I have seen a lot of 2012 National League Central predictions and thought I would share my predictions. Many experts still think St. Louis Cardinals will be the top team, but if you look at my predictions I won’t show them any love at all, because I really think their losses out weigh their gains this offseason. Plus, they did not finish first last season with what they had so it is not easy for me to understand how people expect them to get first in 2012. I do think the Pirates will have a good season though and they could be a tough team to beat again for the Reds this season.
Now, of course these are just my early thoughts on what the standings will look like and I have been wrong many years. I do have a feeling though that the Cardinals and Brewers are going to have a tough time repeating what they did in 2011. Not just because of Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols but because of everything that has happened this offseason.
My 2012 National League Central Prediction:
1. Cincinnati Reds
2. Pittsburgh Pirates
3. Milwaukee Brewers
4. St. Louis Cardinals
5. Chicago Cubs
6. Houston Astros
I have noticed lately that people are starting to realize that Cincinnati Reds have a pretty good team this offseason. Especially after all of the moves that they have made. I think it is starting to sink in for some that St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers will have a lot more challenges this season then they did in 2011 and that the Reds are better equipped as they head into Spring Training. I personally can not wait until the start of the season. With everything that has happened this offseason, it will be very interesting to see what teams do well and which ones suffer. Will the National League be in trouble now that Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder are gone? Will Joey Votto be a lock for 1B in every all-star game for many years to come now? Will Reds fans finally realize that the Josh Hamilton trade was actually a good move by the Reds? Ha ha, the last one I just had to throw in there. I just read today that Hamilton had a relapse with alcohol and that he is still looking for a new buddy to help him stay sober for this new season. [Source – ESPN]
This offseason has been great for Cincinnati Reds fans and when Spring Training begins we will get a good look at the team Walt Jocketty and his front office have put together. Mat Latos, Sean Marshall and Ryan Madson are just a few new faces that we can expect to see in 2012. With Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder now in the American League most of us are wondering if that will have a huge effect on their former teams, St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers. Will Cincinnati be able to take first in the National League Central and will they have the right players to make the playoffs and even the World Series? Only time will tell and most of us are ready for the season to begin right now.
I keep waking up, expecting another huge transaction to be done by the Cincinnati Reds this offseason. General Manager Walt Jocketty has done such a great job and a lot of us know that he is most likely all done, but for some reason all of us are still waiting to see if more is to come. Like a kid in a candy store, we wait for more news. It is such a great feeling to know that your favorite team is trying to improve and doing anything it can to make a better team for the upcoming season. A season that will see Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun (for 50 games) not playing against the Reds in 2012. Will Walt make another huge move this offseason to top what he has already done? Probably not, but it sure is fun waiting to see if he does. I really have to be 100% honest, in close to 20 years of cheering for the Reds, this has to be one of the most exciting winters I have ever experienced and I am very glad I starting writing this blog this year instead of a few years ago.
2012 is going to be a great year to remember for Reds fans and it is all thanks to the front office. No matter what happens this season, Walt has delivered and I take back every bad thing I have ever said about the man and his keeping stuff close to his vest and not making moves just to make a move. The man has proven to me that he does know what he is doing and hopefully he will keep bringing in key players to improve the ball club every year.
Roy Oswalt will most likely not sign with the Reds because of the budget and to tell you the truth, I really am not sure if he would really help the team any more than the players they already have. I still think there will be a few more moves this offseason though. Either through trade or free agency with more minor league deals and spring training invites.
Prince Fielder and Francisco Cordero both found new teams today. Fielder went to Detroit Tigers in a huge deal and Cordero signed a one year deal with Toronto Blue Jays. These are big moves that will help the Reds in 2012. First off, the Reds will not have to worry about facing either one of these players in 2012. (I think the Reds will face the Tigers sometime in the season but that is only 3 games.)
Rumors are still flying high with Roy Oswalt being at the top of the list, along with Ryan Theriot and Jeff Francis. If Walt Jocketty was to sign someone like Roy Oswalt to a one year deal it would prove that they are really in it to win it this season. Most people don’t think Oswalt has much left in his tank but I think staying in the National League is a very smart move for him and it could really help both the Reds and himself for better deals in 2013. If Walt could pull off a one year deal that would not financially hurt the team he would be a lock for General Manager of the year in my books. He is already pretty close to winning it with the moves he has done this offseason.
The biggest question I have right now is, if Oswalt really wants to stay in the National League will he maybe give a discount to a team looking for another starter? And could that team be St. Louis Cardinals or another team in National League Central? I wonder if Oswalt’s agent contacted all National League teams or were the Reds the only one? I would like to think the Reds were the only ones but we all know that would not be true.
There are a lot of people who think if the Reds did sign him there would be to many starters on the Reds then. I would just like to remind those people of last season and what happened to the Reds with their starters. It is always nice to have more options just in case. I am sure that Walt is not really looking to far into getting Oswalt though but I do believe that there will be one or maybe two more pitchers signed to minor league deals before spring training comes.
Kerry Wood might be leaving Chicago Cubs to sign with Philadelphia Phillies. If this happens it will go down as another move this offseason that will help the Cincinnati Reds in 2012 which they did not have to make. [Source]
Kerry Wood has a career 14-6 record against the Reds with a 2.85 ERA. With 201 strike outs while only giving up 59 walks in 161.1 IP and 47 games. He has a 4-3 record at Great American Ball Park and a 4.05 ERA with 66 strike outs and 17 walks along with only allowing 7 home runs in 53.1 innings pitched. (17 games)
If Kerry Wood does leave the Cubs this will be another move that has pushed the Reds closer to first place in the National League Central without them making any other moves. The Reds did get Sean Marshall and Mat Latos in trades earlier this offseason and are waiting to find out if they will re-sign closer Francisco Cordero but other than that they have not had to really do much more.
This has been one very interesting offseason for Reds fans. First we saw Albert Pujols along with manager Tony LaRussa leave St. Louis Cardinals. Prince Fielder is not expected to return to Milwaukee Brewers and Ryan Braun is expected to get a 50 game suspension due to testing positive for PEDs. The Chicago Cubs are cleaning house and are dealing away most of their high salary players like Carlos Zambrano and there are still rumors that Matt Garza might be next. Houston Astros are in a rebuilding year and are getting ready to move to the American League. Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds are the only teams in National League Central that have not been losing lots of their key players this offseason.
I wanted to try out a podcast to start off 2012. I am not sure if I will do a lot of podcasts but if feedback is good it might become a welcome addition to the blog. This first episode is about what I have posted on 2r2d blog. Mat Latos, Sean Marshall and Josh Judy are talked about in this episode.
I would like to wish everyone a very safe Merry Christmas. Santa has already brought me lots of gifts this Christmas (Albert Pujols to the Angels, 2r2d posted on MLBlogs.com main page, Mat Latos, Sean Marshall and another gift I will not mention until I get it.) But there was another gift I wanted (yes, I know I am greedy) before the 25th and that is Prince Fielder signing with a team out of the National League Central Division. I hope that this will happen before the New Year.
Here is a list of moves so far this offseason that have helped the Cincinnati Reds for the 2012 season. Some of the moves were not even done by the Reds.
- The Reds re-sign catcher Corky Miller.
I think Corky Miller will be a big help in 2012 and see him playing in quite a few games. The Reds were very lucky last season with healthy catchers. I am not sure if that will be the case in 2012. Sure, he is not a great hitter in the big leagues right now but he can call a great game and is a veteran player that can really help out the club when needed. I still see him as being a coach / manager for the Reds one day. I hope to see him and Sam LeCure in Reds jerseys for many more years.
- Albert Pujols signs with Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim leaving the National League Central.
This is a huge move that will help the Reds out big time in 2012. Although the St. Louis Cardinals are still a top team in the National League, they just are not as dangerous to face anymore. They just recently signed Carlos Beltran but I am afraid he might still be very injury prone along with the fact that they have a new manager who might have a tough time keeping the team motivated all season long.
- Ryan Braun tested positive for PEDs.
This suspension will be a big turning point in Milwaukee Brewers season. Along with losing Prince Fielder and the team going back to signing good fielding shortstops instead of good hitting ones this should help the Reds keep ahead of them in the standings all season long.
- Mat Latos traded to the Reds.
There are still a lot of people out there that think the Reds overpaid for this great young starter but only time will tell when it comes to prospects. I think having Mat Latos in the starting rotation will really help the team out in 2012.
- Sean Marshall traded to the Reds from Chicago Cubs.
This trade is still on the table and no one really knows who the two minor league players are. Once the smoke clears though, I see this as being a huge trade for the Reds. Not only did they get a tough relief pitcher away from a division rival but they added an inning eating left-handed setup man, something they were missing last season. The Cubs have been reported to be in a total clean up situation this offseason and might even move more players. Then again, there are also some rumors that they are trying to sign Prince Fielder but I really don’t see this as being a big problem for the Reds. Prince Fielder is a deadly hitter but not as deadly when he doesn’t have Ryan Braun and the rest of the Brewers with him. I am still hoping Prince signs with a team out of the Central but if the Cubs do get him I am not going to lose much sleep over it.
When I look over this list it makes me wonder what if the Cincinnati Reds front office could have seen into the future. Would they have picked differently? One thing to note is that Joey Votto was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2nd round of the 2002 amateur draft.
- David Espinosa was Cincinnati Reds #1 pick (23rd)
- Adam Wainwright was Atlanta Braves #1 pick (29th)
- Jeremy Sowers was Cincinnati Reds #1 pick (20th)
- David Wright was New York Mets #1 pick (38th)
- Chris Gruler was Cincinnati Reds #1 pick (3rd)
- Zack Greinke was Kansas City Royals #1 pick (6th)
- Prince Fielder was Milwaukee Brewers #1 pick (7th)
- Cole Hamels was Philadelphia Phillies #1 pick (17th)
- Matt Cain was San Francisco Giants # 1 pick (25th)
- Ryan Wagner was Cincinnati Reds #1 pick (14th)
- Chad Billingsley was Los Angeles Dodgers #1 pick (24th)
- Homer Bailey was Cincinnati Reds #1 pick (7th)
- Jered Weaver was Los Angeles Angels #1 pick (12th)
- Jay Bruce was Cincinnati Reds #1 pick (12th)
- Jacoby Ellsbury was Boston Red Sox #1 pick (23rd)
- Matt Garza was Minnesota Twins #1 pick (25th)
- Drew Stubbs was Cincinnati Reds #1 pick (8th)
- Tim Lincecum was San Francisco Giants #1 pick (10th)
- Devin Mesoraco was Cincinnati Reds #1 pick (15th)
- J.P. Arencibia was Toronto Blue Jays #1 pick (21st)
- Rick Porcello was Detroit Tigers #1 pick (27th)
- Yonder Alonso was Cincinnati Reds #1 pick (7th)
- Brett Lawrie was Milwaukee Brewers #1 pick (16th)
- Ike Davis was New York Mets #1 pick (18th)
- Mike Leake was Cincinnati Reds #1 pick (8th)
- [Leake is the best player so far in that class even doing better than the number one pick Stephen Strasburg in WAR.]
- Yasmani Grandal was Cincinnati Reds #1 pick (12th)
- Chris Sale was Chicago White Sox #1 pick (13th)
- Robert Stephenson was Cincinnati Reds #1 pick (27th)