Projected Starting Lineup
CF- Willy Taveras
LF- Chris Dickerson
1B- Joey Votto
2B- Brandon Phillips
RF- Jay Bruce
3B- Edwin Encarnacion
C- Ramon Hernandez
SS- Alex Gonzalez
P- Aaron Harang
The Reds have an exciting new look this season. Without veterans Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. general manager Walt Jocketty has put a young and exciting team on the field. The Reds had another disappointing season last year with a 74-88 record. They are looking to avoid their 10th straight losing season. Many people are saying that the Reds are this years “dark horse”. Some are even comparing them to the 2008 Rays. I would not go that far yet.
Best Player: Brandon Phillips- Phillips is without a doubt one of the best second basemen in the game. He is coming of a Gold Glove season and is a consistent hitter, but could still get better. He is the new leader of this team and he needs to take the young players under his wings and make them better.
Best Pitcher: Edinson Volquez- If he can pitch like he did last season he could be one of the best in the game. He is coming off of a 2008 All-Star appearance.
Pitching: The Reds might have the best rotation they have had in years. They are actually having a battle for the fifth spot in the rotation. Homer Bailey and Micah Owings who was acquired in the Adam Dunn trade last season, will be battling for that fifth spot. A key to the Reds success is that their “ace” Aaron Harang starts pitching like he did in 2007. He needs to have a nice bounce back year.
Infield: The infield is very solid this season with young players on the corners. Joey Votto at first, gold glover Brandon Phillips at second, veteran Alex Gonzalez coming back after missing the 2008 season with an injury will be at shortstop and Edwin Encarnacion will be at third base. Also new catcher Ramon Hernandez will hopefully bring some consistency behind the plate for the first time in several years.
Outfield: The outfield will be occupied with a young core. In right will be second year player Jay Bruce. In center will be the newly acquired Willy Taveras, and in left will probably be the young Chris Dickerson.
Bullpen: The bullpen should be strong this season after resigning veterans Mike Lincoln and David Weathers. There is a chance if Homer Bailey does not make the starting rotation that he might come out of the bullpen as a long reliever. Also solid closer Francisco Cordero will be coming in to close the door.
Finishing 3rd in the NL Central