Over at Red Reporter, Justin has attempted to answer a question we’ve been debating here for months: were the Reds a bad team last year because of injuries, or because of what Justin calls “suckitude”? I won’t reveal his conclusions here, but it is an interesting post.

21 Responses

  1. Luke Price

    Yep,it’s because injuries and of having a lot of bad players.

  2. BJ Ruble

    My vote is for bad roster decisions and poor lineup construction.

  3. justcorbly

    A middlling team made worse by injuries.

  4. Drew Nelson

    In order:

    1. Poor use of talent by manager
    2. Injuries
    3. Dependence on youth

    If we can cut back no. 2 and if the No. 3 issue improves with age, then maybe we can override No. 1.

    • RedinFla

      Drew Nelson: In order:1. Poor use of talent by manager2. Injuries3. Dependence on youthIf we can cut back no. 2 and if the No. 3 issue improves with age, then maybe we can override No. 1.

      Now, that’s almost poetical. 8)

  5. Redsfanx

    Too many runners left in scoring position. Injuries are a part of the game.

    • Travis G.

      Redsfanx: Too many runners left in scoring position. Injuries are a part of the game.

      Not enough runners put into scoring position. FTFY

  6. GregD

    Too many position players were expected to “bounce back” to their career average. Projection systems that had the Reds scoring as many runs as they allowed typically had Alex Gonzalez, Willy Taveras, and Ramon Hernandez playing up to their career averages.

    Throw in Encarnacion’s poor season and the stats put up by his replacements, and that is why the Reds 2009 offense was the worst of the 2000-09 decade.

  7. RiverCity Redleg

    I think the timing of the injuries hurt as well. When Votto went out, we were already hurting at other areas (Phillips, EE, Bruce, SS). Losing your best player at that time was alot more devastating than if we were full strength at the time and could cushion the blow a bit.

  8. Alan Horn

    (1) Injuries

    (2) Several players having subpar
    years.

    (3) Lack of a CF for most of the season.

  9. nick in va

    1) A lack of talent
    2) A lack of talent in how to use that lack of talent
    3) Injuries

  10. BJ Ruble

    @Redsfanx: I agree injuries are part of the game, but their BA was roughly the same as their BA with runners in scoring position. They were just bad hitters.

    I’m surprised how many people are saying injuries when the number 1 problem was having a 1-2 who can’t get on base…that was due to poor lineup construction. And the decision to keep Gomes in AAA and Dickerson out of CF was poor roster construction. I’m sure the offense would have been much better by just eliminating the black hole that was the 1-2 spot until August.

  11. Travis G.

    Sometimes injuries can be good. For example, that lingering injury to Willy Taveras saved what was left of last season.

  12. hoosierdad

    It has to start and end with Dusty. He makes out the line-up card everyday (CF 1st and SS 2nd in the order!). He has huge input on what players to go after. He decides when to pull or not pull a pitcher. He decided to pitch Harang in San Diego two seasons ago on little rest in relief and then again in his regular start. 2 things to make this team better for 2010: 1) DFA WT and 2) Sweep away the Dust!

  13. earl

    I’d like to see just based upon what the players did do last year, what the record would have been actually putting together a better constructed lineup. So many games last year the guys batting 7th and 8th would get on base, then it would hit the black hole of Taveras and Gonzales and the inning would be over and then Votto would bat with no one on. During the bad swoon that started with Manny’s bobble head bomb in LA, that seemed to happen every other game for a month as Dusty would run Taveras out there in his like 1 for 50 slump. I swear we would get more hits out the pitcher spot than those two losers.

    This is totally empirical and emotional, but that is how I perceived things to go down.

    Of course, we could have possibly picked up a couple of games just by pitching around the big bat and maybe just walking in a run instead of giving up a meatball (not all by the David, the stormy one who must not be named). Criminy how many grand slams or huge home runs did we give up to the big NL bashers? Pujols got us twice. Both of the big bats guys from the Brewers got us, I think Braun twice. SD’s Gonzales got us.

    Tied to that, quite a few times Dusty would get greedy and try to choke another 20 pitches and inning out of a starter then leave a screwy mess for the pen to try to clean up. Sometimes they would come through, but sometimes they would not and we might have been just better off starting with the pen from the start (even the stormy one who must not be named). Dusty is going to use 3 pitchers anyway in those situations, why wait until it is 2nd and 3rd with 1 out or worse.

  14. JustTheFacts

    @Travis G.: Excellent point. It was very much the help of replacements that won all those games at the end of the year (much like the previous year). Most, by the way, who we hope will be starters or impact players this year. (e.g. Bailey up for Volquez, Stubbs up for Taveras, Francisco up for Rolen, Gomes up for Dickerson). No snub, by the way, against any of the guys who went down and I’m still hoping the resign Gomes.

    Anyway, I do like WJ and don’t think he is the reason for a bad season, but if you’re analyzing why they had a bad season, you can’t leave the big guy off the list. I think he made a few key mistakes last year. Let’s review some of his moves:

    1.) Picking up Taveras and way over paying him.
    2.) Not completely addressing the stated objectives in the offseason.
    3.) Leaving Gomes in Florida, while McDonald goes north with the team. That’s ultimately a WJ decision.
    4.) Making the Sutton for Kepp deal. Jeff’s bat would have come in very handy down the stretch.
    5.) Trading Hairston to New York for Chase Weems. An obvious salary dump because of the Rolen deal.
    6.) Trading Weathers to a division rival for a few bucks. Like him or not, he was family. Again, another salary dump because of the Rolen deal.

    I flirted with the Rolen deal because of everything the Reds gave up to get him (Stewart, Roenicke, Hairston, Gonzo, Weathers, payroll flexibility). But at worst Rolen had a neutral impact on the 2009 season which was the topic. Besides, it is nice to have a solid glove on 3rd and there is a certain element of addition by subtraction when it comes to EE.

    I left the Gonzo deal off the list because Janish was the better SS in 2009 and was not that much worse than Gonzo at the plate. With Gonzo on the DL or BL for most of his time here, it was great to get relief from the aggrevation.

    Finally, I left the Manuel for Balentien deal off because both Manuel and Balentien had little impact on the year.

  15. pinson343

    A nice analysis at Red Reporter, resulting in an obvious conclusion: we had offensive performance deficiencies from the starters at C, SS, 3B, CF, and RF.

    The overall pitching results line up (bad starting rotation, especially at number 5, good bullpen) with the expected. But in terms of individual performance, Harang had a much better season (and Cueto slightly better) than Arroyo ? I agree that wins and losses is an overrated stat (Arroyo had excellent offensive support in the first half, when he pitched badly) but Arroyo’s stats are skewed by the occasional awful performance. When you lose by a lot of runs, it’s still just one loss. His performance over the last two months was brilliant (under 2.00 ERA both months), and he had a strong stretch in July also.

  16. Greg Dafler

    Anyway, I do like WJ and don’t think he is the reason for a bad season, but if you’re analyzing why they had a bad season, you can’t leave the big guy off the list. I think he made a few key mistakes last year.

    I think there are two mistakes that many called him out on last year, that are hurting the team this year. We’re talking about needing $5-6 million to get a late, bargain free agent pickup. How are those second years to Taveras and Lincoln looking? ($6.5M combined this year)

  17. Travis G.

    Lincoln might provide some value this season if he’s indeed healthy, but they were bidding against themselves on Taveras. That second year could probably have been an option.

    • RedinFla

      Travis G.: Lincoln might provide some value this season if he’s indeed healthy, but they were bidding against themselves on Taveras. That second year could probably have been an option.

      An option based on performance, no doubt?

      Hindsight is always 20/20, they say. 🙄