Results tagged ‘ Dontrelle Willis ’

Philadelphia Phillies 2012 Offseason Recap and Preview

I know I haven’t been watching baseball for THAT long compared to most people, but I can’t remember a team ever living up to the hype set in the preseason so quietly as the Phillies did last season. Their roatation was by far the best in the Majors:

 

Grade: C

 

Notable Additions:

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Laynce Nix, Jonathan Papelbon, Juan Pierre, Joel Piñeiro, Chad Qualls, Jim Thome, Ty Wigginton, and Dontrelle Willis.

 

Notable Subtractions:

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Danys Baez, Jack Cust, Raul Ibañez, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Roy Oswalt, and Wilson Valdes.

 

Why?: I know that it may seem like a no-brainer to some people that the Phillies got better this offseason. However, once I actually looked at the list of names, they really added no value to their team at all, and you know what? They didn’t have to. This team won 102 games last season and that was WITH a ten game losing streak down the stretch. I distinctly remember tweeting something along the lines of “Whoa, the Phillies have won 97 games and still have 12 games to play?!” (this was amid their ginormous losing streak). So, they could still most likely win the division by just treading water and waiting for Ryan Howard to come back from the DL.

Predicted Record Range: 95-100 wins

 

Next Up:

Cincinnati Reds 2012 Offseason Recap and Preview

Things definitely regressed for the Reds a year after winning the NL Central by a comfortable margin:

 

Grade: C-

 

Notable Additions:

Mat Latos, Andrew Brackman, Ryan Madson, Sean Marshall, and Dioner Navarro.

 

Notable Subtractions:

Francisco Cordero, Yonder Alonso, Ramon Hernandez, Edison Volquez, Dontrelle Willis, and Travis Wood.

 

Why?: I just matched up all the additions and subtractions, and it looked like, in my opinion, that the Reds did add some big names, but the people they lost were marginally better (for this upcoming  year). The two main examples are Volquez for Latos and Madson for Cordero.

 

I think that the Reds package sent to the Padres will be marginally better than Latos, because Volquez is on his way back up from the Tommy John surgery a few years ago ( I believe it was Tommy John, but I’m not 100% sure). He may still return to his form of 17 wins in. This was his only season where he has pitched in more than 20 games. This shows that if he is healthy, he has shown he can pitch. Latos’ struggles as of late, on the other hand, come from over-usage. Therefore, from my experience in seeing over-used pitchers, his struggles will mildly continue into 2012, because he has to get back into the rhythm of pitching. He may not, in which case all of this is null and void, but he probably will. Also, Volquez will be going to PETCO Park while Latos now gets to call the Great American Launch Pad his home. That said, once Latos does get over his <insert clever over-usage pun here> syndrome, I think he will be better than the Volquez group, but I think he won’t until after 2012, so I have Volquez and package being better than Latos this year.

 

Madson for Cordero is a bit more complicated. I think that Madson may be better than Cordero and it definitely was good to get rid of Cordero before he starts declining, but Cordero has been one of the most consistently excellent closers over the last half-decade, while Madson only has a year of closing experience. I do like Madson over Cordero, but I think the Reds would have been better served letting him go to another team for a year and getting what I think is the last good year before he really declines from Cordero, and letting Madson mature for another year and become a better closer. Either that or sign Madson to a multi-year deal, because I see Madson’s price tag only going up after this season. The only reason I could see them signing Madson to a one-year deal is if they think this is their last year of contention before Joey Votto leaves, either via trade in 2013 or free agency in the 2013-14 offseason.

 

Other than this, I don’t know what to say. Last year, I predicted their youth to be an advantage, and I got burned because they actually regressed a little. I guess I’ll just say that their youth gives them room for growth again and hope it actually does this year.

 

Predicted Record Range: 82-87 wins

 

Next up: 

Cincinnati Reds Offseason Recap and Preview

For so long they had struggled at the bottom of the NL Central with the Brewers and Pirates but last year:

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Grade: D
Notable Additions:
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Edgar Renteria, Jeremy Hermeida, and Dontrelle Willis (if he ever figures it out again).
Notable Subtractions:
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Jim Edmonds, Arthur Rhodes, Aaron Harang, Micah Owings, and Orlando Cabrera.
Why?: Let’s calculate the net worth relative to last year, shall we? A colombian for a colombian makes me more likely to see a Reds game, but hinders them defensively and does not do anything for their offense there. An Edmonds for a Hermeida does not help them in any aspects except maybe future production. Aaron Harang and Micah Owings for Dontrelle Willis lowers the pithing talent substantially and slightly lowers the offensive production of the position (Owings is great hitting pitcher but Willis was pretty good himself).
Then there is the outright loss of Arthur Rhodes. He had a career year last year but if he returns to anywhere near that it will be a big loss to their bullpen that might be covered by the emergence of Aroldis Chapman.
Overall, they had an answer to all their losses but they were lower quality versions. When you replace parts of a high quality machine (that may or may not be red) with lower quality parts then the quality of the machine as a whole will be lower.
Predicted Record Range: 85-90 wins. Like I said in the above paragraph, the team will be of lower quality. Granted, they still have the no-fluke MVP of last year but they also had A LOT of comeback wins which are not easily repeatable.
Up Next: St. Louis Cardinals
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