Nate and I return and try to make the case for why the Reds will be contenders. Plus all the news from the Reds caravan, what to expect from Tyler Stephenson, and we dream about a world where the Reds captivate the town like the Bengals have.

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27 Responses

  1. JB

    I might be crazy but I am interested in watching the young guys in the outfield. Friedl,Fairchild and Fraley stepping up and taking control of a spot. They had their moments last year and I’m hoping they break out this year. Hope as well that the bench is full of young guys like McClain. It’s the year to sort through these guys and see if they are the future. Barrero needs to start. He needs to show if he is part of the future. Newman is not the future. Barrero does well then he stays. If he doesn’t then insert McClain or EDLC in the summer. I don’t want to watch guys that have no future here. Newman, Reynolds etc.

    • 2020ball

      Newman is fine as a bench bat to cover the up the middle IF spots, and Reynolds is excellent depth. Barrero deserves playing time but he needs to show something soon to earn said playing time, the aforementioned guys have far outhit him and neither is a good hitter. JB was 95% worse than league average last year, this team cant afford to blindly let him struggle when they have better options. Newman hasn’t even reached his first arb season, he has a chance to be a very shrewd pickup even with his limited ceiling. Guys like Senzel and Solak are the players I’m most skeptical of on this roster full of utility bench players.

  2. LDS

    Now that’s a clickbait title if ever there was one. And other than possibly Fairchild, I don’t see much in the OF that will be ML quality or part of the future. Fraley’s a platoon player, another Naquin or similar. Friedl? Meh. Senzel? Been there, done that. Solak? Now that’s funny. So, the only thing I see the Reds contending for is last place in the division. Maybe it’ll be a black swan season, but I’m not betting my limited funds on that.

    • Jim t

      Fairchild?? Hasn’t he been released or trade by a couple of other organizations? I really don’t hold out hope for any of the three. Hope I’m wrong.

      • LDS

        He had the best splits of the 3. Am I optimistic? Not really. But, of the choices available, he might be the best.

      • Oldtimer

        Agreed. Fairchild is AT BEST a substitute OF who can give the OF starters a rest once in a while.

        Not an MLB caliber everyday starter.

      • jon

        I know. What are people looking at? I spit my coffee out when i read

    • Old Big Ed

      Fraley was excellent in the second half, with an OPS of .903. Friedl’s was .888, and Fairchild’s was .884. Mookie Betts had a second-half OPS of .883, and he was 5th in MVP voting.

      By contrast, Benintendi had a second-half OPS of .740, and Jesse Winker’s was .682. Neither Winker nor Fraley can hit lefties, but Fraley is faster and better defensively than Winker, and he is the better player for about 10% of the price.

      At least one of the F-troop guys is going to turn out to be a good, solid player for several years. Fairchild dealt with some medical issues (listen to his interviews) and has come back strong; Friedl made a final adjustment when sent back to AAA last spring, and played well when he came back, including against left-handed pitching. Fairchild has just needed some ABs.

      I agree that Senzel is Senzel, but stranger things have happened. Lyle Lovett married Julia Roberts. Vito Corleone got shot 5 times and survived.

      • Old Big Ed

        Sonny took more like 55 shots. He did survive to get stuck in remote New England, with a private nurse who turned out to be his #1 fan.

    • 2020ball

      This roster desperately needs lefthanded hitters like Fraley on it to balance the lineup. Fairchild and his high K% may be exposed this year with more playing time, but I like his power and his offensive profile is fine as a CF or platoon bat. Friedl has slightly less power than Fairchild but stikes out a lot less, would like to see him do more with that contact before I’m sold on him. More than okay to let them all battle each other for playing time this year and see how it shakes out.

  3. Eddiek957

    I think we need an outfielder from outside the organization

    • TR

      There’s always a chance one of the numerous young shortstops in the farm system will develop into a five tool star outfielder.

      • TR

        I hope that’s the case. Centerfield is a very important position and the Reds need someone like EDLC to make it his own.

      • David

        EDLC WANTS to play SS, and as the organization’s top prospect and one of the highest rated prospects in baseball, I think the Reds owe him the chance to prove he can play SS. The young guy (SS) with the Pirates, Oneil Cruz, is even taller at 6’7″. Having said all this, only time will tell if EDLC can play ML SS well. And Edwin Arroyo is a couple of years away, the scouting reports say he is the best defensive SS the Reds have.
        So EDLC could certainly play CF, and he has said he played outfield as a kid, and “knows” how to play CF. I think he could be a great centerfielder if he set his mind to it. And I’m sure we all recall that Eric Davis was drafted as a SS, but was converted to CF as a minor leaguer.

    • Challenger

      Any thoughts on who that might be? A young prospect with high upside to fit into the Reds window of contention preferably.
      Appreciate your comment!

  4. J

    Every player is a nobody until they become a somebody. And there are no guarantees “proven” players will continue producing at the same level. Nobody was excited about signing Drury, and in 2020 we all would have been thrilled to see the Reds shell out $200 million to get Yelich. Right now Drury seems to be the better hitter.

    • David

      After his MVP year with the Brewers, I think Yelich developed some kind of chronic back injury, which he will likely never really get over, and regain his form.

      And yes, if I were running the Reds, I would have kept Drury and tried to sign him to a 2 or 3 year contract. He could bridge at multiple positions to the younger guys; 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base and DH.

      • TR

        To this day I do not understand why the Reds got rid of Drury in 2022 after the incredible opening season losing streak. Drury was practically the only
        Red answering the offensive call, and how much money was saved by that move?

  5. Bdh

    I think the Reds outfield is set up fine for when their window should open. For the 3 starters I think 1 of each of the 3 categories listed is what will happen.

    They need at least 1 of the current group to stick which I think Fraley already is in good position to. At worst he’s a good platoon option vs 70% of the pitchers in the league. Friedl IMO could be a lot like Brett Gardner so if he’s the one who sticks then I’m fine with that too.

    Then eventually one of the Reds Shortstops in the upper minors is going to need to convert. McLain has played in the outfield in college and I’m sure Elly would take to the outfield fine with his speed and arm.

    For the 3rd spot they can go out and sign someone since they’ll have no big contracts on the books with extension talks on most of the young guys a few years off, hope that one of their current OF prospects develops into a major league caliber player, or look at converting another player to the outfield. Maybe this is when we see India out there, Steer move out there when Marte is up, or someone like Collier when you can’t keep his bat in the minors.

    2/3 of this scenario can happen before the end of this season. The last spot could be solved in the offseason or patched together until one of the other prospects comes up.

    The Reds should take an outfielder in the draft too and I’m kind of hoping with who will likely be available at 7 that they take Enrique Bradfield. Basically an even faster + better hitting Siani. He could move up fast and handle center for a long time in Cincinnati

  6. Ken

    Contenders? What kind of false hope are you guys peddling? Maybe if they move to International League.

    • Doug Gray

      The player to be named later from the Tommy Pham trade with Boston. Big power, huge strikeout issues.

  7. SteveAreno

    Our relief pitchers will be much better this year. Not as many runs scored against us for sure.