Jose Peraza, Eric Jagielo
Aroldis Chapman, Todd Frazier
The Reds did the classic turn around of blowing the up the current roster, and while they gained nothing in the 2016 perspective, they are loading up for a run past this team. They couldn’t find a way to get rid of Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto, but be sure they will be on the block if they are hitting.
Projected Playoff Lineup
- Eugenio Suarez
- Joey Votto
- Devin Mesoraco
- Jay Bruce
- Brandon Phillips
- Jose Peraza
- Zack Cozart
Billy Hamilton is going to have to step up this year. He is slotted in to hit leadoff, but last year hit .226 with an OBP of .274. That is just lousy, and cannot be the way to start things for a team over the course of the season.The problem would be who is going to fill in? Joey Votto in the best hitter in OBP, but is also their best overall hitter, so should hit second or third.
A name to watch is Jose Peraza. He should start in the minor leagues, but will eventually be the starting second baseman this year. Phillips says he will not move to outfield this year but my money’s on Phillips moving to the outfield this summer. If not he will be traded, and that probably is what the Reds would prefer to do anyways. They are in the middle of a rebuild, and need to see what can stick.
The top of three of the rotation are the names to watch when configuring the Reds rotation moving forward. DeSclafani is the most successful pitcher, of the crew and will only be 26 this year. He is a good ground ball pitcher, with the ability to miss bats and while his ERA last year was over four, he definitely has the stuff to progress and bring it down. Finnegan is a former first round pick who only got a small amount of time in MLB last year. Getting to start in the rotation will be big for him, and how he progresses will tell how much work the Reds rotation needs. One player who I am sure to have a strong year is Iglesias. He is a flame thrower and struck out 9.8/9 last season. If the Cuban defector’s arm can hold up for a full season and he can progress on what he did last year he is a guy with ace potential. Homer Bailey may come around toward the end of the year after a mid-season Tommy John surgery last year, and him and Alfredo Simon would serve as the veteran innings eaters, but this is a rotation that could feel much more complete by the end of the year than it is now do to the youth and their progressions.
In trading Aroldis Chapman the Reds are saying that they won’t be closing out a lot of teams this year. They are going the route that the Brewers, and Phillies are going which is to shuffle in your young pitchers and find the guys who can stick around in the pen. It may come with late inning breakdowns, but they will be better next year for it.
At the end of the day this team has no chance of the playoffs. They are in one of the tougher divisions, and traded away two of their top contending pieces. They should look to move Votto and Phillips and finish the thing. Someone like Hamilton and Iglesias should be monitored as guys who can make the most of expanded opportunities, and if these guys take a step forward, it makes the rebuild a lot easier.
55th in NL Central