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MLB Preview 2011: Looking at Joey Votto and the Cincinnati Reds on Paper

Adrian FedkiwAnalyst IIIOctober 8, 2016

MLB Preview 2011: Looking at Joey Votto and the Cincinnati Reds on Paper

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    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    After three consecutive seasons of not eclipsing the 80-win plateau, the Reds came out of nowhere last season. They won 91 games and the NL Central crown.

    They have a very talented lineup and remind me a lot of the Philadelphia Phillies five years ago. Their Ryan Howard is Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips is Chase Utley, Jay Bruce is Jayson Werth and Drew Stubbs is Shane Victorino.

    The Reds led the National League in runs (790) and home runs (188) last season. Votto won the National League MVP.



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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
    • C: Ramon Hernandez (7)
    • 1B: Joey Votto (9) 
    • 2B: Brandon Phillips (8) 
    • SS: Edgar Renteria (7) 
    • 3B: Scott Rolen (7.75)


    Ramon Hernandez (34) 313 AB .297 BA 30 R 7 HR 48 RBI 0 SB 

    • Due to Hernandez’s age, Ryan Hanigan will see plenty of time as the backup catcher. Hernandez continues to lose mobility, but he’s still a good receiver of the ball.
    • At the plate, Hernandez makes contact and likes to go the other way.


    Joey Votto (27) 547 AB .324 BA 106 R 37 HR 113 RBI 16 SB

    • Votto has a great feel for hitting. He gets great bat speed and uses the whole field with power.
    • Last year’s NL MVP isn’t too shabby defensively either. He’s nifty around the first base bag.


    Brandon Phillips (29) 626 AB .275 BA 100 R 18 HR 59 RBI 16 SB

    • Phillips is the most underrated second baseman in baseball. He has an aggressive approach at the plate to go along with a good bat.
    • He’s an excellent fielder with a lot of range. He can turn the double play really well.


    Edgar Renteria (35) 243 AB .276 BA 26 R 3 HR 22 RBI 3 SB

    • In terms of playoff heroics, Renteria compares a bit to Robert Horry in the NBA. During the regular season, he’s just a role player, but when the lights are on bright, Renteria performs.


    Scott Rolen (36) 471 AB .285 BA 66 R 20 HR 83 RBI 1 SB

    Rolen played really well at the beginning of last season but struggled down the stretch. Did his age catch up to him? He’s a very heady player who knows how to hit. He’s still great in the field as well.


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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images
    • LF: Jonny Gomes (7) 
    • CF: Drew Stubbs (7.25) 
    • RF: Jay Bruce (7.75)


    Jonny Gomes (31) 511 AB .266 BA 77 R 18 HR 86 RBI 5 SB

    • Gomes goes up swinging and doesn’t get cheated. He drives fastballs over the plate but struggles with breaking pitches. He’s a defensive liability in left.


    Drew Stubbs (26) 514 AB .255 BA 91 R 22 HR 77 RBI 30 SB

    • Stubbs doesn’t always make consistent contact, but when he gets on base, he’s lethal.
    • Stubbs gets great jumps on the ball in center field and closes on the ball quickly.


    Jay Bruce (24) 509 AB .281 BA 80 R 25 HR 70 RBI 5 SB

    • Bruce has a nice swing and is still learning how to hit. In the field, Bruce has the best arm of any right fielder in baseball.

Starting Pitching

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
    • 1. Bronson Arroyo (7.25)
    • 2. Johnny Cueto (7.25)
    • 3. Edinson Volquez (7.25)
    • 4. Homer Bailey (7)
    • 5. Travis Wood (7)


    Bronson Arroyo (34) 207 IP 17-10 3.88 ERA 1.15 WHIP 121 K

    • Arroyo eats innings, knows how to pitch and won a career-high 17 games last season. He’s crafty and changes speeds on all of his pitches.


    Johnny Cueto (25) 185 IP 12-7 3.64 ERA 1.28 WHIP 138 K

    • Cueto is a power pitcher who throws in the low to mid 90s. His cutter/slider has late bite, and his circle changeup is effective.


    Edinson Volquez (27) 62.2 IP 4-3 4.31 ERA 1.50 WHIP 67 K

    • Volquez came back last year following Tommy John surgery and struggled with his control. When he misses, it’s up in the zone. He has great stuff, including a good curveball and changeup.


    Homer Bailey (24) 109 IP 4-3 4.46 ERA 1.37 WHIP 100 K

    • Bailey enters his fourth year, and he’s improved a bit each year but has yet to break out. He has good life to his fastball and works it up and down in the zone. He also throws a curveball, slider and a splitter late in counts.


    Travis Wood (24) 102 IP 5-4 3.51 ERA 1.08 WHIP 86 K

    Last year two Reds flourished as the fifth man in the rotation: Mike Leake and Travis Wood. Leake pitched well during the first half, while Wood took it home. Both know how to pitch.


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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images
    • RP: Jordan Smith (7)
    • RP: Nick Masset (7)
    • RP: Logan Ondrusek (7)
    • SU: Francisco Cordero (7.25)
    • CP: Aroldis Chapman (7.5)


    Mike Leake, Nick Masset, Logan Ondrusek

    • Ondrusek had a fine rookie season as a seventh-inning reliever. He won five games. Jordan Smith also had a solid rookie year.


    Francisco Cordero (35) 72 IP 6-5 3.84 ERA 1.43 WHIP 59 K

    • I think the Reds will handle Aroldis Chapman a bit like the Texas Rangers did Neftali Feliz. I believe Cordero starts the season as the closer but hands the reins over to Chapman eventually during the season.
    • Cordero is a power pitcher with a hard slider and splitter.


    Aroldis Chapman (23) 13 IP 2-2 2.03 ERA 1.05 WHIP 19 K

    Chapman electrified in just 13 innings of work last season. He consistently threw his fastball in triple digits, topping out at 105 MPH. He has a Randy Johnson-like slider to go along with the fastball.

Sizing Up the Reds "On Paper"

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    Rob Tringali/Getty Images
    • C: Ramon Hernandez (7) 
    • 1B: Joey Votto (9) 
    • 2B: Brandon Phillips (8) 
    • SS: Edgar Renteria (7) 
    • 3B: Scott Rolen (7.75) 
    • LF: Jonny Gomes (7) 
    • CF: Drew Stubbs (7.25) 
    • RF: Jay Bruce (7.75) 


    Projected Lineup

      1. Drew Stubbs (7.25)
      2. Brandon Phillips (8)
      3. Joey Votto (9)
      4. Jay Bruce (7.75)
      5. Scott Rolen (7.75)
      6. Jonny Gomes (7)
      7. Ramon Hernandez (7)
      8. Edgar Renteria (7) 

    1-3: 24.25

    4-6: 22.5

    7-8: 14 


    Starting Rotation

    • 1. Bronson Arroyo (7.25)
    • 2. Johnny Cueto (7.25)
    • 3. Edinson Volquez (7.25)
    • 4. Homer Bailey (7)
    • 5. Travis Wood (7)



    • RP: Mike Leake (7)
    • RP: Nick Masset (7)
    • LRP: Logan Ondrusek (7)
    • SU: Francisco Cordero (7.25)
    • CP: Aroldis Chapman (7.5)


    Bench: Miguel Cairo, Ryan Hanigan, Yonder Alonso, Paul Janish, Fred Lewis (7)

    Manager: Dusty Baker (7.5)


    INF: 38.75

    OF: 22

    SP: 35.75

    RP: 7

    CP: 14.75

    MISC: 14.5

    Hitting: 60.75

    Pitching: 57.5

    TOTAL: 132.75


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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    This is a team that’s going to put some runs on the board. The Reds' overall success hinges on the starting pitching. We know what Arroyo will do, but what will Cincinnati get out of the other four starters? They’re young and there’s some upside, so we’ll see.

    Chapman should be fun to watch.

    Prediction: 89-73, second NL Central

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