Stick a fork in them they are Dunn. The disappointment caused by injuries to key players and the incompetence of Dusty Baker is shared by all RRs everywhere. Would it have been a different season if Freel and Hopper hadn’t been hurt, if Jerry Jr. wasn’t a on and off the DL and if Keppinger hadn’t been hurt at a time when he was hitting pretty well? Who knows? Probably a little better…but the truth is that Dusty Baker has been extraordinarily awful as a manager, witness all the stupid decisions he’s made. Aaron Harang’s ‘injury’ is most likely Dusty based. However, that being said, this team is just not very good. When your best average on the daily starting team is Votto’s .281 and you’re forced to play Corey Patterson because there is no other outfielder available to play CF. When the leaders of almost all of the offense categories are 2 players, BP and Dunn and the leader in most of the pitching categories is 1 pitcher, Volquez, then it becomes apparent that this team is not getting enough from all of its everyday players and has an absolutely abysmal bench’ The bullpen has been acceptable, but like last year overworked. Only Volquez and to a lesser degree Arroyo (and to a lesser degree yet Cueto) go to the mound with a strong chance of winning (Recently Volquez is faltering). So what’s new, we all know this right? I think that the Reds must make some changes in the offensive makeup of the team. The pitching is not great but there is hope on the horizon – Harang bouncing back, Arroyo remaining consistent, Voltron and Jonny C have a year under their belts. Homer is the only unkown – he’s 50/50 in my estimation as to whether he’s going to get it together. The Red’s must part ways with Fogg, Affeldt and Weathers. The offense must be improved significantly. Dunn must be signed. Period. The bench players must be upgraded. Goodbye to Patterson, Valentin, Andy Phillips, Freel, Cabrera and either Keppinger or Hairston.
Jocketty needs to be finding a strong everyday CF, a shortstop that can field and hit (not one or the other, maybe Gonzo will return from the dead (doubtful) and a good hitting catcher (I’d be happy with Ross, but his rep is not great for calling a game). The 2009 Reds other challenge is fixing the bench. There is NO pop off this year’s bench. We must have on our bench, an acceptable RH hitter who also play outfield or 1st base. We only need one utility guy (I prefer Kepp he doesn’t get hurt all the time like Freel and Jerry Jr.) . Last but not least, we need a fifth starter (could be Homer?). We also desperately need a manger. We need one who utilizes the right information, who can run a tight, strategically well thought out game and one who doesn’t complain “This isn’t my and Walt’s team’ –this is Wayne Krivsky’s team”. What a tool. The chances of this happening could be better than we think as the Reds flail their way down to being 17 games out and in last place this has got piss Bob off royally.
So what do you think should be done, how and with which players?