Last season the Cincinnati Reds finished at the top of the NL Central for the first time since 1995. Supported by a strong youth movement led by NL MVP Joey Votto, Cincinnati looks to defend their division crown in 2011 and certainly have all the tools to make another run. For fantasy managers looking to make a run in their league, the Reds roster has plenty to offer.
In “30 Teams in 30 Days,” the Fantasy Baseball Cafe will preview each team in Major League Baseball on a daily basis. In addition to projecting starting lineups, rotations and closing situations, the Cafe will identify potential targets for 2011 fantasy baseball drafts.
|C Ramon Hernandez||.297||.364||.428||30||7||48||0||313|
|1B Joey Votto||.323||.424||.600||106||37||113||16||547|
|2B Brandon Phillips||.275||.332||.430||100||18||59||16||626|
|SS Edgar Renteria||.276||.332||.374||26||3||22||3||243||w/SF|
|3B Scott Rolen||.285||.358||.497||66||20||83||1||475|
|LF Jonny Gomes||.266||.327||.431||77||18||86||5||511|
|CF Drew Stubbs||.255||.329||.444||91||22||77||30||514|
|RF Jay Bruce||.281||.353||.493||80||25||70||5||509|
Unsettled: Nothing. This lineup is pretty well settled at this point. Dusty Baker sleeps soundly knowing this, and has pleasant dreams of toothpicks and Neifi Perez. Orlando Cabrera is gone, but replacing him is veteran shortstop Edgar Renteria (neither an upgrade or downgrade fantasy-wise). The rest of the regular cast from last season is coming back and should put up some solid stats once again. The bench leaves little to be desired unless you have some secret utility player fetish and pine for the wily Miguel Cairo. I suppose if Jonny Gomes were hit by a bus there’s the prospect of seeing Yonder Alonso, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up. Mr. Gomes and the fine folks at Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority would prefer you didn’t either.
So not much is unsettled in Cincinnati. Although I did just discover that Edgar Renteria is only 33 years old. Seems like he’s been playing since ‘Nam. I guess that’s sort of unsettling. I feel like he should be 50.
Target: Drew Stubbs. So that Joey Votto guy is pretty good and Jay Bruce seems to be getting his share of 30 home run hype this preseason, but don’t forget about Drew Stubbs. His .260-ish batting average won’t be anything to boast about, but his 20 homer and 35 steals potential is a nice combo to have. Looking at current rankings and ADP right now you could probably snag Stubbs as your #2 outfielder.
|Edinson Volquez (R)||4-3||4.31||1.50||67||35||62.2|
|Bronson Arroyo (R)||17-10||3.88||1.15||121||59||215.2|
|Johnny Cueto (R)||12-7||3.64||1.28||138||56||185.2|
|Homer Bailey (R)||4-3||4.46||1.37||100||40||109.0|
|Travis Wood (L)||5-4||3.51||1.08||86||26||102.2|
Unsettled: Volquez, Arroyo and Cueto have the top three spots in the rotation locked down. That leaves Homer Bailey, Travis Wood, and Mike Leake to battle it out for the other two spots. Wood is the only possible lefty in the rotation and if he keeps up the impressive work he had in the second half last season I would venture to guess he will win one of the starting jobs. That leaves Bailey and Leake, one is out of minor league options and the other has never pitched in the minors. It’s likely whichever fails to make the rotation will pitch out of the pen. Neither is worth drafting except in deeper leagues or NL-only.
Target: Edinson Volquez. Generally I’ve been seeing Volquez ranked somewhere in the 50s among starting pitchers this preseason. Finally back for a full season after Tommy John surgery and a 50 game PED suspension, Volquez turned down a multi-year deal from the Reds in favor of just a one-year contract. Obviously Volquez is confident in himself that his 2011 performance will garner a fat payday. Just something to keep in mind come draft day. Also his 9.6 K/9 ratio is pretty dang sexy.
The 8th and 9th Innings
|Francisco Cordero (R)||40||3.84||1.27||59||36||72.2|
|Aroldis Chapman (L)||0||2.03||1.05||19||5||13.1|
Chasing Saves: Francisco Cordero has been a trusty source for saves in Cincinnati for a few seasons now. But Cordero is turning 36 this year, his K rate is a shadow of its former glory, and he’s got Aroldis Chapman on his tail. Chapman, the “Cuban Missile” is projected to be Cordero’s setup man in the 8th inning. Go ahead and draft Cordero but consider Chapman too if you have the space on your roster, as a closer change could be on the horizon at some point this season.
Joey Votto is an obvious top pick, and Stubbs and Bruce are worthy to be in your outfield. Also Brandon Phillips should continue to provide solid stats at 2B. I did some research and not only is Scott Rolen still alive but he’s decent backup option at 3B or CI late in the drafts.
Lastly, keep an eye on who gets to bat leadoff. For all intents and purposes it should be Stubbs, but a classic Dusty Baker move would be to bat Brandon Phillips at leadoff instead. This could impact both players as far as their runs and RBI totals are concerned.
Check back tomorrow as we preview the Houston Astros.
Jake Ironside has proudly been a Cafe regular since 2003. He's also the founder and co-creator of Exile On Clark Street and the now defunct Thunder Matt's Saloon, two of the worst Cubs blogs ever created. When he's not busy working on his fantasy rankings he's probably thinking about working on his fantasy rankings.
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