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.
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.
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.
The Cincinnati Reds are currently sitting with an overall record of 9994 wins with 9702 losses. (1882 – 2011) 8975 of those wins are as the Cincinnati Reds. As Cincinnati Red Stockings (1882 – 1889) they had 549 wins. 470 of the wins are when they were Cincinnati Redlegs. (1954 – 1959)
So 2012 will witness the team with such a rich history go on to win 10,000 wins. Or if you want to get technical 9000 as the Cincinnati Reds. No matter how you look at it, this season will be a record-breaking season. I expect the Reds to bounce back and make the playoffs again this season. Of course I am biased but from what I have seen in the offseason with teams in the Central Division there is only one other team that is really making anything happen and that is Pittsburgh Pirates. The moves the Cardinals and Brewers have made (or have not made) are not scaring me one bit. And the Cubs and Astros don’t really look to promising either.
What a better way to take 10,000 wins than to win the division and go on to the World Series against Los Angeles Angels. Ok, I will wake up now and try to be a little more realistic. The Reds waiting game is paying off so far in my mind but they still need to make some moves in order to even come in 3rd in 2012. I do see Pittsburgh doing better this season though and I really am not sure if the Brewers will be very competitive in 2012 with everything going on with them. (Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder) Cardinals still have a great team but it will be very interesting to see how well they play without Albert Pujols and Tony LaRussa.
The moves the Cincinnati Reds make this offseason will either make them or break them. Trading too much away to get a top of the rotation starter that finishes with a 15 – 13 record and killing their future or not trading enough and getting a player that does not give them a big enough push to win their division are the two main things that scare me right now. I think this is why the front office has not made a move yet. They are really looking at all the options and with everything that is going on with the Brewers and Cardinals right now their waiting game is paying off nicely.
In all seriousness I really don’t see an easy solution to their need for a top of the rotation starter. Who could they really bring in for three or four of their top prospects that will walk out with 20+ wins in 2012 with most of those games being in Great American Ball Park? And in my mind trading away three or more top prospects for a 15 to 17 win pitcher is not really going to help in the long run. If the Reds can get their hitters to hit the ball instead of striking out so much the pitchers they have right now are all capable of winning 17 games so why would they want to trade away their future for a pitcher that really might not do very well in Great American Ball Park? And let’s be real honest here, we don’t see many top pitchers knocking on the Reds front door begging to come play in Great American Ball Park for a few seasons. The only way the Reds will get the big starter they really want is by trading for him and they are going to have to trade a lot away in order to get him. I might be the only fan out there that really does not want to see that happen.
I am not going to write too much about this because to tell you the honest truth I am still shocked and confused. Ryan Braun, the National League MVP tested positive for PEDs and is now trying to fight it. With this news, as a Reds fan it makes me wonder how well they will do in 2012. Now that Prince Fielder will not be on that team and Ryan Braun will be facing a 50 game suspension along with Albert Pujols being traded away from St. Louis Cardinals and Tony LaRussa retiring. Do people actually believe the Breweres and Cardinals will do well without the people who really helped them a lot in 2011? The Reds will not have Francisco Cordero or Ramon Hernandez but even with not making any moves at all this offseason they are still sitting in better shape. I predict the Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates to do well in the Central now.
Year Age G AB R H HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS 2007 23 113 451 91 146 34 97 15 .324 .370 .634 1.004 2008 24 151 611 92 174 37 106 14 .285 .335 .553 .888 2009 25 158 635 113 203 32 114 20 .320 .386 .551 .937 2010 26 157 619 101 188 25 103 14 .304 .365 .501 .866 2011 27 150 563 109 187 33 111 33 .332 .397 .597 .994 5 Seasons 729 2879 506 898 161 531 96 .312 .371 .563 .933 162 Game Avg. 162 640 112 200 36 118 21 .312 .371 .563 .933
Why is Albert Pujols moving to the American League such a big deal to a Cincinnati Reds fan? He was one of the most dangerous hitters to ever face the team that is why.
Over his career playing for St. Louis Cardinals he hit 20 home runs in 266 at bats in Great American Ball Park. He has a .316 BA, .404 OBP and a .598 SLG in GABP. Of course he hit 20 or more home runs in other Central Division teams ball parks too but it took 20 or more games to do it. In Great American Ball Park he hit 20 in 68 games. Against Chicago Cubs in Wrigley Field he hit 26 HR in 85 games. Against Houston Astros in Minute Maid Park he hit 24 in 91 games. Pittsburgh Pirates in PNC Park saw him hit 29 home runs in 89 games. The only park he did not hit 20 in was against Milwaukee Brewers in Miller Park where he got 19 HR in 81 games. In his career against the Reds, Albert has hit 46 home runs in 172 games.
Now that the Machine is gone to the Angels there is another player that is on my radar this offseason and that is Prince Fielder. Of course Prince has not been around as long as Albert Pujols but having him out of the Central Division in 2012 will really help the Reds out big time.
Prince has also seen the ball very well in Great American Ball Park. In 52 games, 186 at bats he has hit 11 home runs getting a .323 BA, .422 OBP and .581 SLG. Against the Reds in his career Fielder has gotten 22 home runs in 102 games.
This of course shows just a part of the reason why I would like them both out of the National League Central but another big part is what these men do for their teams lineups on those days they are playing. Many players on their teams see a lot more pitches because of them in the game. I think Ryan Braun will not have such a great season in 2012 because of Fielder not batting in the same lineup. And of course the guys on the Cardinals will not be seeing as many good pitches as they used to when Albert was with them. These players will go on to hit well no matter what but they just won’t see the same pitches they once did when these two big boys were batting before or after them in the batting order. The Reds pitchers will have a chance to pitch a little better knowing that they don’t have to face these big bats every time they face that team.
No matter what the Reds front office does or doesn’t do this offseason having Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols go to different teams outside of the Central Division will be a huge factor in how well these teams do in the standings in 2012. Many people still believe St. Louis Cardinals will take the division and I have to disagree. There are way to many factors involved here that make their team completely different from the 2011 team. Their manager and first basemen are just two of those major factors. Will the Brewers really be able to take first without Prince? I highly doubt they will even with the guys they have they still will need that big bat to help out the rest of the lineup. Right now with what deals have been made this offseason, I give Pittsburgh Pirates a better chance of winning than St. Louis or Milwaukee. The Reds of course really need to have an injury free season for their main players in order to make a push for the division and Houston is gearing up for their move to the American League,
There is still a lot left in the offseason and some big moves can still be made to better each team but with Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson off to the Angels and of course Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle going to Miami the teams in the National League Central Division are running low on options.