/younger players may not have panned out, did Dusty intentionally not give them opportunities?

    That’s exactly how it appears to me. Murton and Dubois were both considered big prospects, but weren’t athletic in nature. Hollandsworth was athletic and had earned his opportunity. Perez was an experienced shortstop, Cedeno was unproven. Dusty doesn’t like using young relievers and was happy to pitch Josh Fogg last year no matter how poorly he pitched, or who may be around to take his place.

    So…Dusty just doesn’t play the guys he doesn’t want to play (Paul Janish). He sticks were poorly playing centerfielders (Patterson, Taveras), and over the hill shortstops who have saved us (Gonzalez). He buried Hatteburg last year after Votto won the starting job…all of the sudden, he couldn’t hit either because he was rusty.

    Gomes/Nix are similar players to Dubois….it’s taken injuries to everyone breathing for Dusty to, first, let them on the team, and, secondly, play them.

    Stubbs would not play if called up….

  40. John

    I’m glad you posted this, Steve. I’m going to pick up Neyer’s book. I’m amazed that Jocketty hasn’t read it. Of course, reading is hard to do when you’re asleep.

    Castellini will can them both soon enough.

  41. MIKE APPLEGATE

    I,M SURE DUSTY IS A NICE GUY, BUT HE WILL NOT TAKE A STARTER OUT UNTIL THE GAME IS OUT OF HAND. HE ALSO WILL LET A LEAD GET AWAY. ITS LIKE HE DOES’T THINK EACH GAME IS IMPORTANT. HOMER IS A LOST CAUSE UNLESS HE DEVELOPS ANOTHER PITCH. HE LACKS AN OUT PITCH. THE HITTERS SWING AT WAY TO MANY BALLS. I THINK THE SEASON IS ALMOST A LOST CAUSE UNLESS DUSTY GOES NOW.

  42. MIKE APPLEGATE

    WILLY TRAVERAS IS WORTHLESS UNLESS HE’S BUNTING.