Cincinnati Reds poised for a slow year

There are so many new faces on the Reds that you may not even recognize any of the players

photoshop by Rocco Salamone '16

There are so many new faces on the Reds that you may not even recognize any of the players

We are officially almost one month away until it is that time of the year: a time where there is nothing but excitement about whose favorite baseball team will perform the best this year. A time where relief of a long, cold winter marks the start of something new and fresh. This is the start of spring training.

The Cincinnati Reds are fresh off of one of their worst years in recent history and are looking to have a bit more success than they had in the past year. This off season, they did a huge amount of unloading and rebuilding. They decided that they weren’t going to go anywhere with the players that they had now, and they wanted to get rid of some of their huge contracts to free up some money. They traded away big names like Todd Frazier (to the White Sox) and Aroldis Chapman (to the Yankees), and there still are rumors that they could be looking to do away with other big name players (i.e. Brandon Phillips).

In the infield, as of right now, at first base is obviously Joey Votto. Votto had a solid year last year, but he was in no way worth the amount of money he is being paid to be here. I believe that he should be traded if he is not performing to his pay before the trade deadline in the middle of the year. At second, there is Brandon Phillips. Phillips is an interesting player because he may be gone by the time the season rolls around. He already could have been traded to the Nationals, but I guess he loves Cincinnati so much that he decided to overrule the move.

My brother, Nino Salamone, shares a birthday with Brandon Phillips, and he has always been a huge fan. He said that he is happy that Phillips stayed because he is the best thing about the Reds.

At short stop there is Zach Cozart. Cozart was having a fantastic year last year in batting and fielding, and it was a really big blow when he went out with a torn ACL. He should be good to go by the start of spring training; we will see how far he has come. At third base, there is a little bit of a void. The departure of Frazier is going to be a tough spot to fill. This spot is up for grabs. The two who will be fighting for it are Ivan de Jesus, a natural second baseman, and Eugenio Suarez, a natural short stop. Both had standout years last year with limited play, so it will be interesting to see who takes the spot at the end of spring training.

In the outfield, Jay Bruce and Billy Hamilton will reclaim their roles as right field and center field respectively. They both need to work on their hitting if they want to be mainstays in the future Reds’ lineups. In left field, a 27 year-old with not very much experience in the outfield will be manning the position going into spring training. Adam Duvall is a normal first baseman who will be trying out left field. If Duvall doesn’t work out, then they will put in either rookie Jake Cave or Scott Schebler to hold down the fort.

At catcher, Devin Mesoraco looks to bounce back after being hurt for much of last year. He was doing fantastic last year until injury hit, so let’s see if he can recover his form. Also, Tucker Barnhart will be rotating in at the position.

While the Reds have picked up some solid pitching prospects, their rotation seems to be in shambles as of right now. Homer Bailey, coming back from Tommy John Surgery, looks to lead the rotation and help the young guys become better. Anthony DeSclafani is the second in the rotation as of right now. He started some games last season and looked decent. Hopefully he can build off of his remote success from last season and pitch well. After that, the rotation spots are up for grabs. I think that they should move Tony Cingrani to a spot in the rotation as well. To check out the full depth chart, click here.

No doubt that this year may be tough for the Reds. With a powerful division filled with great teams, there is a good chance they could finish in the bottom two.

Senior Brian Smedley voiced his opinion on this year’s squad, “I may not watch any games this year other than Opening Day. It’s going to be a bad season for us.”

While we, the fans, are not happy that the team will not be as great this year, the support will definitely still be there. Spring Training starts March 1st, and the regular season starts April 4th with a three game series against the Phillies.