Let the stoopy-domb commence!
1) Paul Maholm will start more than 7 games, and will pitch well.
He's not going to make the opening day rotation, but between Cingrani & DeSclafani's innings limits, injuries, and potential trades, Maholm will get his chance. He'll never be an ace, but his recent run of poor performance has been due almost entirely to injuries. The guy's got a career ground ball percentage north of 50%, and a career walk rate of under 3 per 9. He's only 32, and with the Reds' defense behind him, could prove to be very valuable depth, presuming he's healthy. I loved this signing when it happens, and will love it more when it proves my dumb prediction to be correct.
2) Raisel Iglesias will record 10+ saves after Aroldis Chapman is traded
The ol' Cuban swaperoo! I think Iglesias will break camp with the Reds in the bullpen. He's nowhere near close to stretched out, and there's a need for lockdown arms in the pen (at least for now). Chappy's gunna Chap for the first half of the year, but a surprisingly decent Reds team will still find themselves in 4th in a tough NL Central, prompting Walt & Bob to ship out their fireballing All-Star closer for a huge haul. Raisel will then proceed to raise hell in the ninth inning for a surprisingly-still-competetive club for the rest of the year, leading to much debate among fans, history threatening to repeat itself, and an opportunity to dust off the old #LetHimStart hashtag.
3) Skip Schumaker will be worth positive WAR
I'll wait until the rotten fruits and vegetables stop flying.
OK maybe I won't, because you people have an insane amount of rotten fruits and vegetables and apparently tireless arm muscles, so I'll just power through. Look, I hate the fact that he's on the team as much as you do. But there's nothing we can do about it except make really, really dumb predictions about him. Skiperroo was worth positive WAR as recently as 2012, when he dropped a steaming pile of 0.7 in 300+ for the Cards. Hopefully he doesn't get that much playing time in 2015, but I think that if he's mostly limited to spelling Marlon Byrd in LF and pinch-hitting, he could walk enough and BABIP his way to a smidgen of value. Last year was Schumaker's lowest full-season BABIP of his career. If he'd had even a career-average year, he'd have hit .270 with a .322 OBP. Which isn't mind boggling, but is certainly passable for a utility bench guy. Right? This could happen, couldn't it? Maybe? C'mon guys...
4) Amir Garrett will get a September call-up, and will do well
After a season of kicking ass and taking names and not bricking jumpers, Garrett will get a cup of coffee at the end of the year. He will proceed to guzzle it and spit the scalding liquid back out at opposing batters. Listen, he's already on the 40-man roster, so that's one road block out of the way from the get-go. He made remarkable progress in his first season focusing on baseball full-time, and he's got the skills to keep it up. I predict his changeup takes a step forward (thanks, Mario Soto!) and he moves fast. He'll probably start the year in High-A Daytona, and a quick promotion to Pensacola isn't out of the question, especially if injuries strike at any of the 3 levels above him. Whatever, these are dumb. Yore dumb.
5) Billy Hamilton will spend time in AAA this year, and not for rehab.
BONUS: He'll come back and kick ass.
Billy will struggle mightily out of the gate, prompting much gnashing of teeth among fans and coaches alike. He'll struggle so much that Walt will have no choice but to ship him down to Louisville to work some things out. I realize that if this happens, my Skip prediction will almost certainly not come true, since Lieutenant Grit will likely see increased time in CF, but whatever. These are still dumb and so are you and so are me. However, once Billy's called back up to replace the even crappier Skip/Negron duo of doodoo, he will absolutely crush it, take the league by storm (again), and renew everyone's faith that he's the CF of the future. All your base (your base) are belong to Billy.