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2011 MLB Preview: Cincinnati Reds

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2011 MLB Preview: Cincinnati Reds
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9 Innings Blog will be bringing you previews of every Major League Baseball team for the next 30 days. This is in accordance with our 30 teams in 30 days series. Today, we are going to preview the 2011 Cincinnati Reds' squad, who are the reigning NL Central Division champions and are looking to repeat this season as well.

The Reds finished last year with a 91-71 record behind their two top performers, first baseman Joey Votto and outfielder Jay Bruce. They beat the Cardinals by five games.

Votto had a phenomenal season. He won the NL MVP award hitting 37 home runs and driving in 113 RBI. He led the league in on-base percentage (.424), slugging percentage (.600), and OPS (1.024).

Bruce also contributed fairly to the Reds performance last season. Bruce had 25 homers and 70 RBI for the team. He batted .281/.353/.493. The Reds were lucky enough to sign both players to multi-year extensions this offseason too.

Bronson Arroyo also earned a multi-year extension with the team. Arroyo was 17-10 last season with 3.88 ERA and 1.145 WHIP.

The Reds made it to the playoffs as well last season. But they fell into the Philadelphia Phillies trap as Roy Halladay and company would blank them out. The Phillies swept Cincinnati but not until Halladay pitched a no-hitter in game game one of the series.

The only key moves that Cincy made during the offseason was re-signing Arroyo, Bruce and Votto to extensions. They released SS Orlando Cabrera in favor of what was supposed to be Paul Janish but then the team picked up World Series MVP Edgar Renteria.

The teams expects to keep Cuban flamethrower Aroldis Chapman in the bullpen this year and could be used as a closer if Francisco Cordero loses some of his luster.

In the long run, I feel like the Reds can pull off another division win. The Cardinals lost Adam Wainwright for the season and Albert Pujols is not happy with the team, which could affect the team’s play as a whole. The Reds will beat the Cubs, Astros, Pirates for the win and another appearance in the playoffs

Key Addition: Edgar Renteria, SS

Breakout Player: Drew Stubbs, OF

Prediction: First, NL Central

Starters
CA: Ramon Hernandez
1B: Joey Votto
2B: Brandon Phillips
3B: Scott Rolen
SS: Paul Janish
OF: Drew Stubbs
OF: Jay Bruce
OF: Jonny Gomes

Pitching Rotation
SP: Edinson Volquez
SP: Bronson Arroyo
SP: Johnny Cueto
SP: Homer Bailey
SP: Travis Wood

RP: Carlos Fisher
RP: Jared Burton
RP: Logan Ondrusek
RP: Bill Bray
RP: Nick Masset
RP: Aroldis Chapman
CP: Francisco Cordero

Bench
CA: Ryan Hanigan
INF: Edgar Renteria
UTL: Miguel Cairo
OF: Chris Heisey
OF: Fred Lewis

Top Prospects
1). Aroldis Chapman, LHP
2). Devin Mesoraco, CA
3). Yonder Alonso, 1B
4). Billy Hamilton, SS
5). Yorman Rodriguez, OF

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