The 2022 ZiPS projections are out for the Cincinnati Reds at Fangraphs. Dan Szymborski’s teaser on the front page is simple: The Reds are still contenders, but management might make them not be.

A year after finishing 83-79 and hanging around for the second wild card spot until the final week of the season, the Reds hit the offseason and quickly got rid of both Wade Miley and Tucker Barnhart. They made a qualifying offer to Nick Castellanos, but he turned it down and became a free agent. Michael Lorenzen and Mychal Givens also left the team as free agents. They then went out into free agency and signed no one to a big league deal, instead opting to pick up a few players on minor league deals before the lockout was implemented by ownership, sending the hot stove to a screeching halt.

Right before that took place, though, the rumor mill was heavy on the Reds looking to move a starting pitcher in trade. Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, and Tyler Mahle were all mentioned as possible options that could have been looking to pack up their stuff and find new lodging in another city. Of course, we heard a lot of the same stuff last offseason, too, and despite a plethora of rumors the team didn’t make any big moves. We’ll see if the Reds are done moving on/letting go of players on the roster or if this is the year in which the Jon Heyman’s of the world are actually hearing real rumors about the Reds engaging in trade talks rather than suggesting they are because Nick Krall answered his phone when another team called.

The ZiPS projections have the Reds starting eight as pretty average. There’s two spots that are above-average, and three that are below-average, with Jonathan India projecting to be far-and-away the best every day player on the team in 2022.

It’s the pitching that sticks out for Cincinnati. Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, and Tyler Mahle – if they are all still around when the year begins, anyways – all project to be borderline All-Star caliber players between 3.5-4.0 WAR next season. The bullpen stands out a bit, too. While after suffering from PTSD at times in 2021, the group as a whole moving forward – even without Tejay Antone in 2022 – projects to be a quality group of relievers.

ZiPS does project a bit of a return for Eugenio Suárez. Not that it believes he will return to 2019 form, but it does project a step up from where he has been the past few years with a .236/.325/.484 line to go along with 34 home runs in 2022. On the flip side, it projects a big drop off for Joey Votto, who is projected for a fine season with an .831 OPS – but that’s a drop of over 100 points from where he was at in 2021.

As for the question that is on the mind of everyone: Kyle Farmer or Jose Barrero? Well, ZiPS believes in Jose Barrero a bit more. The younger of the two has a slight edge on both offense and defense in the projection – but it is close in both categories.

Overall, the 2022 Cincinnati Reds as they stand today have a better ZiPS projection than the 2021 Reds team did when the season began. There were plenty of guys that outperformed their ZiPS in 2021, and a few who really underperformed theirs, too.

The team as it stands today may not be the team that shows up in Cincinnati on opening day. Trades and signings could still happen that alter what the projected roster looks like. But as things stand right now, ZiPS sees a team that is a borderline playoff contender – and that’s not accounting for what could happen if the playoffs are expanded with the new collective bargaining agreement, which is what the ownership side of things want to happen.

80 Responses

  1. doofus

    Insert your favorite Terry Malloy quote here: ” !”

  2. doofus

    This team needs to add, not subtract. The rotation, even with the loss of Miley is good. A rotation fronted by Castillo, Gray and Mahle is what the Reds have been striving to build. Now that the foundation is in place ownership/FO want to tear it up? I cannot believe that they are that stupid.

    Remember the return for from KC for Cueto?

    Upgrade SS and CF with some athletism. Ensure that Barrerro is the answer at SS.

    I am not sold on Nick Senzel playing CF. I like him on the dirt. I still like him playing for the Reds. If he is moved, they should not sell for pennies on the dollar.

    Bullpen, nuff said.

    I see quality on this roster and in the organization. The problem is that ownership is more concerned about not losing money, instead of allowing the baseball people to build a championship team.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      Remember the returns for Alfredo Simon and Dan Straily?

      I am with you though. Add to the team. Don’t want a rebuild. Don’t want a retooling. Want a winner and want it now.

      • doofus

        I also remember the return for Cueto…squat!

        Trading valuable player assets for unknown prospects, no matter how high they are on someone’s list, is a crap shoot.

    • greenmtred

      They could choose to ensure that Barrero gets a chance at shortstop. They can’t ensure that he’s the answer.

      • DaveCT

        Absolutely. The cleanest way to do that is trading Farmer. If Barrero falls on his face, nothing ventured, nothing gained. And there are AAAA guys ready to play short to finish the year.

        I like Farmer, and I felt last year he’d be, and was, a serviceable starter. So, sell high, and tell Barrero the job is his without having to look over his shoulder.

      • MuddyCleats

        I see Barrero has played a mere 45 games at AAA and much less in ML. I don’t see how anyone could suggest he should be ready for the everyday starting SS role at the ML level. This kid is the future; let him develop already. Dittos w/ Green and Lodolo. No doubt, the Reds need a savior or 2 – they need to add talent – but expecting Barrero and Senzel to be the solution next year is only throwing gas on the fire IMHO.

      • greenmtred

        Farmer has value to the Reds as a utility guy, besides probably being their best option at short if Barrero can’t hack it. He’d be worth something as a trade chip, but how much, really?

  3. CI3J

    I think it’s wrong to consider this team a “contender”. I think it would be better to say expect the team to be “competitive”.

    As I’ve said, it’s not hard to squint and see a way the foundation for a successful team could be laid this season, despite our collective disillusionment with how the offseason has gone so far. The key will be what they get in return for trading Castillo and Gray. Obviously, the Reds really need a CF and another corner OF. I think it’s time to end the Senzel experiment in the outfield and use him as an infielder only with maybe very rare spot starts in the outfield.

    Losing Castillo and Gray is a big loss, to be sure, but the Reds have a crop of young pitchers we’ve been hearing about since forever, I say it’s time to let them get their feet wet in MLB.

    The key is to keep the eyes on 2024 as the year to really contend. 2022 is probably going to have some growing pains. 2023 is when things should start coming together. 2024 should be when the window opens. By 2024, I want to see this lineup:

    SP Greene
    SP Lodolo
    SP Mahle
    SP/SP Guiterrez, San Martin, Santillan, Ashcraft

    The Reds should have enough good young pitchers to form a formidable rotation.


    2B India
    SS Barrero
    1B Winker
    C Stephenson
    3B Senzel/Hinds
    RF TBD
    CF TBD
    LF TBD

    The Reds NEED to trade for outfielders and stop trying to turn every young guy with speed into an OF.

    Plus, by this time, a lot of money should be off the books, so the Reds could dip into the FA market to fill some holes as well.

    I say in 2022, the Reds need to rip the bandaid off and start the rebuild in earnest. If the kids are talented enough (which I believe they are) they should still be a competitive team.

    • JinCH

      Winker and Mahle will both be free agents in 2024.

    • doofus

      You believe in a perpetual rebuild.

      • greenmtred

        Maybe a perpetual rebuild is the surest way to achieve sustained excellence. “Rebuild,” though, is subject to interpretation: Does it necessarily mean waiting until you’re bad and then replacing almost everybody? Or could it mean developing and acquiring good players constantly?

    • doofus

      So by 2024, “The Reds should have enough good young pitchers to form a formidable rotation.”

      “Should have?” “Formidable?”

      It takes about 1,000 professional innings to make a decent major league pitcher. Only Mahle quailifies with 1,054 pro innings.

    • doofus

      I have never seen an all homegrown “formidable” rotation. Maybe Seaver, Ryan, Koosman, Gentry circa 1969?

    • Redsvol

      CIJ3 – I love your optimism but this scenario would need a lot of luck for that 2024 team to be any good. Counting on 4/5th’s of your starting rotation to be pre-arbitration players is very risky. Most young arms simply don’t pan out. We need at least 2 good veterans in the starting rotation to have a chance – maybe thats Mahle and Gray or Male and Castillo but we don’t need to trade both of them. Two pitchers needs to be extended with Votto coming off the books in 2 years.

      This, along with fact – which you pointed out – that there are no sure thing outfielders in the minor leagues that we can have a lot of confidence in. We need to sign/trade for/develop 3-4 outfielders for 2023 because they are currently not on the 40 man roster.

    • doofus

      What?! “The key will be what they get in return for trading Castillo and Gray.”

      I respectively disagree. The key is what they do to fill the remaining holes in the roster. EVERY team has holes.

      Trading Castillo and or Gray is just starting over again, going back 5 years to 2016. This would be ludicrous. The Reds were close last season, now some of you want to blow the team up and start another rebuild?

      ludicrous (adjective)- so foolish, unreasonable, or out of place as to be amusing; ridiculous.

  4. Fanman

    Why not keep rotation intact, as salary is reasonable, considering talent level is arguably elite. Still have, at least, two years of team control. 1-5 of Castillo, Gray, Mahle, Greene and Lodolo instantly makes 2022 Cincinnati Reds squad a contender. If this version of playoff hopefuls fails, then deal either/all Castillo, Gray, Mahle. What is lost compared to dealing this off season?

    • DaveCT

      I’d still pay to watch Castillo, Gray, and Mahle pitch. I’d still pay to watch Miley pitch, for that matter. I enjoyed watching Gutierrez when he was rolling, hope is that he’ll build on that. I like SanMartin. I’m not buying tickets to see him pitch just yet. Honestly, I wouldn’t go watch Greene, Lodolo or Ashcraft, either, until they have proven themselves. Rookies will be rookies. And tickets don’t grow on trees.

    • CI3J

      Because it doesn’t make business sense. The way teams that aren’t the Yankees, Dodgers and Cubs stay successful is by trading their most valuable while they still have value for younger, cheaper assets. There is no point for the Reds to keep Gray and Castillo for a few more years then watch them start to decline and lose any trade value.

      • DaveCT

        Castillo and Mahle are no where close to their decline, providing health of course. Gray? Maybe, I’ll give you that. Given the team’s apparent plan to be competitive while also shedding assets, proper business reasoning would dictate keeping their rotation solid. Without pitching, their is no competitive capacity. Similar logic to not investing in bullpens. But practice suggests poor bullpens equate to poor results.

      • Optimist

        DaveCT – I think the value referred to is years of control, not time until decline. Put another way, if Miley were 10 years younger coming off the year he just had the trade offers would have been pouring in. Still should not have waived him, but there are clear differences in the trade values of Gray/Miley/Mahle/Castillo.

        Interestingly, I suspect VladGut’s trade value increased substantially – this time last year he was likely a pretty good prospect, better than a flyer, but now he’d probably get a decent bullpen arm back, or several lower minor prospects.

      • Redsvol

        the problem is, no-one is going to pay to go see a 70 win ballclub in Cincinnati. They might in st. Louis or Chicago but not Cinci. So wnership would be losing millions in lost attendance for 2-3 years. In some cases it can work, but its quite a risk. Astros & Padres seem to have be able to do it. Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Arizona – not so much.

  5. Moses

    This is a ridiculous headline! Maybe you should have instead written “Reds ZIP to Playoffs”, or something that better describes what you’re getting at here. Obviously, the Reds could content. We hope that they will contend. But they really don’t look like contenders, even if ZIP says otherwise. And we KNOW that the team will be different come April! I mean, they’re contenders in that they play in a fairly open division, but I think we all know it’s more likely they finish in last place than in first place (or even bottom half vs top half), so I think that this headline is a massive, massive stretch. But that’s why we play the games!

    • JayTheRed

      What your forgetting is that half the teams in baseball might make the playoffs if the owners get their way. I really hope this doesn’t happen though.
      So they could be contenders if all those teams get to get into the tournament.

    • 2020ball

      “but I think we all know it’s more likely they finish in last place than in first place”

      I mean, I get what youre saying, but I certainly dont think that. I’d actually say the opposite was true, I’d be shocked if they finish in last. I’m not gonna say they have a good chance to finish in first, but lets be real now. The division looks pretty wide open.

      • doofus

        “The division looks pretty wide open.” And, what do you need to win,… a strong starting staff.

    • Jeffrey A Yocum

      I agree, especially if they trade any of the SP’s. This team is overloaded with “if’s” & the lineup will very likely be shallow. To contend you need a deep lineup. With a significant injury or 2 the lineup could easily slip into the anemic catagory. We all witnessed the offensive collapse when Winker went down last year.

  6. Mort

    Hey Doug. I thought that it would make for an interesting article if you could show last years Zips projections from last year and compare to actual stats? I thought of this a few months ago, just after the season ended and thought it would make for an interesting read.

  7. LDS

    The ZIPS projection only put them a couple of games over .500. I’m guessing something similar to this past year. With expanded playoffs, maybe they get in. Calling them potential contenders is overly generous. As for Votto regressing? The man will be 39 before the 2022 season is over. And based on his last two years, a rebound by Suarez may be expecting too much. But the one thing we can all agree on – management will likely ruin whatever expectations the Reds have of making the playoffs. Big Bob needs a new house.

  8. BK

    Not surprised to see these projections. Foundation for the Reds is solid. Like others, I agree the Reds need to add:

    1. Outfielder. Corner outfielder would be fine. Needs to hit LHP well.
    2. Backup Catcher. Ideally can hit LHP well freeing up Stephenson to DH or play 1B against LHP.
    3. Bullpen pitcher.

    Shouldn’t break the bank to accomplish this list.

  9. burtgummer01

    Once the Reds are done dumping salaries the only competition will be for last place

    • LDS

      At this point, they’ve probably locked up 4th place at best. Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Chicago aren’t done adding. And as you said, the Reds aren’t done cutting.

      • greenmtred

        Really no point in playing the games, then. So many of us are certain–as we were last year–that the Reds wouldn’t be any good. They were good last year, though, unless you define good as winning the WS and nothing else. They may be in 2022, also. There’s much too much we don’t know yet to make the determination: who stays healthy? Do any of the rookie pitchers make a positive impact? How does Stephenson handle an expanded role? Barrero? Suarez? If there’s a season, I’ll watch some games.

      • LDS

        And they still have the Bell anchor around their neck. 83-79 is only something to crow about after nearly two decades of losing seasons. Lots of ways to define success but 3rd place in a weak division isn’t one of them.

      • greenmtred

        I get that you don’t like Bell. We have, collectively, gone round and round about that, but I will say that 83 and 79 is better than many expected, and that came despite injuries to key players and the failure of the front office to add needed reinforcements. For me, the jury is out on Bell.

    • burtgummer01

      And then there’s fans who are clueless enough to think that David Bell is the issue with the Reds

      • JayTheRed

        And then there are fans that don’t realize that Bell IS a portion of the issue. Maybe not a big portion but the guy doesn’t know how to run a pitching staff for squat.

      • greenmtred

        And then there are the fans who assume that they know more than they actually do and judge managers by how much they agree with them. A common delusion among sports fans.

  10. Votto4life

    The bullpen is an area that needs to be vastly improved in order for this team to contend. It’s not impossible, but it would mean the Reds have to spend a few dollars.

  11. TR

    I’ll stay in wait and see mode until: the expected changes are made in the pitching dept and the starting pitching remains one of the better staffs in the NL; a righthanded hitting right fielder is acquired or announced with good defensive skills; who is going to occupy the important position in centerfield; and Barrero, who has excellent defensive skills, is given a real tryout at shortstop. Things should start to clear up after the first of the year.

  12. Mark Moore

    The pain of the unknown is killing me!!!

    I’m still keeping my pessimistic over/under to play games at July 4th.

  13. MBS

    If they made zero subtractions, and we’re unusually healthy, they could be competitive.

    India, Winker, Stephenson, Votto, Suarez, Naquin, Barrero, Moustakes (Farmer/Senzel) Obviously the order after Votto gets shaky but the top 4 are solid, and with some luck 5 – 9 has a few guys that could put up good numbers.

    The starters are good, and the pen should be a little more solid than last year. Santillan, and Moreta really seemed to have filled in nicely. I’m also guessing San Martin will join the pen.

    We’d still be a team fighting to be .500, unless something just comes out of left field.

  14. Rednat

    September/october really bothered me. we were 12-17 with a fairly easy schedule. I know Winker was out but still, i didn’t like the body language at the end of the year. Seems like Bell may have lost control of the team a little bit or maybe they just got demoralized with the St.Louis Cardinal run. As a fan it was a big let down. Then you lose Miley, Castelanos and Lorenzen and that really put a damper on things.

    • Mark Moore

      I saw the same through my fan-based eyes. I know winning is never easy, but …

  15. pinson343

    This is the best article I’ve read about the Reds during the off-season. Other articles have said the bullpen has now been trashed, I don’t see that. Other articles have assumed trading one of the top 3 starting pitchers – I don’t see that happening unless they have a surprise major addition in mind. Most importantly, every move they’ve made has arguably been a good baseball move – nothing in comparison to the salary dump of Iglesias.

    • burtgummer01

      Really? Their already bad bullpen was made worse after waving good bye to Lorenzen and Givins.
      They traded a gold glove catcher for some kid who’ll never see the majors.
      They released their best pitcher from last year because they didn’t want to pay his signing bonus then trading him
      Their only major league signing last year and this was Dolittle
      But yeah it’s not about money

      • JoshG

        Lorenzen and Givens are both Average at best pitchers..

      • Indy Red Man

        Lorenzen and Givens were both nails for their first month. They greatly helped the Reds right the ship from blowing games when HH was their closer.

        Clint Eastwood’s character said in a movie “I’m going to hit you with so many lefts, you’re gonna be begging for a right”

        After watching more Reds HH type relieving in 2022, you’re gonna be begging for average

  16. old-school

    Looks like both sides content to push core economic issues into January
    Bob Nightengale reports both sides consider Feb1 as a soft deadline to avoid spring training delays. I almost wonder if BC and some owners wouldn’t mind skipping March/April schedules and play a 125 game season starting in May sometime. Bob doesnt make much money in tickets outside of OD in March and April and a 25% reduction in payroll would fit nicely for some owners.

    • Mark Moore

      I’d feel pretty fortunate if they were playing baseball in May. I still have my doubts. The arrogance we’re seeing sometimes just astounds me (though it doesn’t surprise me).

      • Old-school

        Covid is impacting sports again with the Rams facility shut down, the browns without their head coach and starting QB, the Bulls with 10 players out and NBA reviewing protocols and Hockey and NCAA basketball being impacted with UCLA cancelling their home game 1 hour prior to the start. OSU Kentucky was just cancelled. The Super Bowl is in California. Is the governor going to allow 70000 fans from all over to descend upon LA or will restrictions and distancing and attendance limits …….or worse ……

        If the re-emergence of Covid despite vaccinations, albeit very mild in healthy pro athletes, re-enters the CBA talks for the start of the 2022 season, that could be a death blow to the start of the season and to the players. The owners will not start spring training in Arizona and Florida or agree to any deal if Covid threatens attendance and revenue at the start of 2022.

        We could be in for a long winter.

      • Mark Moore

        I wasn’t even factoring that in, Old-School. But you are spot-on. The latest mutation is beyond contagious, even if the impact of it isn’t as sever for most people (healthy athletes included).

        Long winter bleeding into spring indeed.

    • BK

      They are at loggerheads for several reasons. The CBA, overtime, has become increasingly favorable to top revenue teams (they now have a structural advantage over the majority of teams) and to top earning players (leading to widely disparate salary distribution among players). Tanking is a symptom, not the problem. Moreover, the lack of revenue sharing, even though that is the “norm” in other major sports leads to a combative vs. collaborative approach to solving the underlying issues. On the positive front, for the most part, they aren’t negotiating through the media like we’ve seen in the past. On the negative side, I don’t think either side is willing to acknowledge the fundamental problems. Thus, they are trying to make the flawed system work a little better without addressing the root causes.

    • JayTheRed

      I feel like there is going to be delays period. Both owners and players seem very bullish right now about what they want. There doesn’t seem to be any give on either side, anymore than what has already been offered.

  17. Eddie

    My opinion for reds be contender this coming year is to sign vogt as backup catcher, move senzel to shortstop I don’t think barrero is the answer.
    If we get to rule 5 draft and get a pick take a starting pitcher, sign two free agent pitchers move our two young pitchers into major league rotation one in bullpen if needed. Rumor was pham be a reds player but don’t think be good answer for outfield. If we keep most of players unless make sense to trade of improving then so be it. I will love Kyle seager as 3rd base over moose n Suarez

      • Eddie

        Yeah I know but I’m talking about moving him to shortstop since he was being used in the dirt while he was in minors after his injury

  18. CFD3000

    I remain optimistic. The 2022 Reds can contend (though can and will are obviously two different things). Some on here have decided the Reds are clearly worse than last year, and were bad last year, so they’ll be lucky not to finish last next year. I strongly disagree. The Reds were a winning team in 2021 despite:

    Luis Castillo was terrible the first half of the year
    The bullpen was injury riddled and full of ineffective scrap heap arms until the trade deadline
    Eugenio Suarez was the worst regular hitter in MLB for 5 months
    Mike Moustakas was a complete no show. Ditto Nick Senzel.
    Castellanos, Votto and Winker all spent a month or more on the DL.

    IMHO Tyler Stephenson + new backup catcher will match or better the 2021 production from Barnhart / Stephenson
    Jose Barrero (if they let him play) will be more effective at SS than the 2020 crew (with a tip of the Reds cap to Kyle Farmer for a clutch fill-in role when they needed him to step up).
    The 2022 bullpen will be better, possibly a lot better than the 2021 version.
    Some combination of Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Tony Santillan, Vladimir Gutierrez, Riever SanMartin and Graham Ashcroft will fill the 4-5 slots above MLB average for those roles.

    The Reds will miss Nick Castellanos. And they may see regression from India, Votto and Naquin who were all positive surprises in 2021. Or they may not. And health is always a huge question mark. The Reds don’t have great depth. But CAN the Reds contend? I’d argue they were a bit unlucky and a lot poorly constructed- especially bullpen – last year and still won more than they lost. So I think they can contend. I definitely think they can improve on 2021. I am not a fan of the front office and manager, but I choose to remain optimistic about the baseball players employed by the Reds. I expect to see meaningful Reds games in September. And I don’t know when it will fall, but I can’t wait for opening day.

  19. RedBB

    2.3 WAR for Castellanos in 2022. I hope Scott Boras didn’t read that or he may nuclear on Fangraphs!

  20. Steve Schoenbaechler

    It’s going to be tough. I mean, you don’t just replace Nick C and a lefty with the season the Miley had.

    But, I don’t necessarily see the Reds being bad this upcoming season. Oh, most definitely, nothing has been done to make them better, as far as bringing in players.

    But, I’m considering things like “player improvement”. I mean, we have young guys. And, if the young guys improve, I believe we will still be in the mix. The only thing/question/whatever is, “Will they improve?”

    I mean, can India improve? Can Winker improve? Mahle has improved every season he’s been up here, I believe. Can he improve? Tyler is going to get more AB’s this upcoming season. Given last year, that should lift the offense some.

    Not to mention, we still have the labor contract talks going on. We may not even have a season. And/Or, the Reds may simply be waiting to see what comes from this to see what they do next.

    One thing I don’t see the Reds doing is paying $30 million or even $25 million for another player ever again. So, if players like Tyler St, Mahle, and India do improve, we may not have them for long.

    • Indy Red Man

      They won the season series vs St. Louis
      They won the season series vs Chicago
      They won 6 of 7 to start in Miller Park (or whatever they call it)

      0.0 of that will happen in 2022. The best thing that could happen would be to cancel the season

  21. DataDumpster

    For those David Bell supporters out there, please allow me to repeat the comments I made after the 2020 season. I could, but will not list 10 more reasons why David Bell will never produce a playoff win from observations of last season. Perhaps the late season collapse (like the 2020 playoff) and comparison of his management next to teams like the Braves, Cardinals and Brewers with a similar talent level and adversity might suffice.

    1) David Bell fired the hitting coach he inherited that led the Reds coming in 7th overall in average. After two of Bell’s coaches, the Reds dropped to an abominable .212 avg. with almost every hitter declining significantly.
    2) Bell has not allowed any player to get in a groove with his constantly shifting lineups, pinch hitting, and experiments with unproductive minor league players. Analytics rules over game sense.
    3) Bell (and the GM) have put together a 3 outcome offense (K, BB, HR) that fails badly at anything other than the 3 outcomes.
    4) Bell either does not emphasize fundamentals or his players are not motivated because they are very inept when it comes to baserunning, defense, sacrificing, and most other skills not associated with an upper cut swing.
    5) Bell is not inspirational, charismatic, or even a good interview for the post game. He never has any insight, change of strategy, or “firing up the players” skill. He just spits out “stay the course”, we’re working so hard, and bad luck stories.
    6) Bell had four progressively worse losing seasons managing in the minor leagues. His other baseball experience is varied and useful but he has not stayed anywhere long enough to make a difference. He should have never been hired.
    7) Bell embarrassed himself in a big way with his pathetic balls and strikes arguments during his first year to set a record for getting thrown out of the game. Think umps don’t remember this?
    8) The playoff record of 22 scoreless innings couldn’t solely be placed on Bell but how does a team that was the hottest in baseball the 2-3 weeks prior to this perform this badly. Perhaps Bell’s decision to pitch to the baseball MVP in the last inning, bad substitutions and lack of any attempt to advance runners instead of swinging for the fences, and the infamous attempted double steal with two outs.
    9) With regards to Akiyama, this is the type of player the Reds badly need. He was an everyday player in Japan with high batting average and good overall skill (except his arm). Despite him needing to acclimate to a different country and different league in a very shortened season, Bell immediately platooned him, varied his place in the order and pinch hit for him several times. His development was delayed due to lack of playing time until he flourished late in the season.
    10) Bell seemed to have no urgency to win games but instead followed a “everybody gets to play” model. How many ABs were wasted on players put on DFA or batting sub .200. How many free agents like Bradley, Strop, etc. were hardly used at all.

    The more things change, the more they remain the same.

    • Indy Red Man

      I don’t really like Bell either, but he didn’t make key guys fall apart offensively or put together a mish-mash scrub bullpen minus his best guys. He didn’t make Castillo the worst pitcher in the NL for 2 months either.

      Also Shogo just sucks. Thats on Shogo. His swing is horrible and he throws like a high-school kid. How can anyone drive the ball when their backside is going down the first base line? Guys that are 31-32 years old shouldn’t need to be developed? He’s a colossal bust. It was worth a try, but never worked.

    • TR

      A chance for change in field management not taken. Bell’s contract extended for two years.

    • burtgummer01

      Sheer ignorance
      So it was Bells fault that was given the worst bullpen in mlb?
      Its Bells fault the only off season mlb signing was Dolittle?
      I guess it must be Bells fault that no manager has won a playoff series under moneybags Bob
      The Reds although didn’t make the playoffs they exceeded the so called experts predictions but you don’t mention that

      • VegasRed

        No, burtgummer. Bob and his clown Krall are t blame for a lot of those roster decisions but bell stinking is not going to help. This is your blind spot pal.

      • burtgummer01

        And your blind spot is anything to do with baseball

  22. Bill Newell

    The Reds like to save money, so why not trade Moustakas and Suarez for the two best relief pitchers they can get? In my opinion Farmer earned the SS position. Put Jose Burraro at 3rd with his rookie salary and call it good. They will need some backup at 1st and catcher. VOtto and Stephenson can’t play every game. Winker, Denzel, and Nyquin in the outfield with Shogo Yakima as backup although it would be nice to get out of paying that salary too, but I don’t think he has much trade value.

  23. Jack

    They are contenders “so far”. We’ll see what club they actually take to spring training. Team needs bench depth, a quality left handed reliever and a veteran starter for depth (someone like Miley).

  24. Hotto4Votto

    I don’t buy that the team as currently constructed is better than last year’s team (which wasn’t good enough). Our best two relievers (from the first half and 2nd half) won’t be with the team in Antone and Givens. Additionally the bullpen lost Lorenzen and possibly will have to shift Santillan to the rotation. That’s a lot of loss to cover from a bullpen that wasn’t that good to begin with. Likely they’ll be covering them with rookies and minor league FA’s. The rotation has lost their most consistent pitcher and whoever replaces Miley in the rotation likely won’t match the season he put up. RF is gaping hole on offense with no in-house replacement at this point as we lost one of our top 3 hitters. Barnhart’s loss is likely to be felt as well with the pitching staff and as a solid 2nd C option. If Votto takes a step back from 2021 I just don’t see how the offense recovers, especially without replacing Castellanos.

    I guess if you squint hard and hope Votto replicates his 2021, Winker, Naquin, and Senzel remain healthy and produce, India and Stephenson take another step forward, Suarez and Moose bounce back closer to their career marks, and Barrero hits like he did in the upper minors then you can make a case for the offense to be good. But there’s a lot of wishing and hoping in all those scenarios and unlikely all turn out to be best-case.
    Likewise, you can squint hard and predict Greene to take over a rotation spot and be a rookie sensation then the rotation can be a strength. Get Luis off to a decent start, hope Sonny doesn’t take another small step back, hope Mahle takes a step forward and that either Gutierrez or Santillan can shore up the 5th rotation spot and the rotation would be pretty good. If we hang onto all those guys, which is the big question of the offseason, I think the rotation could be a safer bet than the offense as currently constructed.
    The team as currently constructed isn’t bad, like not 100 losses bad. At the same time I’m not sure even the most optimistic take I can fathom has this team much more than .500 which won’t cut it as far as competing for the postseason.

    • VegasRed

      Good objectively honest take. I’m guessing about 72-77 wins. 80-81 if hints go better than last year for ho is still on roster. Weakness vs LH pitching and bull pen are and will be problems unless they find replacement for casty

  25. Chris Wheeler

    The relievers are going to be good….!?? You might need to seek help.