The Cincinnati Reds 2023 season is over. The club finished up the year with an 82-80 record and didn’t get eliminated from the playoff race until the last weekend of the season. There was ups and downs along the way.
The season began in a rough way, but once the club began to call up some prospects from Triple-A and move away from the “fill in the gaps until the young guys are ready” things started to turn around and the team went on a run. Matt McLain, Will Benson, Elly De La Cruz, Brandon Williamson, and Andrew Abbott were the first group of guys that came up to make a difference. Later in the summer Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Noelvi Marte joined the club and began making an impact, too.
The fans noticed and got excited. Despite the owners kid, who also happens to be the President and CEO once again put his foot in his mouth and noted that many teams are “out of contention” by Opening Day as he complained about how baseball isn’t fair to the Reds and how they want to operate their business. The information he used on that slide in the presentation doesn’t seem to be based in facts from what anyone at the time could find, but he still presented it.
Despite Castellini tying to cry poor and point out that “some teams” were already out of contention despite it having been January when he made his comments, the Reds were playing exciting and good baseball by the time the summer rolled around. Fans started showing up in good numbers, especially given that the team lost 100 games the season before. By the time the season was over attendance was up for Cincinnati by 46% and the club had topped 2,000,000 in attendance for the first time since 2015 (when they had 2,419,506).
Injuries to the starting pitchers started to catch up to the team mid-season as they were without Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo. Ben Lively then went down with an injury. After Greene returned later in the season, Graham Ashcraft wound up on the injured list. The offense seemed to go through a big funk after the trade deadline and the team struggled at times to score runs.
Still, the team hung around and hung around despite a bullpen that was beyond gassed due to the starting pitching issues throughout much of the season. Not everything was perfect. Inconsistency, slumps, questionable in-game moves at times, the lack of moves at the trade deadline to bolster a flawed roster that somehow found themselves in first place into August.
The summer of baseball was by-and-large fun. No publication or projection system gave the Reds even the slightest of chances to even be a so-so team, much less a winning team before the season began. Things didn’t end how most fans would have liked it to, but there were a lot of positives that took place.
With all of that said, we’d like to hear from you and what you took away from the season. Hit up the comments and share away.