Well, it's still early in the season, but it's not too soon to take a look to see how things stand in Reds land.
It appears that Reds fans have at long last have successfully paid their penance for whatever offense was given to the baseball gods, because Cueto is the pitcher for whom we've been waiting over two decades.
His blend of power and control ranks with the very best. On the season, Johnny has a 29/3 strikeout-walk ratio, which portends very well for his future success.
Patterson was bizarre acquisition when he was making zero money. Unfortunately, it came out that by making the MLB roster, Patterson's salary increased to $3M in 2008. It seems an odd signing at that price, because Patterson had no other suitors for his service. Unfortunately, even given Patterson's declining production, he's unlikely to lose his starting job any time soon, as he's a Dusty guy and his salary gives him a lot of leeway.
While it is still early, Volquez has been impressive. He has the stuff to be a top of the rotation pitcher, but in the past when he hasn't had his good stuff on a given day he hasn't been able to hold it together. He was all or nothing, but this season he is doing a better job of grinding it out with less than his best stuff.
Ideally, Edinson will have his good stuff on most days, but it's comforting to see that he can keep the team in the game when nothing is working for him. Consistency will continue to be a problem, but for now he is throwing well.
Sadly, at this point it is clear that Arroyo's stellar 2006 season was the exception, rather than the rule. Unfortunately, the Reds paid Arroyo on the basis of his 2006 season. Given Arroyo's lackluster 2007 and his poor start to 2008, it would seem that Arroyo is only the 4th best pitcher on the staff. At this point, Bronson is a solid, inning eater and nothing more.
Krivsky's decision to extend Arroyo's contract was a poor one. Arroyo was locked into a below market contract, but the Reds extended him and brought his salary up to the going rate. The decision was a clear knee-jerk reaction to the Reds perennial lack of starting pitching, but with the good young arms coming up through the system, Arroyo is becoming overpaid and underproductive all at the same time.
Votto is off to an encouraging and (possibly) discouraging start. On the year, Votto is hitting the ball very well. His batting average is .326 and he is slugging .605. All of which is great, but oddly enough he has yet to walk in 43 ABs. It could be nothing but a sample size issue or it could be indicative of Votto buying into Dusty's "suggestion" that Votto get more aggressive. Personally, I'll hope for the former, instead of the latter, but it certainly bears watching.
If Votto has really changed his approach in order to secure more playing time, then it could cause problems down the road.
As to be expected, Edwin continues to battle inconsistency. Unfortunately, any benefits of his bat have been offset by his weakness with the glove. He already has 6 errors on the season and his offensive production hasn't been all that impressive. It is becoming more and more clear that Edwin is not a third baseman, which puts the Reds on the horns of an interesting dilemma. They don't have anywhere else to play Edwin, so I'm not sure what will happen.
Kepp just hits and hits and hits. He's remarkable and has certainly made a strong case for a starting job when A-Gon gets back. At this point, it looks like Kepp will steal Edwin's job.