Is There Enough?

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I was re-reading a piece authored by Mark Sheldon on MLB.com. The gist of this article was the additions made by the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and, most notably, the Milwaukee Brewers made during the off-season. The majority of the “moves” the Reds made were internal. Signing Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto and Bronson Arroyo to multi-year deals. Offering minor league deals to Jeremy Hermida and Dontrelle Willis. Bringing in Edgar Renteria and Fred Lewis with one year free agent deals.

I have to ask, have the Reds placed too much faith in the improvement of the team? I also ask this: Am I the only one thinking this?

If so, then maybe I am a pessimist. I don’t believe I am. I actually believe I’m being objective in asking.

And I say that because much of what I have read and heard of late deals with the improvement of the young Reds players. Just like everything else, there’s no guarantee in that. And that optimism can be misplaced. So I went to digging.

I was looking over on Fangraphs and noticed why this faith could be justified. Well, offensively anyway. Here’s a look and comparison fo 2010’s numbers along with projections for 2011.

The most notable in those that are predicted to show a better 2011 than 2010 is Bruce. He’s projected to crank 31 HR with 83 RBI with splits of .280/.352/.517. For 2010, the comparatives for Bruce are 25 HR, 80 RBI, .281/.353/.493.

On the downtake will be Paul Janish. I believe the projections are a bit harsh on him, too. Well, flat out harsh. Check this out. 2010 actual: 5 HR, 25 RBI, splits of .260/.338/.385. 2011 projected: 4 HR, 26 RBI, .232/.308/.335. I’m somewhat dumbfounded, but yet, I understand this. Until last season, Janish’s offensive numbers had not been something that would snag your eyes.

But take Janish’s and Renteria’s numbers together. I’m sure Reds fans will take 11 HR and 75 RBI from that position regardless of batting average.

All in all, it appears the Reds are on course similar to that of 2010 offensively.

As I glanced over the pitchers, one thing grabbed me immediately. If the Reds suffer a fall off, it will be with the starting staff. As I suspected, the projections are a bit, shall we say, unflattering. It’s like those that create such are showing a lack of respect. Go fig that one. Anyway, here’s a look.

Are you as shocked as I am? Only Leake and Wood are projected to be close to their 2010 numbers. I’m thinking this a little out there. You mean to tell me that Johnny Cueto will go from 12-7 to 9-10? You mean to tell me that even though Bronson Arroyo may be seen as a little long in the tooth that he’s only good enough for 12-11? He’s won 15 or more games for three straight seasons. I don’t think there’s a more competitive pitcher on the staff. Volquez only a .500 pitcher? He’s got too much to lose since he declined a multi-year deal.

But as I want to emphasize, these are projections.

Offensively, these projections appear to be neutral. The arms will be the cause for concern.

So, you be the judge here. Have the Reds placed too much stock in their talent? Enough to not make any major moves during the offseason? I know it’s been asked and asked and asked.

Note: Projections used were taken from Fangraphs.com using the Bill James projections except for Mike Leake (there wasn’t one). The Marcel projection was used.