2013 Reds

Let’s look into the crystal ball, shall we?

Over the weekend, Redleg Nation‘s editors submitted some predictions for the upcoming season. We thought today’s ill-timed off day would be a good time to reveal our choices. I’ve compiled the responses, and here’s the consensus…

First, we made our playoff predictions.

NL Central: Cincinnati. Your Reds were a unanimous choice to win the NL Central. It’s quite possible that we are biased here.
NL East: Washington. Atlanta got a couple of votes, but the Nationals were our clear favorite.
NL West: Los Angeles. This was the closest vote, with the Dodgers edging out the Giants.
NL Wild Cards: Atlanta, San Francisco. A number of other teams received votes here, including Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and St. Louis.

National League Champion: Cincinnati Reds. The Reds weren’t a unanimous choice here, as the Nationals received some support.

AL Central: Detroit. The Motor City Kitties were a unanimous choice to win the Central.
AL East: Toronto. The Jays edged the Rays by only two votes.
AL West: Los Angeles Angels. The Halos were our choice, though they only received one vote more than the Rangers. Oakland also received one vote.
AL Wild Cards: Tampa Bay, Texas. Also receiving votes: Oakland, the White Sox, and Boston.

American League Champion: Detroit Tigers. We were all over the map here. Tampa Bay and Toronto each finished one vote behind Detroit, with Oakland receiving a vote, as well.

World Series Champion: Cincinnati Reds. Never say we aren’t loyal (though Washington received a couple of votes).

NL MVP: Joey Votto. Nearly unanimous; Ryan Braun also received a vote.
NL Cy Young: (tie) Stephen Strasburg, Clayton Kershaw. Zack Greinke and Mat Latos each received a vote, as well.
AL MVP: Mike Trout. Overwhelming favorite, though Evan Longoria, Jose Reyes, and Miguel Cabrera each received a vote.
AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander. David Price recieved a couple of votes, but Verlander ran away with this one.

Three Keys for the Reds
We also asked the editors to list three keys for the Reds to be successful this season. The answers were all over the map, and I’ll present them all to you here. Two keys were, by far, the most popular response:

Health:
–“Avoid injuries to the rotation.”
–“Need 600 IP from Cueto/Latos/Homer”
–“Avoid injury to Votto, Choo, Bruce, Phillips”
–“Extended injuries to outfield/Votto/Phillips could be undoing.”

Production from LF and 3B:
–“Ryan Ludwick and Todd Frazier must approximate their 2012 production.”

There were other responses as well:
–“Bronson Arroyo must be Good Bronson again.”
–“Leake and Arroyo need to keep their ERAs around 4.”
–“Bottom of the order hitting.”
–“The ongoing battle between GM and field manager needs to keep to a minimum.”
–“Jay Bruce needs to make the jump to elite player.”
–“Defense not undermined by Frazier & Choo.”
–“Bench must make a meaningful contribution.”
–“Key to winning in the post season is Homer’s continued emergence as a solid #2 starter or better.”
–“Team believes it has something to prove, not reading press clippings about how good they are.”
–“Latos and Bailey take next step.”
–“Offensive production from Frazier, Ludwick, Hanigan/Mesoraco, and Cozart. These guys just need to have average to above average seasons.”
–“Get off to a good start to the season.”

Random Bold Predictions
Finally, we made some other Reds-related predictions, bold or otherwise, for you to disagree with:

–“Mat Latos will win 18 games and strike out 200 batters.”
–“Joey Votto will lead the club in home runs.”
–“Shin-Soo Choo will go 20-20 and score 100+ runs.”
–“Mike Leake has his best year of young career.”
–“Reds sign Choo to an extension & trade Hamilton and Leake for another top of the rotation starter.”
–“Mesoraco gets more playing time than Hanigan by the end of the season.”
–“Galarraga posts an ERA under 3.50 (in less than 10 starts) for the Reds.”
–“By the end of April we will be complaining about Dusty’s lineups or his strange need to start someone who has no business starting regularly.”
–“The Reds win the division by no fewer than 5 games.”
–“Choo scores over 100 runs this season, allowing both Votto and Bruce to drive in over 100 RBI.”
–“The Reds will have 3 starting pitchers with 16+ wins.”

So there you go. Please keep in mind, gang: this is just for fun. As always, no wagering. :)

20 thoughts on “Let’s look into the crystal ball, shall we?

  1. Some very impressive pitching performances yesterday. Kershaw, Strasburg, Sale, King Felix. I would suspect the depressed offensive era period we are in will continue…

    In that environment, the Reds are well positioned to compete.

  2. ”Bench must make a meaningful contribution.”

    C’mon. Get real. Johnny Bench is not walking back through that door.

    Oh, wait … never mind.

  3. I think 2 of the biggest keys for the Reds are:

    1) production from the 4 hole – we have to make the other team pitch to Votto
    2) Can the pitching staff repeat last season

    There can be other factors, also, like, can Devin improve? Can Todd repeat? Injuries? And, so forth. But, I believe those are going to be the 2 biggest keys as of now.

    As for LF, I have no problem with Heisey there (or in CF, with Choo, in LF). He showed when given the extended chance to start last season, around mid-May to mid-June, starting around 32 out of 42 games, he batted 288/324, better than we had from either of the first two spots in the batting order all season. Why didn’t he stay? It was Ludwick’s turn to see what he could do. Once Ludwick got his bat going, it was hard to take it out. It might take a couple of games for Heisey to get into a routine, what can be very important for players at this level. And, being a hustler, Heisey likes to really go after it. Being a hustler, he still has to use his head. As long as he stays within himself, I think he will be fine.

  4. –”Jay Bruce needs to make the jump to elite player.”

    0-5, 4 K’s, looked pitiful at the plate with runners on base.

    Bruce made the jump alright, a triple-jump backwards. Jay Bruce and “elite player” should never be in the same sentence together. But, Bruce wasn’t the only one that stunk it up at the plate. It was a team effort in that regard.

    • @WVRedlegs:
      I have to start to agree. It seems like he’s been living off hitting the HR to clinch the 2010 division for a while, signing the big contract, etc. In the meantime, his offensive numbers still aren’t much better. And, his defense is even taking a hit. I still remember a couple of routine catches, especially one in SF that he should have had cleanly.

      • @steveschoen:

        I am definitely not saying Jay Bruce isn’t a good player. He is. He is just not elite. He is just not on the same tier as with Votto, Kemp, McCutcheon, Braun, Posey, Cargo, Wright, and Howard. Stanton is almost there.
        Hey, 30 HR’s and 95 RBI’s the last 2 years is nothing to sneeze at. But that .254 BA, lack of clutch hitting, and his knack for streaky hitting and disappearing once or twice during the season certainly doesn’t help him or the Reds. Oh, he’ll come through in clutch a few times during the year, but nothing near what a hitter needs to do to be considered “elite”. With all that in mind, I’ll take Jay Bruce in the lineup any day. I just wish the Reds had a solid, legit #4 RH power hitter to overshadow and hopefully hide Bruce’s deficiencies (his minuses). He has many plusses I want to add.

        • @WVRedlegs: Oh, I agree. Many have been talking about waiting for a breakout season from him. I can’t help thinking this is it for him. This is how good he is going to be. Definitely not elite. “Serviceable”? I would take that.

    • Jay Bruce and “elite player” should never be in the same sentence together.

      LMAO. We’re stuck with him. He reminds a bit of Sean Casey. Casey would really dig in and run real hard to first on what may have been a close play, but when Casey tried to run fast, he just went slower and slower. Bruce gets all keyed up, and the pitchers throw him high fastballs, and his bat just gets slower and slower.

      I have no faith in him against lefties. He struck out about 29% of the time last year v lefties, a Stubbsian rate, and while he did hit 11 homers, he hit only 3 doubles v. LHP in 194 PAs. And he had a .218/.297/.421 on the road last year. He is pretty much Dave Kingman or Mark Reynolds on the road, as well as against lefties. He was good last year at GABP and at Houston and Philly, all bandboxes.

      I love his arm. He’s probably kind to animals.

  5. How is RN-Users (RNU?) complaining about Dusty’s lineups a bold prediction? I saw it yesterday in the comments as soon as Luddy went down :p

  6. Bold prediction:

    Frazier sets a personal best by saving two chokers this year. One will be an important world figure of some kind.

  7. Bold prediction: Brandon Phillips will break the record for most sacrifice bunts in a season. In related news, Joey Votto will set the Reds single-season record for intentional bases on balls.

    Also, too, more than half this site’s readers will break at least one TV or radio as we bear witness to this farce.

  8. Going to be honest with you, I’m not sure how many more BP sac bunts I’m going to be able to watch. It’s like seeing someone kick a puppy and a kitten at the same time.

  9. *After a .500 April, the Reds will be in first place by 3 games (or more) by the break and will run away with the division in July and August.

    *The Reds will win 15 in a row during August, prompting Marty to have to live up to his offer to have “Go Cubs Go” tatooed across his chest.

    *Walt will pull the trigger on a major trade (for a bat) just before the deadline.

    *Frazier will save the Pope from an assassination attempt, remove the bullet from his arm with his free hand, and return the next day to hit a home run without a bat.

    *Cueto, Latos, and Bailey will emerge as #’s 1, 1a, and 1b. They will each win at least 15 games.

    *Hanigan will break out Jeff Reed’s catcher’s mitt (you know, the one with the neon outline in it) for the playoffs, causing Tim McCarver to speak for fifteen minutes (during the ninth inning of game seven of the World Series) about what Bob Gibson would have said to him if he would have used a similar mitt.

    *Reds will win game seven of the World Series on a walk-off, two-run double by Votto. Choo will hit .450 with an OBP of .600 for the WS MVP.

  10. “Reds sign Choo to an extension & trade Hamilton and Leake for another top of the rotation starter.”

    I think I just drooled.

  11. Soooooo, the whipping-boy is going to be Bruce this year huh? He did have an epically bad game Monday but to say that he’s “serviceable” got me laughing pretty good. Dave Kingman and Mark Reynolds? Really? I mean if you are only including road-stats and stats against lefties then he doesn’t look too great but you’re ignoring about half the sample if you do that. Also, we all consider Choo a pretty good hitter right? Well his slash-line against LHPs last year was: .199/.318/.286. Bruce is one of many, many LH batters that struggles against LHPs. And Bruce’s slash-line last year against LHPs was .225/.304/.450. That’s actually better than the league average of LH-hitters against LHPs.

    Bruce may not ever be an elite player but he is a better hitter than the average corner OF. His .841 OPS was the 16th best in baseball. Of course some of it is park-inflated but it can’t all be attributed to that. Lastly, he just turned 26 today. Yes today is his Birthday. He should be entering his prime years and is likely to improve somewhat from this year until his age 30 season. He has his shortcomings and perhaps his biggest is that he seems to press. All that tells me is that he’s trying too hard and he cares too much. Honestly, I have no idea why so many people dislike him.

    • @LWBlogger: Sorry, clarification needed. His .841 OPS was the 16th best in baseball among qualified outfielders. There are 57 MLB outfielders who qualified for that list.

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