Not sure if this has been brought up in a diary, but I just came across a Reds offense projection from David Pinto over at Baseball Musing:
In 2007, the Reds scored 4.83 runs per game.
I plugged in a likely lineup to the Lineup Analysis Tool, using the Marcel the Monkey predictions from Tom Tango. For pitchers, I used the 2007 Reds pitchers averages. The lineups rate as follows:
* Best: 4.82 runs per game
* Given: 4.60 runs per game
* Worst: 4.22 runs per game
I was surprised to see the Reds drop so far from their 2007 level. One big reason is the falloff by Ken Griffey, Jr. Ken's OBA bounced back from a poor .316 in 2006 to a very good .372 in 2007. The Marcels have him falling off again. Adam Dunn falls off a bit as well, but nothing that shouldn't be expected. He's still the best hitter on the team. Young Joey Votto looks like he's going to put up good numbers as well. Otherwise, the Reds did nothing to improve the offense.
4.60 runs per game is 745 runs scored for the season. 4.22 is 683, and I really have a hard time seeing the Reds offense being that bad. I guess it's theoretically possible, but wow.
I was personally really surprised to see such a pessmistic projection. I don't disagree that the Reds did nothing to improve the offense, but I'm not sure moves are necessary when you have guys like Jay Bruce and Joey Votto coming from within the system.
I suppose there's certainly a possibility that a lot of guys had career years last year (BP, Keppinger, Griffey with the late career surge), but given the ages of most of the Reds starting eight I think I'm pretty comfortable with the offense heading into this season. I think they'll match last year's output pretty comfortably.
As an aside, got my hands on the 2008 Baseball Prospectus this week, and they really love Jay Bruce. If BP is correct he'll be one of the best players in baseball as soon as this year, not just a solid rookie. Hopefully he gets his shot as early as possible.