Cincinnati Reds Roster Breakdown, Part 1

This has been something I’ve been trying to do for a while and I figured the offseason would be fittting.

Imagine that all the boring time without baseball is over. It’s finally Opening Day. Who do you see on the Reds 25-man roster? I’m gonna go position by position and give you all my thoughts on it.

*NOTE* The numbers have nothing to do with significance or who I think is better. It’s just to differentiate between the positions where we have more than one player.

1. Ramon Hernandez – At 34 years old, I don’t see Hernandez being the everyday catcher for us. Getting 313 AB’s last season, he batted a career-high .297 and it’s kind of difficult to predict what he would have batted if he had more at bats. Ramon’s had upwards of 400 AB’s six times in his career and posted solid numbers, but at his age, I could see him tailing off. Look for Hernandez to be as solid as he has been the past two years, but I think 2011 is Hanigan’s time to shine.

2. Ryan Hanigan  – Speaking of Hanigan, he had one of the most clutch bats for the Reds in 2010. It’s kind of funny how changing your batting stance just a little bit can make a world of difference.  The only downside I can think of is that he started to tail off towards the stretch, but he still was incredible. Think about this, Hanigan had 251 AB’s in 2009 and posted a then career high 11 runs batted in. That was in 90, I’ll repeat that 90 games. Now, fast foward to our Central Division champ year and look at his stats again. It’s almost like a completely different player. In 2010, Ryan played in only 70 games and only got 203 at bats. Now, I know he was on the DL for some time with a broken thumb, but in that short amount of time, he still posted career-highs in doubles (11), home runs (5), and RBI’s (40). If he hadn’t missed time with his injury, he could have easily demolished those. I honestly think Hanigan will see most of the playing time in 2011 and Hernandez will be there to spell him and catch certain pitchers.

However, there is a wild card within the backstops and his name is Devin Mesoraco. The Reds first round pick in ’07, Mesoraco struggled to put it all together in his first three years. However, in 2010, he advanced through all three levels of the minor league organization. Everyone has speculated that Devin will make his MLB debut sometime in 2011 and I do not doubt it. In his first game after being called up to the Louisville Bats, he hit a grand slam. Not just any grand slam, a WALK off grand slam. Then, in his second game with the bats, he hammered another grand slam. He’s showing he has major league power, but his defense has come into question at times. I hope to see him at Great American Ball Park next season, but at the expense of another catcher, that may wait until a September call up.

On Deck: The Infield!

Now, on to the Hot Stove Report:
Blake Hawksworth was traded from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Los Angeles Dodgers for infielder Ryan Theriot. Theriot will probably play middle infield for the Redbirds, more than likely shortstop.
– In other Cardinals news, free agent lefty Brian Tallet agreed to a contract with the Cards. After having a down year with Toronto, Tallet is looking for a huge bounceback with St. Louis.
– In the NL West, Miguel Tejada has decided to remain in the Bay Area by signing a deal with the World Champion reigning San Francisco Giants. At his age, the Giants could use someone else within the organization to spell him at shortstop or maybe move him to play more third base if the Kung Fu Panda struggles.
Hisanori Takahashi, a lefty coming off a nice year with the Mets is reportedly close to signing a multi-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels. Takahashi, who the Reds tried to sign but failed to get a contract going, would compliment the Angels bullpen nicely. The Angels are very right-handed loaded and the Japan native seems to fit in nicely with them.
Adam Dunn has agreed to a deal with Chicago White Sox, pending a physical. Dunn, who’s power bat has been looked at by several different teams goes to a White Sox team where his options abound. Dunn sought somewhere he could still play first base and it looks like the White Sox would let him play there, unless Paul Konerko resigns with them.

Last, but certainly not least, in Reds news:
– All six players who were eligible for arbitration had contracts tendered. Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, Bill Bray, and Jared Burton will all receive pay upgrades, however some come at a surprise. Bray makes sense, in case Sir Arthur doesn’t resign with us, but Burton was kind of odd. That was until I read this: “It’s tough to find quality arms,” general manager Walt Jocketty said.
“Burton was healthy at the end of the year. It’s not that much of a
financial burden. It made sense to tender him.”

Sorry it was such a long post, but I’ve been working on this one for quite some time. Stay tuned for more of the roster breakdown and remember all comments are appreciated!

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