This week’s respondents are Nick Kirby, Chris Garber, Clay Marshall, Ashley Davis, and Steve Mancuso.

Our Daily Reds Obsession: When will the Reds return to the playoffs?

Nick: I believe the Reds were a healthy rotation away from being a .500 team last year. I think this team returns to the playoffs by 2019. I am hoping for 2018, but I think 2019 is more realistic. The Reds infield was arguably their best ever in 2017. I don’t think this team is too many pieces away from competing for at least a second wild-card spot.

Chris: I expect to see Edwin Encarnacion and Justin Turner back in the playoffs next fall. Maybe Jay Bruce and Zack Cozart, too.

Players wearing Cincinnati laundry will play in a Wild Card game in 2019.

Clay: I’d love for the answer to be sooner than later — or at least, sooner than we realistically expect. It seems that many recent “rebuilds” have struck gold a year earlier than was planned, and I’d love for Cincinnati to be the next such example. We know the Reds can hit; we know they can field; and we know they have umpteen young pitchers with potential. Now we just need a handful to realize that potential, for the veterans to stay healthier than they have in recent years and for GM Dick Williams to be ready to supplement whatever holes need to be filled. That said, I could see the team making a run this year if all the cards fell the right way, but that’s a big, big if. 2019 seems more plausible.

Ashley: As much as I want to say next season, the Reds won’t make a return to the playoffs until 2019. If the young pitchers can stay healthy, the Reds will be improved next season and will make a run similar to the Brewers run this past season, but, like the Brewers, the Reds will fall just short in 2018. Watch out in 2019 though. Nick Senzel will have gotten some experience at the MLB-level, and the young pitchers also will have had enough experience underneath them. The future really is bright for this franchise.

Steve: 2020. I see the Reds taking big steps forward in both 2018 and 2019. But making the postseason is hard. They have a big chance to compete in 2019 and that could very well prove to be the right answer to this question. But if I were betting, I don’t think it will happen until 2020, when the Reds will be led by Luis Castillo, Hunter Greene, Nick Senzel, Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker, Taylor Trammell and Joseph Daniel Votto.

11 Responses

  1. cfd3000

    2018 is a real long shot – it would take (very) unexpected and significant gains in the rotation – health and efficacy of Bailey, Finnegan and DeSclafani, maturation of Castillo, Mahle, Stephenson, Garrett, Reed, etc. It’s hard to imagine any real gains on offense, especially if Cozart is not resigned. They should be better than 2017, but not playoff better.
    2019 is quite possible. It will likely come down to starting pitching development, health on offense, and the maturation of Senzel and Winker. I’d say a winning record and at least the hope of a wild card are reasonable expectations though, so maybe 2019.
    2020. Book it, and I’m looking at a division title, not a wild card. Add Senzel and Winker, probably Trammell and maybe Shed Long to Barnhart, Votto, Suarez, Schebler and the shortstop of the future (who will have been acquired or identified by then) and you have a terrific offense and solid defense. A rotation made up of the thrivers (not just survivors) from DeSclafani, Finnegan, Castillo, Mahle, Reed, Romano, Garrett, and the young stud Hunter Greene, and you have an imposing set of starters. See you at the playoffs.

  2. TR

    The Reds will see the playoffs when their starting pitching coalesces with an ace to lead the staff. When that will happen involves the action or inaction of the front office and the maturity of the young pitchers.

  3. Ernest Howerton

    I just hope somebody can throw strikes,and not self destruct like Homer managed to do so many times.We can still catch the ball,with good bats.Maybe surprise some people next yr with a wild card spot

  4. Ernest Howerton

    I never played the game but I’ve been a Reds fan since 1968.From what I can understand from listening to the commentary,is the young pitchers making adjustments when the hitters make them. I hope the Reds have the makings of another Goodman.

    • TR

      Are you referring to Ival Goodman who was a good right fielder for the Reds in the 1930’s and early 40’s.

  5. Tom Mitsoff

    Barring injury, he will make the majors. Whether he will become a dominant starter is another question altogether.

  6. Tom Mitsoff

    Regarding the statement that the Reds’ 2017 infield might have been their best ever, I’ll still go with Perez at first, Morgan at second, Concepcion at shortstop and Rose at third in the mid-70s. Two are in the Hall of Fame, and the other two should be, in my opinion.

  7. cupofcoffee1955

    The Reds were 68-94 this year. I am hoping for a .500 record next year, that would be a big jump. Like to see more people coming back to GABP. With that being said, I see a Wild Card Team in 2019. I look forward to the moves GM Williams makes over the winter.

  8. Sandman

    Oh, I believe we’ll get back to the playoffs. When? I’m not sure even though the majority of the writers seem to believe that it’s gonna be 2019.

    I just hope this rebuild brings us a couple championships (or more) bcuz otherwise it’ll have been a failure in my book.

  9. thekidredblog

    They might be wildcard contenders in 2018-2019 earliest, but they could be serious contenders in 2020-2022. Hunter Greene will probably be up from 2021-2022, and with Senzel, Votto, and even Winker by his side the Reds could be seriously hard hitters.