Over at CBSSports.com, Scott Miller has listed some “likes and dislikes” about our beloved Redlegs. His likes:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ These guys, again, will score. A lot.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Look for second baseman Brandon Phillips’ offensive numbers to improve.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Cincinnati’s defense is golden.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Right-hander Edinson Volquez, an All-Star in 2008, is entering his first full season some 18 months after undergoing Tommy John ligament transfer surgery.
-I hope he’s right about the first, I’ll be happy with duplicating last season’s offensive showing.
-I don’t necessarily agree that Phillips numbers will improve, I think he is what he is. I wouldn’t even agree that he had a down year, his OPS+ was up, his TBs were up, and his DPs were down. I would like to see him be more effective on the basepaths; 16 steals in 28 attempts is not good.
– I agree that the defense should be at least as good due to Janish playing more and Gomes playing less.
– And if Volquez struggles, we have reasons to believe we have solid players that can fill the slot.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ No definitive leadoff man.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The rotation’s 4.05 ERA last season ranked 10th in the NL.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The Reds this spring need to sort out middle relievers…
– No surprise in the first one, it’s just about the first thing anyone says about this team. But even with struggling in the #1 spot last year, this team scored a lot of runs. If Stubbs leads off and gets on base at a .340-.360 rate or if Dusty plays Lewis more and he’s effective, the leadoff spot will not be a concern.
– The rotation also had Aaron Harang for part of last season, a non-healthy Homer Bailey and Edison Volquez, and a worn out Mike Leake. You hope that the young guys will improve on last year’s numbers.
– I think this team’s bullpen has the chance to be special. We can argue about whether Chapman should or should not be in the bullpen, but he’s going to be and he’ll help shorten games. I don’t think a team succeeds or fails on the one or two guys doing mop-up/long relief work and that’s really what he’s talking about here. If the Reds are in the game in the 7th, this bullpen will do the job more often than not.
The “dislikes” don’t seem too major to me. I really like this team and believe that it’s going to be a fun year.