My latest for Cincinnati Magazine:

Hey, the Reds are good again. This is fun! They’re finally playing like the team I told you to expect. Go ahead and start printing those playoff tickets, am I right?

OK, maybe we should pump the brakes on that talk, but Cincinnati’s recent stretch of good play (24-19 over the last six weeks) has given us reason for optimism, if nothing else. These days it isn’t quite so difficult to imagine a 2019 Reds team that is vastly improved, and even in the mix for a playoff spot.

Last week, I laid out my blueprint for precisely how the Reds could get back to being competitive by next April. One of my seven easy steps to success was this one:

Find a shortstop and/or a center fielder before Opening Day 2019. If (Nick) Senzel or (Eugenio) Suarez can’t play shortstop, the Reds really need to seek trades for either an everyday CF or SS. Cincinnati simply needs more production out of one or both of those positions than they’re currently getting. If Suarez/Senzel can handle short, perhaps the Reds can live with (Billy) Hamilton (or even (Jose) Peraza) in center field until (Taylor) Trammell is ready to take over. And the club needs to give Trammell every opportunity to prove he can be a big league center fielder sooner rather than later.

One whole week later, I still believe this is true. But what if the Reds don’t need to go out and find a center fielder? What if they already have one here in Cincinnati, right under our collective noses?

Read the entire piece here and let me know what you think!

14 Responses

  1. redsfan06

    Lorenzen? Has a cannon for an arm.

    • KDJ

      Give him time in CF this season and let’s see how he does at the MLB level at that spot. The Reds are not utilizing his athleticism.

      • roger garrett

        I agree and it is simple.Jut see what he can do.

  2. Davy13

    Like a floral arrangement with an array of beautiful flowers forming a stunning centerpiece, so the Reds must have more than one “beautifully” talented player to make their centerpiece. Suarez is definitely one, Machado could be the other, and hopefully, one of the young players in the pipeline. Votto is in this arrangement, but not for long.

  3. Streamer88

    If Iglesias + BHam could get us Tucker, please baseball Gods allow it to happen. Kyle Tucker is the answer to our problems. Well, one of our problems. Future All-star.

    I suspect it will take Iggy+something like Bham+Siri which I would absolutely do very rapidly.

  4. eric3287

    All of these moves are predicated on the Reds realizing they must move on from Duvall/Hamilton as every day starting OFs. By August, Scooter needs to not be playing 2B in a Reds uniform, and the “4 man rotation” needs to be eliminated in favor of either a Scooter/Winker/Schebler OF or Schebler/Winker/Duvall depending on what the Reds do with Scooter. Duvall and Billy can be used as late inning defensive replacements; that’s fine and probably where Billy would provide maximum value. Winker walks in the 7th inning of a tie game/1 run game/etc, go ahead and let Billy run for him and stay in the game for defense. But I will be highly disappointed if the Reds just maintain the status quo into August.

    • Streamer88

      True though I contend that we should always be in the mode of acquiring more WAR for less WAR. And if they want to take Iggy++ and give us Tucker or Whitley, even if we are at excess of OFers, we kindly take the deal, pack the bus full, and keep moving.

      Sure superstars help win pennants. But over 162 games I’ll take depth over stars anyday. You insulate from injury with depth. You trade from depth. You encourage competition amongst players with depth.

    • Michael E

      Yes, absolutely. Unfortunately, one of Duvall or Hamiltion will be around next year and It think that is a bad use of limited resources which also robs better players of a few dozen starts.

  5. big5ed

    Well, you’d think that if the Astros thought that Tucker was Christian Yelich, then they would be playing him in centerfield, instead of Jake Marisnick, the poor man’s Billy Hamilton. (Or RF, moving Springer to center.)

  6. Scott Carter

    He’s still in A ball. Another “speed” guy with no plate discipline.

  7. David

    The discussion of the line up is always fun, and who we could acquire and use to plug into holes. But the single biggest impediment to the Reds success is Starting Pitching.
    Nothing else matters until we have a real successful 5 man rotation.

    Where that comes from is anybody’s guess. We might or might not have some of the parts here, but 5 good starters can make a good -enough line up into a contender.
    Poor starting pitching can make the 1927 Yankees end up in 4th place. You can’t put out 7 runs every game.
    People think of the Big Red Machine years as being offensive juggernauts, but really, their team ERA was usually no worse than 3rd or 4th in the league.

  8. Tom

    So, my understanding is that Senzel is very athletic. As is India. My guess is that that’s the middle infield of the future. But, Senzel might be an option at CF.

  9. misconmicepcion

    65 in 91 isn’t good enough at any level. It just means he runs a lot with no judgement. Anything less than 75% success is wasteful. A lesser rate in A is really suspect.

  10. musicclown

    Friedl and Trammel has hit every level they’ve played in. Speed up their progress and see what you have. Friedl is in AA now and Trammel has nothing to prove in Daytona so move him up to AA.