MLB MLB Team News NL Central — 23 February 2011
Cincinnati finally turned things around in 2010, winning the NL Central. However, they were unfortunate enough to get matched up against the streaking Phillies in the first round of the playoffs and were quickly eliminated. They return their whole team with the exception of Orlando Cabrera, and the roster is loaded with young talent. Joey Votto is coming off of a season in which he was named the National League MVP and should be a monster in the middle of the Reds’ lineup for years to come.

The pitching staff is filled with a plethora of talented young arms, most still with plenty of potential for growth. Bronson Arroyo is coming off a career year and provides a veteran presence and steady production. Phenom Aroldis Chapman gave us a glimpse of his very bright future, but will probably be used mostly out of the bullpen as Cincinnati will try to protect his arm until he matures. The Reds should be very strong in 2011, and could even wind up winning this division with a little luck.

Key Additions: Edgar Renteria

Key Losses: Orlando Cabrera

Lineup:

C: Ramon Hernandez
1B: Joey Votto
2B: Brandon Phillips
3B: Scott Rolen
SS: Edgar Renteria
LF: Jonny Gomes
CF: Drew Stubbs
RF: Jay Bruce

Rotation:

1: Johnny Cueto
2: Edinson Volquez
3: Bronson Arroyo
4: Homer Bailey
5: Travis Wood
CL: Francisco Cordero

Critical Players to Success:

Edinson Volquez: Volquez was injured for a good part of 2010, but was able to return and contribute some strong performances. The Reds will need him to be healthy all year and turn in numbers similar to 2008, when he won 17 games, if they want to keep up with the staffs in St. Louis and Milwaukee.

Homer Bailey: Bailey was the number 7 pick overall in the draft just a few years ago, but has yet to be a player worth of that high of a selection. Regaining some of the form that caused him to be touted as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball could turn this already deep rotation into one capable of winning the division.

Joey Votto: Votto established himself and one of the elite hitters in the game last year. His MVP campaign was a huge reason that the Reds were able to stay competitive. They will need him to continue his impressive play if they want to make a run at the playoffs this year.

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