2010 Cincinnati Reds Baseball Preview
The Cincinnati Reds (78-84) have a roster that’s dotted with some promising up-and-coming players. But that means that the team is a few years away from contending, especially in the very tough N.L. Central. 2010 could be a season of changes for this club as vets who are unable to produce are set free.
Third starter Bronson Arroyo (15-13, 3.84 ERA, 127 SO) is the only returning pitcher who last year posted a double-digit winning season. The durable Arroyo has a high kick delivery and fine control. He’s proven to be durable. Top starter Aaron Harang (6-14, 4.21 ERA, 142 SO) went on the DL on August 21 for an appendectomy and never came back. He’s got four fine pitches—92-mph fastball, slider, curve and change. His biggest problem is giving up the four-bagger.
Righty Johnny Cueto (11-11, 4.41 ERA, 132 SO) starts his third season with questions regarding his durability and his control. Homer Bailey (8-5, 4.53 ERA, 86 SO) and Edinson Volquez (4-2, 4.35 ERA, 47 S0) are both high-count pitchers who throw 94-mph cutting fastballs. The bullpen includes resilient closer Francisco Cordero (2-6, 2.16 ERA, 39 SV, 58 SO). The big, strong power pitcher throws a fastball that reaches 97-mph.
First baseman Joey Votto (.322 BA, 25 HR, 84 RBI) and second baseman Brandon Phillips (.276 BA, 20 HR, 98 RBI) are both long ball hitters and run producers. Veteran, Gold Glove third baseman Scott Rolen (.305 BA, 11 HR, 67 RBI) offers quality offensive and defensive chops.
Right fielder Jay Bruce (.223 BA, 22 HR, 58 RBI) has great bat speed and power at the plate but could be more consistent in terms of the pitches at which he swings. Left fielder Chris Dickerson (.275 BA, 2 HR, 15 RBI) was on the DL numerous times last season, which was his second in the majors. He’s strong and quick and has good speed on the bases. If he can play a full season, the Reds expect him to produce at the plate. Catcher Ramon Hernandez (.258 BA, 5 HR, 37 RBI) struggled with a knee injury last season and still managed to produce. Behind the plate, his play is subpar.
Dusty Baker is in the last year of his contract. If he can’t make something happen then chances are that the Reds will look elsewhere for a skipper. GM Walt Jocketty is into cutting and if certain veteran players do not produce and the team is adrift prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, then expect that some will be sent packing at midseason. There’s a youth movement on and that can be exciting and inexpensive.
This is not a team that’s ready to battle for the top spot in the division. If you’re looking for an attainable goal and some positive spin, it would be a triumph for this team to reach the .500 mark in 2010. They haven’t been there since 2000 when they went 85-77. That won’t be an easy mark to hit.
For more info on Cincinnati check out the MLB website for the Reds.