Well, the Major League Baseball season is going to be delayed a little bit. No one know for how long that will last at this point, but the plan is to eventually play baseball this season. A few days before the delay was announced, the folks over at Sports Illustrated got together and tried to predict how all of the teams in baseball would perform. And when it came to the National League Central it was much like what we’ve seen from other outlets: A very close race. The Cubs, Reds, Cardinals, and Brewers were all separated by one game from the team ahead of them – each winning between 83 and 86 games.

The Cincinnati Reds are predicted for a second place finish, one game back of the Chicago Cubs, with an 85-77 record. Here’s what the blurb on the Reds says:

The Reds already had a formidable rotation, and they went on a major spending spree to round out their roster. The payoff could be their first playoff berth since ’13.

Hopes are high for the Reds. As noted, they went out and spent to try and leave the roster without any weaknesses. They added a starting pitcher to give them more depth to one of the rotations that was already the best in the league. They went out and added two middle-of-the-order bats by picking up Mike Moustakas and Nick Castellanos. The Reds made an attempt to add to the bullpen by picking up Pedro Strop with the hopes that he can return to his pre-2019 form.

After last season, those are exactly the kinds of moves that the Cincinnati Reds needed to make. It’s very likely that the talent level of the team in 2019 was better than their record was at the end of the season. But even if that was the case – they were still not contenders. They needed to add talent to the team that was returning if, at least on paper, they were going to move into that “contender” status. They did just that. And now, unfortunately, we wait.

But, if there’s going to be any sort of silver lining as it relates to Cincinnati Reds baseball and this delayed start to the season, it gives players like Nick Senzel and Eugenio Suarez extra time to recover from their shoulder surgeries that was pushing their return dates right up to the start of the season. The Reds are counting on both of those guys to contribute in big ways for 2020. Even if the season is only delayed by the current “two weeks”, that could be enough time to have both guys fully ready to go for the season.

17 Responses

  1. MK

    Good. Cubs have Sports Illustrate Jinx now.

    • DB

      If the Reds finish lower than second a managerial change will be in order.

      That will be a win in and of itself.

  2. RedsFan11

    I am optimistic season will start on memorial day by memorial day weekend. Go REDS!

  3. Gonzo Reds

    More importantly than finishing 2nd… that SI article predicted the Reds would MISS the playoffs with the wild cards both going to NL East teams and only the Cubs going out of the Central.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      If the win totals are close to correct then the only playoff team from the Central would be the one in first place. That’s been my thinking all winter, gotta win the Central or sit at home during the playoffs.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I’ve also thought it would be hard for the Reds to get a wild card compared to 2nd place finishers in the East and (especially) the West. The teams are too tightly grouped and will end up beating each other up, keep each other’s win totals down. Of course, even though I love what they added, I wished they’d done more.

  4. MBS

    It might be an interesting study this season, if the there are only say 130 games. I would be curious to how it affects players. Fewer DL stints, more consistent performance. Baseball has too many games a season. Most players can’t hack a full season, especially year after year.

    145 game season is a nice number, you’d play 29 teams 5 games a piece. You could have 2 game, and 3 game series twice a week with 2 days off each week. You’d have to shorten Spring trading by 2 weeks to squeeze it into baseballs normal timeframe. It would be better for the players, and I think it would be better for the fans to. Having a couple of extra weeks of their favorite sport would be great.

  5. GhostRunner

    Good point on Senzel and Suarez getting extra time. Hoping its not a long delay, but support the delay.

  6. Hotto4Votto

    I know there’s little known right now, but is the expectation that they just start the season without anymore pre-season/exhibition games? I would think pitchers will need time to build up innings, and everyone needs to build up to game speed. Otherwise I think you run a greater risk of injury without a full pre-season build up, or with such a delay in between.

    • Doug Gray

      There’s no chance at all there’s not a 2-3 week spring training of sorts before the season starts. Whether it will feature actual games, and take place at the spring training sites is another story. Teams may just choose to go to their home city and have basically intrasquad stuff for a few weeks and make their decisions on rosters and stuff that way. Lots of questions. Not many answers right now.

  7. Optimist

    I still vote for a delayed full season, with October/NovemberDecember games, and playoffs, at the spring training sites. Maybe have 30-man rosters for the first month to allow more pitchers, to overcome the build-up they miss with the delay.

  8. I-71_Exile

    I give Sports Illustrated about as much credibility as Bleacher Report so I guess their 2nd place Reds finish is…good news?

  9. Stock

    T he Cubs starting pitching is weak and their bullpen is even weaker. I think Senzel and Winker are under rated and the Reds outfield of Winker/Ervin, Senzel, Castellanos is better than Schwarber, Happ, Heyward. 1B/2B/3B balances out to about even. SS and C the Cubs have a big advantage but I think the Reds pitching advantage is superior to this. If no games are made up the Reds are the favorites.

    I have heard they will make up games with double headers. That means Mahle/Mills comparison. Again, advantage Reds. In fact additional double headers helps the Reds more than any team except the Dodgers and possibly Atlanta and Houston.

  10. J

    Does anyone have thoughts on how the Reds will handle ticket sales for the new “Opening Day”? Depending on the date the season starts, the first game may or may not be in Cincinnati. Whether the season starts in mid April, the beginning of May, or late May, chances are great that the first home game will be a sellout. Obviously the people that have already purchased tickets to whatever game that is will get to keep them. Will there be another Opening Day ticket lottery or will there simply be a rush of people on the Reds’ website buying tickets for that date as soon as news is announced?

    • Doug Gray

      No one has a clue. And they probably won’t for a while.

  11. Peter Onte

    I might have missed this in Doug’s piece (sorry if so!), but SI also says, “…Cincinnati has improved what was a terrible offense, but in doing so created a potentially terrible defense.”

  12. TR

    Would prefer an NLC flag but 2nd. place and the playoffs will go a long way for the Reds.