With about three weeks till pitchers and catchers report back to Spring Training, there are nonetheless some notable free brokers on the board however it would not appear to be the Reds are planning to be lively in that division. The membership kicked off their caravan tour in the present day and Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer was there to speak to group personnel together with common supervisor Nick Krall, who mentioned that the roster is “just about set,” though the membership might nonetheless usher in some extra non -roster invitees
There are definitely some areas of the roster the place further funding could be justified, however it would not appear to be the assets are there for the rebuilding membership. It’s not precisely a stunning revelation as Krall has been downplaying the chance of serious upgrades since October. Since that point, the membership has traded for Kevin Newman, Casey Legume and Nick Solak whereas signing free brokers Wil Myers, Luke Weaver, Curt Casali and Luke Maile. After these strikes, the membership’s payroll is slightly below the $100MM line, in keeping with Roster Resource. That could be their lowest Opening Day determine since 2017, per Cot’s Baseball Contracts, however it appears they’re dedicated to leaving loads of runway to let their younger gamers battle one another for future roles on the group. “We’ve bought a strong group of fellows each on the large league membership and in our minor league system,” Krall mentioned. “We have a variety of strong younger gamers on the massive league degree. It’s simply persevering with to develop out of our system.”
The rotation is probably essentially the most intriguing a part of the roster on the main league degree. Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo and Graham Ashcraft all debuted final yr and flashed great things, however with some sharpening maybe nonetheless required. Greene struck out 30.9% of batters confronted however posted a 4.44 ERA, maybe resulting from permitting 24 house runs in 125 2/3 innings. Ashcraft solely struck out 15.3% of batters confronted however bought floor balls at a wholesome 54.5% clip en path to a 4.89 ERA. Lodolo missed nearly three months resulting from a decrease again pressure however was capable of put up a 3.66 ERA with a 29.7% strikeout fee when wholesome. Those three will likely be joined by reclamation venture Weaver, with Luis Cessa, Connor Overton and Justin Dunn among the many choices to fill out the again finish. It’s potential that one more extremely touted prospect might be part of them in some unspecified time in the future as properly Brandon Williamson completed final yr at Triple-A.
The bullpen might additionally probably be an attention-grabbing group for the membership. Alexis Diaz debuted final yr and posted a 1.84 ERA, taking up the nearer’s job by season’s finish. Lucas Sims and Tejay Antone each confirmed numerous potential over 2020 and 2021 however they every have been set again by accidents final yr. If they will each get wholesome and again on monitor this yr, it is potential there is a sturdy aid corps to construct on in Cincinnati.
On the infield, it is potential that the membership could have some robust choices to make down the highway as most of their finest children play on the grime. Baseball America lately launched its prime 100 checklist for this yr, with infielders Elly De La Cruz, Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo and Cam Collier being the 4 Reds on the checklist. None of these gamers have reached Triple-A but and will not have the ability to assist out instantly, however they are going to finally be part of an infield presently manned by Kevin Newman, Jonathan India, Spencer Steer, Alejo Lopez, Jose Barrero and Joey Votto. Newman looks like a placeholder and Votto is within the last assured yr of his contract, however the remainder of that group is younger and controllable for years to return.
The outfield is extra of a hodgepodge of gamers who’ve had sprinklings of MLB time however with out totally cementing themselves as viable options. Myers will give them one strong veteran subsequent to Solak, TJ Friedl, Jake Fraley, Nick Senzel, Stuart Fairchild and Michael Sian. Behind the plate Tyler Stephenson would be the main catcher however he missed important time resulting from varied accidents in 2022, resulting in the membership bringing in Maile and Casali in order that Stephenson’s workload might be managed.
It’s unlikely that the Reds will discover themselves in competition this yr, however the person performances of all these gamers might nonetheless form the way forward for the franchise. There’s a good sum of money coming off the books on the finish of this yr, because it’s the ultimate assured season for Votto and the now-released Mike Moustakas. That means there’s near nothing on the books for 2024 and past. It’s potential the membership might turn out to be extra aggressive at the moment, and the way they dedicate these assets down the road will depend upon how these gamers carry out between from time to time.