Another lost season kept me away in August. Hey, at least it lasted that long. Here is what you may have missed.
-The Reds need Scott Rolen to stay healthy. I know that is like asking PacMan Jones to stay out of strip clubs or Brett Farve to stay retired but it is true. The Reds are 11-4 when he has played, all 4 losses coming to playoff contending LA and Colorado. If he stays healthy next year, an enormous if, the Reds could be good. Unfortunately, here are his total games played the last 5 years: 56, 142, 112, 115, 102, and probably about 120 this year. He also turns 35 around opening day next year. I hope he stays healthy because his OPS+ has still been 107 and 118 the past 2 years and his defense is an A-, much better then anyone playing third since Chris Sabo. I am not optimistic he can stay off the DL though.
-Dusty has completed his dismantling of the once promising starting staff. Volquez had Tommy John Surgery and is done until late 2010. Cueto is on the DL and has not been himself since May. Harang, who was ruined last season in the 18 inning San Diego game (the game that revived this blog), was ruined on almost the exact same day this season when Dusty sent him out after a rain delay of over two hours in order to get one more out, and thus a win. He was 5-4 with a 3.36 ERA at that point. After, he was 1-10 with a 4.80 ERA and his OPS against has jumped 100 points. Awesome. Now he is done for the season because his appendix burst. I bet he did it to himself in order to avoid Dusty's torture. If Homer Bailey is smart, he will lay low until Dusty is gone or he is a free agent. Save yourself Homer!
-The Reds field a minor league team every day. Currently, the Reds are starting 2 players that would actual start on a contending team, Votto and Phillips. The other 6 are bench/role players or rookies who have potential. Dusty loves role players and cast offs. Reminds him of where he will be next year. If you were the manager and the season was clearly lost, wouldn't you play the rookies to let them learn? Wouldn't any sane person? You would think. But you would be wrong. Dusty played Willy Taveras and his 45 OPS+ at the top of the order up until he got hurt. Alex Gonzalez and his 43 OPS+ continued to play and bat second until he was traded. Now that they are gone, Dusty has been forced to play Janish, a defensive whiz who is starting to hit better after Dusty sat him for all but 3 games in July and killed any confidence he had, and Drew Stubbs, who is another defensive whiz and should start everyday in 2010. Other then that, it is pretty boring. Injuries have been everywhere. I'm sure that is what Dusty will blame. Good teams overcome them, bad teams blame them. Guess which one the Reds are?
-There is still a chance the Reds could get to 4th, or even third place. They currently sit 3 games out of 4th and 4.5 games out of third. They have 6 games remaining against the Pirates and 6 against Houston. Take 9 of those 12 and it could happen. Lose and maybe Dusty will get fired. Then again, maybe not.
Another post later on the return of football.
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