Wednesday, March 14, 2012

2012 predictions: Pitching MVP

Today marks day three of our 8-day series featuring predictions for the upcoming season. While hitting and defense may fill up the highlight reels, any smart baseball observer knows that the real key to winning is pitching. With that in mind, here are our selections for the Reds Pitching MVP of 2012:

@RedlegsWriter's pick: Johnny Cueto
-I would love for this to be a tough decision at season’s end as hopefully the rotation turns in an excellent 2012. Mat Latos or Mike Leake could easily claim this title when all is said and done, or perhaps even Aroldis Chapman will find his control and surprise everyone. Cueto showed brilliance last year as he transformed into the Reds’ ace, with his only downfall being injury and chicken wings. Early spring indications are that he has picked up right where he left off in 2011. Barring a setback with his health, and assuming this team meets expectations, I say that Cueto will garner some much-deserved Cy Young attention this year.

Cueto nearly won the ERA-crown
despite missing a month due to injury
@Redlegs_Review's pick: Mat Latos
-I struggled over just who to pick here. Luckily, Cincy has many candidates to choose from. But ultimately it came down to the newly-acquired Latos. The right-hander will be entering his third full MLB season and looks primed for a breakout year. Although expectations are high for the 24-year old, I feel the added pressure will only drive him to succeed even more. The ex-Padre should provide some punch at the top of the rotation in which the Reds have lacked over the years. An 18-win, sub-3.30 ERA, and 200+IP season for Latos is not out of the question.

Expectations are high for Latos
Honorable mentions go to: Mike Leake, Sean Marshall & Ryan Madson

And in case you want to look back on a prior post, or just want to look ahead...

2012 season predictions schedule:
Monday: Offensive MVP
Today: Defensive MVP
Wednesday: Pitching MVP
Thursday: Most Improved
Friday: Top Newcomer
Saturday: Player Poised for Breakout Year
Sunday: Top Rookie

Monday: Potential All-Stars

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