Because there will be little in the way of news until the games start on Thursday, I thought I'd expand on crolfer's diary on the roster. This thread can be our predictions page that we look back on when the season is over.
Harang will be the first 20 game winner for the Reds since, well, since um, Danny Jackson in 1988? He will lose 7 and his ERA will hover around 3.50. He'll throw 235 innings and lead the league in strikeouts and complete games again.
Arroyo will win 15 games this year against 9 losses and will keep his ERA slightly under Harang's. He'll throw 240 innings.
Milton will win 10 games this year against 8 losses and will have an ERA just under 5. He will miss starts on two separate occasions with tightness in his forearm. He'll throw 150 innings.
Lohse will have a breakout year, going 12-6 with an ERA of about 4.20. He'll throw 200 innings.
Wilson will start the year in the rotation and will go 3-4 before Bailey is called up, who will go 5-3 and will keep his ERA just under 4.
Belisle will make two starts in the year, losing both of them but giving up only five runs in both of the starts. Ramirez will make one start and pitch 6 innings of one run ball.
Bray becomes closer in June with Coffey as set up man. Bray earns 19 saves after the All-Star break. Stanton and Weathers become guys we feel comfortable with when Morron calls them in. Cormier is seldom used except in Milton's starts, and Majewski is on and off the roster with injuries. He is sent down when Bailey is called up. Saarloos is used often. Belisle and Ramirez also make a couple of appearances in the pen.
Toothache is cut during Spring Training. Ross hits .270 with 25 home runs and 65 RBI. Valentin hits .262 with 13 home runs in 55 games, including 5 pinch hit home runs, two of which are walk offs.
Hatteberg and Conine platoon until the beginning of June, when Votto is called up after hitting .390 with 10 homers for Louisville. Votto ends up hitting .317 with 20 homers and 43 RBI for the Reds and wins Rookie of the Year. Hatteberg hits a respectable .273 in 200 ABs. Conine rides pine for most of the year when Josh Hamilton puts on a hitting show in May but becomes a productive pinch hitter and DH's during interleague, hitting .253 with 7 homers.
Phillips hits . 298 with 25 homers and is part of the best double play combo in baseball. Gonzalez hits .260 with 15 homers and gives the Reds three wins over last year by his defense alone. TSF Castro plays once a week for A-Gon and fills in for EdE a couple of times and hits a decent .270.
Encarnacion hits .271 with 26 homers and 97 RBI. He commits only 18 errors compared to his 28 last year (or was it 25?)
Dunn hits 50 homers this year with 120 RBI and raises his average to .271. He also scores 130 runs and breaks Bonds' single season walk record. He cuts his strike outs down to 169 and becomes a decent leftfielder.
Griffey moves to right. He hits .284 with 39 homers, thereby becoming the fourth member of the 600 club. Griffey plays four times a week. The Reds are shown on Fox Saturday Baseball several times near the end of the season thanks to Griffey's resurgence.
Freel starts the year in center but Josh Hamilton takes over in May. Hamilton hits .280 on the year with 15 homers, 6 of which are hit in May. He goes on the DL once for a pulled hamstring, when Freel fills in. Freel also gives Phillips days off at second and EdE a few off at third, ending the season with 300 ABs, a .271 BA, and 31 steals. He also makes ESPN Webgems ten times.
The Reds win the NL Central and defeat the NL East Champion Phillies in the Division Series, 3 games to 2. They have an easier time with the Wild Card Giants, who defeated the NL West Champion Dodgers, also in 5 games. The Reds defeat the Giants in five games to win the NL Pennant and meet the AL West Champion A's for a rematch of the 1990 World Series. The A's had once again defeated the Twins in the ALCS and had beat the Wild Card Blue Jays in the Division Series. The Twins had defeated the Yankees in the Division Series after holding a one game playoff with the Tigers for the Division title.
The Reds use Harang, Arroyo, Bailey, and Lohse in October. Bailey seems to thrive on the excitement. The World Series goes seven games. Bailey starts Games One and Five of the World Series, winning both his starts and giving up only one run in each of them. He strikes out 15 in Game One and 8 in Game Five. Arroyo wins game Game Two but loses Game Six despite giving up only 2 runs. Harang gets a no decision in Games Three and Seven. Weathers gets the loss in Game Three. Lohse loses Game Four after giving up 5 runs in 6 innings.
Ken Griffey, Jr. hits a walk off home run to win the Series, forever erasing all of the bad things that have happened to him while wearing a Cincinnati uniform and putting a Reds cap on his head for the Hall of Fame.
Adam Dunn wins NL MVP, Jerry Narron wins Manager of the Year, Wayne Krivsky wins GM of the year, and Aaron Harang wins Cy Young. Dunn, Griffey, Harang, and Arroyo are All-Stars, with Griffey being voted as starter by the fans.
Did you have fun reading the story? Cuz that's all it is, a dream. But it sure was fun writing it!
But I do think the Reds will play baseball in October this year!