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Redlegs Rundown


July 13, 2010 8:57 AM

Mid-Season Awards

Now that we have reached the mythical half-way point in the season, it's time to mythically hand out some hardware. 

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MVP: Giving this award to anyone else but Joey Votto at this point would be foolish.  He leads the team (and the National League) in basically every important offensive category.  You could certainly argue that if Scott Rolen went down the team's performance would suffer.  But Miguel Cairo has already proven a worthy fill in and so could Paul Janish for that matter.  If Votto went down for a significant stretch, the Reds would no doubt be relying on unproven Yonder Alonso.  Now, sure that's a better option this year than last year's Ramon Hernandez, and there's no saying Alonso couldn't do the job.  He's still one of the Reds' brightest and best prospects, but Votto is a leading contender for N.L. MVP not just the Reds'. 

LVP: Francisco Cordero might kill me before the year is over.  Once very dependable (at least over David Weathers and Danny Graves), he now refuses to throw strikes and despite a 97 MPH heater, gets the ball up in the zone entirely too often and gets burned...and at the same time makes Reds fans burn with anger.  Unfortunately, like what Charlie Manuel says about Brad Lidge "who else do we have"?  Nick Masset is way too inconsistent.  Arthur Rhodes is still 40-years-old and has that foot injury.  No one else has even remotely been tested like Cordero has in the big leagues.  We're stuck.  Hope you have good doctors!

Cy Young: Johnny Cueto.  Now Bronson Arroyo has been great.  He has more wins and is extremely durable and reliable.  But, Cueto has been lights out and every bit the pitcher we all have expected him to become.  In fact, I believe I said that in March...click the link .  It seems as if Bryan Price has gotten through to young Mr. Cueto that throwing more strikes is a good idea.  Brilliant!

Cy Yuk: Homer Bailey.  If you have read anything I've written for what seems like the last decade, you know I am not the biggest fan of Homer.  He refuses to throw strikes unless he's facing the Pirates (but then again what real danger is there for throwing strikes to the Pirates?) and in general is one big head case...still.  Sure he's injured, but at the time he got injured he was just 1-2 with a big ol' 5.51 ERA in nine starts.  Three decisions in nine starts means he's not going deep into games whatsoever.  With the plethora of pitching the Reds have now (Arroyo, Harang, Leake, Cueto, Wood, Maloney, Chapman, and some would argue Lecure), if Homer doesn't start showing some improvement, he may be out of a job.

Rookie: The Reds have gotten some excellent performances by rookies this year.  Travis Wood has been outstanding.  Even Matt Maloney has been very good.  Logan Ondrusek, after being sent down to Louisville, has been lights out since his return.  But, this one is going to Mike Leake who has been masterful on the mound.  If not for two of the biggest disasters in Reds history Leake would be 8-1.  Still 6-1 is very good and his 3.53 ERA is going to keep the team in every game.  Now, let's hope the Reds haven't shut him down by the playoff run in September. 

Gold Glove:  Brandon Phillips has returned to his GG days of 2008 and is a big favorite to win the award this year with Chase Utley being out a while.  Even if Utley were healthy, Phillips has displayed his fielding brilliance on a nightly basis with some amazing bare-handed plays and extreme range.

Biggest Surprise: Jonny Gomes didn't sign until very close to the reporting date for spring training.  Hoping to parlay his 20 homer, 51 RBI 2009 season into a bigger payday, it just never came.  Fortunately for the Reds, he decided to accept the team's one year deal (with 2011 option) to battle for the left field job.  Not only has he beaten out potential platoon partners Chris Dickerson and Laynce Nix, Gomes has won the everyday job.  His 60 RBI are a career high already and has been one of the Reds' best clutch hitters.  

Biggest Disappointment: Chris Dickerson had an outstanding spring training and was all set to battle Drew Stubbs for the everyday centerfield job.  But, the injury bug has once again bitten Dickerson and he's been on the disabled list since April 29.  Even before he got injured, Dickerson wasn't having the breakout year he hoped.  He was batting just .205 with no homers and no RBI in 44 at bats.   

 



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