Red Hot: The 2010 Cincinnati Reds Projected Starting Lineup
The Cincinnati Reds have had a lot of promise over the past few seasons. They have many players who are considered to be the best in the league at their positions. Many of them have failed to perform over the past few seasons, but here is a preview of what is to come. This is the projected 2010 Cincinnati Reds starting lineup.
First Base: Joey Votto
Votto is a shoe in for the position, after leading the Reds with a .322 batting average and 25 home-runs in 09. He was the Reds most consistent player at the plate, but in order to secure the spot, will have to prove himself to be effective in the field, as he is still struggling somewhat in that department. Otherwise, 2010 can be a knock-out year for Votto.
Second Base: Brandon Phillips
Philips hit .276 last season with 25 home runs, and has been the Red's most reliable hitter and fielder over the past four years. He had nine errors last season, which is high for him, but he will be looking to lower that number to around four or five, and possibly secure a Gold Glove award by season's end.
Short-Stop: Orlando Cabrera
Cabrera, who the Reds recently acquired, will provide sharp defensive skills at shortstop, and also provide a decent bat. Cabrera hit .284 with 9 homeruns and 77 R.B.I. Cabrera will provide a much needed athlete at shortstop.
Third Base: Scott Rolen
Recently acquired Rolen will provide a much-needed defensive hand at the hot corner, and will provide a consistent bat from the right side of the plate. In 40 games for the Reds last season, Rolen hit .277 with three home runs and 24 RBI. He also had 37 hits total with the Reds, which close to a hit per game. Rolens' playing style is exactly what the Reds need at third base this season. In almost 340 innings with the Reds, Rolen has zero errors.
Catcher: Throwup; Ryan Hannigan or Ramon Hernandez
Both had almost equal playing time in 2009. Both were almost perfect in the field, and Hannigan hit .266 while Hernandez only hit .258. Hernandez produced exceptionally more offensively, knocking in 37 runs while Hannigan only had 11 RBI.
They will both duel it out during spring training, and will most likely split time in the regular season, with one being favored playing time wise as the season progresses.
Center Field: Drew Stubbs
The youngster had limited playing time in ’09, and will play a full season in 2010. In his short stint at the end of the ’09 season, Stubbs showed a lot of potential. In 42 games as a rookie, Stubbs hit .267 with eight home runs and 17 runs batted in. He also stole 10 bases. He has been noticed all around the league and could have a great season in 2010.
Left Field: Throwup; Laynce Nix or Johnny Gomes
Nix started 60 games at LF last season, while Gomes started only 33. Nix, while having amazing potential, has been lackluster at best at the plate, hitting .239 with 15 home runs and 46 RBI in 309 at bats. Gomes, who was just recently resigned by the Reds, hit .267 with 20 home runs and 51 RBI in only .281 at bats. Gomes will likely take the starting job.
Right Field: Jay Bruce
2010 is the season when Jay Bruce has to prove himself. He has not lived up to the hype so far, and in ’09, he hit .223 with 22 home runs and 58 RBI.
Bruce, who was labeled as one of the best prospects in the majors, is going into his third season. With his powerful arm, his had 11 outfield assists, and is arguably the Reds best defensive outfielder.
Starting Pitchers: Aaron Harang
Harang had a not so Harang like season last year, going 6-14 with an ERA of above 4.00. He has the potential to be one of the best in the NL, and has proven it in previous seasons. Harang is the Reds ace, and will play like one this season.
Arroyo had a great season last year, and was the most productive pitcher for the Reds last season. He went 15-13, with a 3.84 ERA and 127 strikeouts. He has shown to be inconsistent over the years, but has had back-to-back seasons with 15+ wins.
Cueto, another Red with loads of potential, went 11-11 in 2009, and was consistent throughout the entire season. With his powerful arm, he had 132 strikeouts, and is going to try to improve on his disappointing 4.41 ERA in 2010.
Bailey, who lately has been referred to as a “bust” in the Cincinnati area, had his best season to date last season. He went 8-5 with a 4.5 ERA and 86 strikeouts. He has been working on improving his control. Bailey, who has had a problem with pitch count, will have to find a way to go deeper into games, because the less innings the bullpen has to eat up, the better.
This crafty Cuban left hander was the Reds biggest offseason pickup. He has been ranked as one of the top pitching prospects, and has been clocked at over 100 MPH. He will have to prove himself in spring training, and will most likely secure the fifth spot in the rotation.
The bullpen at this point is a throw-up. The group will most likely consist of several of the following players.
Closer: Francisco Cordero
No matter who takes the field for the Cincinnati Reds in 2010, the Reds will work hard, and hopefully make the playoffs come the end of the season.