Friday, December 30, 2011

Olney Praises Reds' Infield and More

Buster says, "Read this!"
 Recently, Buster Olney of ESPN rated his top 10 MLB bullpens and the Reds snuck in at the bottom of that list. His most recent lists rank the Top 10 Infields and the Top 10 contracts in the major leagues, and the Reds grabbed a spot on both. They are both ESPN Insider articles, so you'll have to be a subscriber to see the entire lists. The Redlegs came in as the #2 ranked infield in the majors, behind the Texas Rangers, while Johnny Cueto's four-year/$27MM contract was 8th of 10 on that list.

The following are excerpts regarding the Reds in each of Olney's articles:

"Joey Votto is arguably the best hitter in the National League, and he's a special defensive player as well. Brandon Phillips is the best all-round second baseman, with Gold Glove Awards to show for it. Third baseman Scott Rolen is a borderline Hall of Fame candidate, and if that sounds crazy, compare his résumé to that of Ron Santo, who will be inducted next summer:

Seasons: Rolen 16, Santo 15
Games: Rolen 1,946, Santo 2,243
Hits: Rolen 2,005, Santo 2,254
Homers: Rolen 308, Santo 342
OPS: Rolen .860, Santo .826
OPS+: Rolen 123, Santo 125
Gold Gloves: Rolen 8, Santo 5

Rolen had shoulder surgery in August to clean out scar tissue, and the word is he is feeling much better and is greatly encouraged by his range of motion.

The significant question about the Reds' infield is at shortstop, where Zack Cozart is expected to take over in 2012 after a brief audition was cut short by injury."

"8. Cincinnati Reds: Johnny Cueto, RHP, four years: 2011-14, $27 million, AAV: $6.75 million
Cueto signed his contract before last season, and he rewarded Reds GM Walt Jocketty with the best full season of his career. Cueto quickly proved he was a pure No. 2 starter with the potential to develop into a No. 1. The Reds have him locked up for three more seasons as they continue to try to build one of the best young staffs in the division with newly acquired Mat Latos, Cueto, Homer Bailey and Mike Leake."

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