I’m sure almost every Reds fan is ecstatic now that the calendar has turned. Some are Bengals fans and hoping for a win today against the Ravens so that the guys in stripes can make a playoff appearance. There are some of us that aren’t into the NFL or NBA or NHL and even more focused on what 2012 will bring for the good guys.
As we are now in 2012, here’s what is gone from 2011 and what is coming up for 2012.
Out with the old…
If you look at the overall numbers from 2011, the Reds offense looks awesome. They were 2nd in runs scored and 4th in hits. Potent, huh? Not so fast. The biggest difference between the magic of 2010 and the lack thereof for 2011 was hitting in the clutch. This is a subject I have talked about in the past, but with out with this….
RISP, 2 outs – 2010: .269, 2011: .214
on 3rd, 2 outs – 2010: .271, 2011: .182
I really don’t think I need to explain this anymore.
2. Nick Masset
I’m not saying get rid of him (although some may wish that), just get rid of the Masset that we’ve recently seen stumble out of the gate. Well, for 2011, it seemed almost like an every outing thing even though it really wasn’t. One thing that might shock some is that Masset struggled more at the onset of 2010 than he did for 2011. While his April record for 2010 was 2-1 versus 0-3 for 2011, most of the secondary numbers were far worse in 2010.
3. Starter dependency
John eluded to this in his post about resolutions and it’s a point that cannot be stressed enough. With all the hoopla of 2010, the starters didn’t really have that good of a season…overall. 2011 proved to be more difficult. I provided a slight insight on this yesterday (even though I didn’t expressly state such). The starting staff must not only give that one extra out, there must also limit the damage. I think with a certain addition, that will help.
In with the new…
1. Mat Latos
Here’s the certain addition…
There are those still belly aching over what the Reds traded in order to obtain Latos. Then there are those of us on the other side of the fence that see this move as strengthening the starting staff for a number of years. Latos is not eligible for free agency until 2016. Of the four players dealt, only Alonso and maybe Boxberger would see time with the Reds in 2010. Yasmani Grandal was at least one year away and positionally blocked as was Alonso. I think the Reds wold have found a means to deal Edinson Volquez regardless. You know, wash the hands of the Josh Hamilton trade.
And I love the edge Latos brings.
2. Sean Marshall
Again, complaints were made about the trade for Marshall and I side a little more with those, but I also realize why it was done. In sending Travis Wood, Ronald Torreyes and Dave Sappelt to Chicago, the Reds front office managed to create even more buzz due to the fact that Marshall can opt for free agency after this season. I do realize why the deal was done. Having another proficient lefty arm in the bullpen is bonus. Plus, Marshall has the ability to close (albeit, a small sample) should the need arise.
3. Another emerging star
In 2010, some would say that label was placed on Drew Stubbs. For 2011, some might say Jay Bruce finally “broke through”. Who could that guy be for 2012? Here’s three names: Chris Heisey, Zack Cozart and Devin Mesoraco. All should see plenty of playing time in 2012, and all three have the potential to become the next name.
4. Good health
We all wish this for the 2012 Reds. One aspect from 2010 that is often overlooked is that the Reds rarely used the disabled list when compared to the 2011 season. The starting staff was hit hard as both Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey began the season on the DL. Bailey would spend another stint while Cueto was shut down at the end of the season. And let’s not forget the illness of Bronson Arroyo although he never went on the disabled list.
The bullpen was hit as well. Aroldis Chapman, Logan Ondrusek and Sam LeCure all took residence during the season. Jose Arredondo was there to begin the season. Matt Maloney, whether as a starter or reliever, had his share of injury woes as well.
Cozart was an unfortunate occupant, but some may determine that the biggest “injury” was the loss of playing time from Scott Rolen. If these two are good to go, the infield is among the best in baseball, no question.
Needless to say, 2012 presents the Reds with a huge opportunity to win the NL Central and make a deep run in the playoffs, and, hopefully, a World Series win. No Albert. Quite possibly no Prince (not the short guy that wears purple.).
The door is wide open. Just got to find the right guy to motivate our Reds. Maybe this guy will work…
The last line says it all…