One of the most common refrains of the offseason has been that the Cincinnati Reds need to add power. Especially in the outfield. This is a premise with which I thought I largely agreed. But then I went looking and now I don’t know. So here we are, in this column.

First, let’s establish this: there are not a lot of choices out there. 29 players hit 30 homers last year (I think most of us would define 30 homers as a “big power guy”), and I invite you to go look at the list on any website and tell me who you think the Reds could get. There’s J.D. Martinez – who is just about exclusively a designated hitter now – and that’s it. Some poking around reveals Cody Bellinger and Adam Duvall as theoretical options. Though Duvall has seemingly lived on borrowed time his entire career, he is out there.

So those are your choices. Oh, and there is also still Joey Votto, who actually hit a lot of homers in limited time last year. Enough that he would have been top-25 in IsoP (slugging percentage minus batting average – basically it is only accounting for extra-base hit power) if he’d had enough plate appearances to qualify.

Now, let’s look at who is actually on the team. Three guys: Will Benson, Elly De La Cruz, and Christian Encarncion-Strand are rated as having 70-grade raw power per FanGraphs. Encarnacion-Strand hit 33 homers between Louisville and Cincinnati last year. De La Cruz had 25. Benson had a weird start to the year, but showed something like 25-homer power once he got straightened out. We’ve also yet to mention Matt McLain who hit 28 between Triple-A and MLB last year.

Jake Fraley also probably has full-season 30-homer power (or he would if only righties were allowed to pitch, but the point stands, if he’s in the lineup, he’s a power threat). And then there’s Spencer Steer, Jeimer Candelario, Noelvi Marte, Jonathan India, and TJ Friedl, who have all displayed 20-25 homer power somewhere (that’s in the majors for everyone except Marte).

(Aside: I know there are Friedl skeptics out there, but I don’t know what else you want from the guy. He had a 4.4 WAR season last year and was probably the best player on the team overall. The Reds would have to get three dynamite outfielders before he’d see the bench.)

So man, I dunno. Of course, I would like the Reds to have a big power bat, but there aren’t a lot of big power bats out there. And, unless the Reds want to dump some money at Bellinger, there’s no one I’d really rather have than the player they’d be benching. Sometimes, you have to let guys play. Sure, none of the current crop of potential power hitters has done it at the big league level, but there’s only one way to find out if they will.

187 Responses

  1. DaveCT

    I’d rather have five outfielders combine to average 25 home runs per OF position while making better contact than having one outfielder hit 30 home runs with a great many rally killing strikeouts, which is likely the norm. Further, our current collection of five athletic outfielders will hit a lot of doubles, steal bases, go first to third and continue to play an exciting brand of baseball that can fuel a playoff run, see the AZ Diamondbacks.

    • Greenfield Red

      Add in Dunn and Hinds at AAA, and the Reds have tons of power in house. As you mentioned, 30% strikeouts is a non starter for me.

      While the Reds are ready for ST, it would be nice for NK to receive a call from A Chapman saying he wants to be here.

      • Brian

        25 home runs? I would be surprised if CES doesn’t crack at least 40 at some point. Bell’s obsession of distributing playing time will hinder certain players ability to mash as many as they could.
        I also believe that the Viking crap doesn’t help young hitters.

      • DaveCT

        It’s not an obsession so much as a philosophy that was decided by management and which is now reinforced by Bell’s extension.

        The opposing position to that of being against platoons is the philosophy of putting players in the best position to succeed. Giving them roles and situations where they can produce at the level they should be producing at is by design and by organizational philosophy.

        Jake Fraley may never be a successful full time player. But if he is a successful platoon player, ie hitting 15 home runs, that is an asset for the team. Should he have the opportunity to show he can hit LH pitching? Sure. Just not for several years as with Jesse Winker.

        If and when a player proves he can become more of a full time player, he’ll get the time. Where distribution of playing time comes is is in the practice of keeping players fresh as well as keeping players tested for the long haul. McLain’s history of wearing down is an example — there’s only so much strength you can put into a guy who is 5’8″.

      • Brian

        My biggest gripe against a platoon is that it can cool off a hot bat, I believe in riding a hot bat. Streaks of seeing the ball great and being in a groove is a real thing. Sitting for a couple of games can very easily start a funk, it can cause head games too. Granted some players just can’t hit vs a certain side arm so there is a need to platoon at times. If a team is searching for power, it’s probably a good idea to give CES every opportunity to start. I think he’s gonna hit for average at this level too.

      • DaveCT

        No, I hear that. Dude’s hitting .400 for two weeks — do NOT sit him. That’s why part of a winning philosophy has to include discretion. There was one boss I had who didn’t do much, but taught me one thing, there is always discretion.

        I also agree CES is both hitter and power hitter. A conservative approach would be to plan 500 at bats for both he and mate, and let Candelario complement both. I say this all the time about the middle infield of India, McLain and Elly, there are plenty of at bats to go around, especially given India’s injury history, McLain’s history of wearing down and Elly’s consistency issues. I think the same of CES. Marte and Candelario.

        Bell really doesn’t bother me. I just don’t bother. I watch the game for the players. It always seems like a bottomless pit to discuss his approach endlessly. I will say, given that he marketed himself as this type of manager, and was hired by management to be this type of manager, that he should be careful what he wishes for as this year’s team can deliver his heart’s desire of position and player flexibility.

      • DaveCT

        “both he and Marte,” not he and mate.

        Autocorrect is not our friend

        (Auto car wreck is not our friend)

      • doofus

        Greenfield my friend, I hate to tell you this, but Rece Hinds is the postal child for 30%+ strikeout rates.

      • DaveCT

        Doof, if I may call you Doof, , as per RML:

        “During that slump, in late May, Rece Hinds made some adjustments both in his approach to hitting as well as his hitting mechanics. The results didn’t come over night, but they started to take shape in the second week of June. From the 9th through the end of the month, Hinds hit .455/.544/1.018 in 17 games. The changes resulted not only in much better slash-line numbers, but in drastically reducing the number of strikeouts he had.”

        “As noted above, he began to make some adjustments in late May. The ones you could see was that he got a tad closer to the plate in the batters box and he lowered his hands in his set up. But he also changed his mental approach and the things all came together to lower his strikeout rate from June 9th through the end of the season to 25% and raise his walk rate to 10%. His OPS in that time was 1.042.”

        He certainly has to prove it at AAA, and then in the big leagues. But, watching him several times, he’s a different hitter. And the dude plays hard.

      • doctorrockett

        @DaveCT – while I understand and agree regarding your statement about McLain’s history and durability, the limiter of – there’s only so much strength you can put into a guy who is only 5’8”, I don’t agree with (although I may be interpreting your intent incorrectly, if so forgive me).
        Hack Wilson
        Paul Waner
        Yogi Berra
        Joe Morgan
        Kirby Puckett
        Tim Raines
        Jimmy Rollins

        Granted, there are always exceptions to the rule but who’s to say McLain isn’t one day destined for this list as another exception?

      • DaveCT

        doctorrockett, point taken. The only wrinkle I’d throw out is the length of the season and demands of today’s game, as well as the intensity of the offseason. But, for every wrinkle there is a counter-wrinkle, and on and on.

      • greenmtred

        I was going to say that some extraordinarily strong people, such as some super-heavyweight power lifting champs–have been short.

    • Muddy Cleats

      Sounds exactly like Cody Bellinger ? Reds & Reds Fans have been talking about 2024 for a while now. Here we are, w/ multiple promising young role players & a low payroll. Time to make some moves that matter; build a team instead of a bunch of pieces.

      • Paul28

        Biggest need not a hitter. Left handed relief pitcher would be great. Can you say Aroldis Chapman.

  2. LarkinPhillips

    Hoskins is another guy I would consider to be a “power bat” who I believe is still unsigned. I do agree overall though we have enough power heading into next year assuming CES and EDLC are both 25-30HR guys.

  3. Indy Red Man

    Duvall would be a huge improvement over Stuey. Ton of power and very solid defensively plus he’s played in huge games

    • MK

      So you want to pay Duvall the money it would take to fill the role Fairchild played?

    • Jason Franklin

      I think having Adam Duvall as your 4th outfielder would be pretty great. I don’t know if the team can fit 5 OF’s, so maybe keep Fairchild as the 5th? Duvall is a better player then Fairchild (but I like them both). Duvall has more power, better arm, more experience (which teams like in a 4th OF/Clutch Pinch-hitting role). Now, the real problem may be that Duvall is either too costly still or expecting a starting role on a team. I think he would get a good bunch of at-bats on the Reds, but he has to look at what pays him the most now and into the future (for 2024 he needs to show more durability).

  4. RedBB

    Yes, 100%. It was the teams biggest need outside of starting pitching this year. It’s why I wanted Soler who is still out there.

  5. Oldtimer

    Rece Hinds will be a big power bat someday. Maybe 2024.

      • MuddyCleats

        Exactly! Definitely the 1st guy u want coming off the bus, but he’s a lot of swing & miss right now. 2nd half n AA last season, so more than likely 2025 b4 he MIGHT b ready

    • Reaganspad

      I agree Oldtimer. And he looked to be figuring it out in the second half. And Dunn excelled all year. That is why I want to play these.

      Let the season begin and see what those options that Jason shared do in 2024. Then these 2 callus when they are ready.

      Ideally, like our pitching, Fraley has 22 HRs at the all star break, and Hines is busting down the wall to the show.

      Then Krall is dealing trinkets from all over the roster due to our promotions.

      It is going to be a fun year

      • The Duke

        I don’t know if we can say he figured it out over a 160 PA sample where his K rate was only 25%. It was back up to 36% to end the year in September over his last 9 games.

        April: 42% (83 PA, .520 OPS)
        May: 40% (94 PA, .749)
        June: 30% (97 PA, 1.246 OPS)
        July: 26% (46 PA, .975 OPS)
        August: 24% (113 PA, .870 OPS)
        September: 36% (36 PA, .748 OPS)

        Good athlete, good power, but i’m still wary of that K rate even facing minor league pitchers still. Look what major league pitchers did to EDLC once the book was out on him this past year. EDLC has more track record of adjusting to the adjustments than Hinds does as well. I’m rooting for Hinds, just skeptical.

  6. Klugo

    I was seemingly in the minority and didn’t think we needed one at the start of the off-season. Even more so now. Steer’s inevitable move to the OF and the addition of Candelario covers any bases left, imo.

    PS: Freidl was my favorite Red and the team’s MVP last season, imo. He was terrific.

    • greenmtred

      I agree, Klugo. The Reds could potentially get 20 or more homers from every one of their main position players. It’s always fun to have a guy hitting 40 bombs–and who’s to say that none of CES, EDLC or Steer can do that–but if they have good and balanced power up and down the lineup and lots of speed, they’ll be difficult for opponents to shut down.

  7. LDS

    No need to sign another bat. They can finish in 4th without it. Seriously though, a lot has been said/written about the Reds FA spending this season. After all the ink is dry, the Reds payroll at just under $90m. Last year, it was more than $95m. These numbers include all the deferrals, IL’s, etc. So, while the Reds have spent money this off season, they haven’t exactly splurged on payroll, though the 26-man roster is more expensive this year.

    • LarkinPhillips

      This is the reason I still see absolutely no reason another high quality bullpen arm is not added before spring training.

      • LDS

        I agree but I’m sure not betting on it. The Reds are cheap. And they know that fans will be there for the young guys. They don’t need to win to make money.

      • MBS

        Closer/Setup was my 2nd highest priority behind TOR pitcher. We got Montas, and he may live up to TOR, but it’s far from a sure thing. Pagan is more similar to Gibaut/Farmer/Sims than he is to Diaz. Pagan at least has some closing success, but I’d really like it if we signed Chapman. He’d fit the mold of a short economical contracts, probably 1 or 2 years.

      • LDS

        Pagan as a closer in GABP is likely to fail. He has a tendency to give up HRs. Bell doesn’t really like the closer role anyhow and wouldn’t use him as such. Though he mostly did better last season with Diaz.

      • MBS

        I’m listing Pagan as a backup, not a closer, or co closer. He does have 32 saves, only Diaz has more with 47 Saves. There’s something to be said for a guy who can close, not all can.

        Like I said, I’d love to sign Chapman still. We’re deep, but getting even deeper sounds good to me.

    • Old-school

      @LDS

      Reds payroll is far far far higher in 2024 for players actually contributing to the roster. Reds in 2024 success will still be determined by the success of the young players. The difference is dead money. 2022 and 2023 had bloated dead money contracts. 2024 has more money targeting legitimate vets but with a core or young cheap players- as it should be.

      https://www.fangraphs.com/roster-resource/payroll/reds

      • LDS

        Dead or alive doesn’t matter. It’s the club’s total payroll expenses, which are lower this year than last

      • Old-school

        @LDS

        Not true

        Payroll is $102 million

        Reds have committed $100 million in new FA money- more than any NL central team
        Cubs will pass that at some point

        Krall did a great job constructing a young roster and letting the dead bloated contracts of Akiyama moose and votto expire.

        Youve already criticized Candelario signing- more xtra base hits than any Red last year or anyone not named castellanos votto or suarez since middle 2010’s

        Who would you bench and what FA would you sign?

        Are you benching McLain? Elly?Steer? CES? Stephenson? India? Marte? Benson? Greene? Abbott? Ashcraft? Williamson? Friedl? Fraley? Diaz?

        Thats the Reds 15 young cheap core nucleus. Add martinez Montas Moll backup catcher maile and you got 19

        Sims Young Gibault get you 22-

        If you say sign Hader or Chapman instead fine- but which cheap crucial nuclear young guys are u benching to spend $80 more million and more importantly who are u signing??? Inquiring minds want to know

      • Old-school

        Lodolo is 23 rostered if you want to send the former #1 pick to AAA

      • Old-school

        Pagan is 24

        Roster is full x 1 better reliever

      • LDS

        Sportrac has the numbers I used. Candelario is a career .243 hitter. Betting on him because of GABP may be wishful thinking. That the Reds spent $100 million and more than the rest of the Central is irrelevant. One can argue that they raised their floor. But no one can argue that they raised their ceiling with these signings.

      • Justin T

        @old school

        Pagan is going to turn 33 in May, he isnt 24 lol.

      • old-school

        @ Justin T. Wasnt talking age, talking # of roster spots accounted for and which players are the Reds going to boot off the 26 man roster to sign more players? They arent, as Krall has said the heavy lifting of roster construction is complete. The roster is pretty much set with 24-25 guys with only a 5th outfielder/bench guy/utility TBD

        Reds are committed to their young core of pitchers and position players and have added 4-5 complementary pieces to fill in gaps.

      • Phil

        @ LDS
        I’ve seen you comment on many articles about Candelario being a 243 career hitter.
        First, looking at only a players batting average is a really poor way to determine how good they are at the plate.
        Second, I feel it is more instructive to look at a players most recent 2, 3, 4 seasons rather than just their full career numbers.
        In his first 4 seasons, 2016-19, Candelario played in 280 games with a 223/318/375 slash line. That 693 OPS had him at a 88 wRC+ (meaning he was 12% worse than league average).
        In the next 4 seasons, 2020-23 he played in 465 games with a 254/329/437 slash line. That 766 OPS had him at a 110 wRC+ (meaning he was 10% better than league average). Those 4 seasons included a good 2020 and 2021, a poor 2022, then a bounce-back good 2023.
        I do not expect him to be an all-star or carry the lineup for any extended period of time. Most of the Reds young players have a higher ceiling than Candelario. I do think though that he is the safest bet of any Red to provide above-average production against left and right-handed pitching over the course of the season. That kind of relative consistency and reliability will be valuable to this young team.

  8. TR

    If Jose Barrero does well in spring training, he could be a centerpiece of a trade for a power hitter for the outfield or designated hitter positions.

    • Reaganspad

      He has no trade value now. But if he does what you say, he would be helpful on our bench covering a bunch of positions for the minimum.

      And if he is hitting, you are well covered if McLain gets hurt again, or if EDLC is out for any reason

  9. JB WV

    Looked back at the WS champs from 1990 and there were only four players with double digit HRs: Sabo 25, Davis 24, O’Neil 16 and Mariano Duncan with 10. Future HOFer Larkin had 7. As this team is currently constructed it’s an easy argument to make that it has much more power potential up and down the lineup. CES hasn’t scratched the surface of what he can do and coming into age 22 neither has Elly. Steer just finished his rookie season with 20 plus. No need to go back to .200 BA guys plodding station to station and racking up 200 Ks. Let’s roll.

    • RedBB

      That team did it with ELITE pitching though. One of the best Bullpen’s in the history of baseball and a true Ace in Jose Rijo and 3 very good starters in Browning, Jackson and Armstrong. This team has neither of those IMO. That team’s OPS+ was 95 for the record..

      • Oldtimer

        Charlton and Mahler split (16 starts each) the other SP spot in rotation. Scudder got 10 starts.

        The 1990 Reds started 33-12 then went 58-59 the rest of the season.

        They got hot again in the playoffs. 8-2 overall. They were not favored against either opponent.

        Most of the regular season, the 1990 Reds were mediocre.

      • JB WV

        And that’s been recognized by the front office and addressed in the off season. Another analogy to the 2023 season was the 1989 version of the Reds dealt with a ton of injuries but had relative good health in ‘90. Lodolo, Greene, Ashcraft, the Big 3 before the season began all missed big chunks of the season. Here’s hoping for a ‘90 version of that.
        Agree with the posts here that another strong late inning reliever would help immensely. Maybe it won’t challenge The Nasty Boys, but a great formula to follow.

    • Jason Franklin

      Here is the cool part about the 1990 team: they only had 2 batters strike out more then 100 times. That’s it. And, it was barely over 100 for them (including one by some guy named Eric Davis?). 🙂 Also, the 2023 team had 6 guys strike out more then 100 times. 3 of those guys struckout more then 130 times each. Plate discipline makes such a difference and we can only hope that some of these young guys learn to stay away from high fastballs and down-and-away junk.

  10. Greenfield Red

    This is not directed at any one person on this board, but something I’ve been thinking for a while with regard to critisism of the Reds, and I think I have the words to explain:

    Some here remind me of my step-father when I was a kid. Nothing I did was ever good enough for him. He always claimed to have been better than me. Smarter than me. He used 20/20 hindsight, with all necessary revisions in his favor, as examples of his superiority. When all that didn’t work, he resorted to intimidation.

    In time I realized he was a blow hard. He had made more mistakes than about anyone I know personally. He was a teenage father, a terrible employee, a terrible husband, and a worse father. I have often said, I patterened all my parenting doing the opposite of him, and I have 2 college graduates and a 3rd still in school.

    And while posts I read here are not as extreme as he was, there are some who always know better than the Reds ownership and front office. The people in charge did not get to where they are by being idiots. They have made a lot of money and a lot of good decisions.

    They were bad the last couple of years because they needed to be, and are now coming out the other side with the best team they’ve had in at least 30 years. They’ve spent money. They’ve added free agents. They are going to be good.

    The glass is more than half full. Let’s enjoy it and all tell my step- father where he can put his opinion.

    Sorry for my rant.

    • JB WV

      Great post. Sorry you had to endure him. Spot on comments about the Reds leadership.

    • wolfcycle

      I love your analogy, the person I would like to see make the biggest step this year is our manager. Sometimes you just have to let Players play. Don’t over manage, yes, I think Fraley needs to sit against lefties unless he has busted his but this off season to make adjustments, but, otherwise I would like to see less platooning. These guys get paid good money to do hit. I understand there splits might be a little different. But, that is what a pro is being about, making adjustments and getting better. Now in a clutch situation, of course, pinch hit. Same goes for pitching, if you bring a reliever in and he throws 10 pitches and gets 3 outs, send him back out there for the next inning. If someone gets on, then bring in the next guy. If you you can steal 1/3 of an inning in half your games think of what that does for your bullpen. Also, if a guy comes in to get one out, send him back out there for next inning. I get the whole ” well he won’t be available for the next night” argument”, but, you play to win the game you are playing. Might not need him that next night. We have built a solid bullpen by the numbers.

    • Jason Linden

      While you can maybe make this case for the front office, Reds ownership is filled with guys who’ve never had a real job interview in their entire lives. Bob’s first job was vice president of his daddy’s company. I don’t know how many people have watched Parks and Rec, but Reds ownership is like a grouchier version of the Newport family. Not a lot of “earning” what they have in that family.

      • Melvin

        “Reds ownership is filled with guys who’ve never had a real job interview in their entire lives. Bob’s first job was vice president of his daddy’s company.”

        haha Not exactly a recipe for building trust with your fans.

      • Greenfield Red

        I guess part of the point is that being a contrarian is easy. A person can move the goalposts as needed, use hindsight with all necessary revision to make ones self look smarter and superior when it’s just not true. I’ve had a lifetime of it.

        Funny side note. My mother and step-father are in their 80s and still live on their own. I only see him because I see my mom. We were there for Christmas and he made a point to bring up what a great parent he was. We all nearly choked but kept our mouths shut.

        The man had 4 natural daughters. 3 were teenage runaways and the 4th left the day she graduated high school. That is some great parenting.

      • E

        I agree with ownership- but not necessarily front office. Krall is not a Castellini, despite working for them.

      • Old Big Ed

        That is true of many ownership groups. You think Hal Steinbrenner had a lot of interviews? There are several lead owners who come from family businesses:

        Chris Ilitch, Tigers
        Jim Pohlad, Twins
        Tom Ricketts, Cubs
        Tom Fisher, Athletics
        Mark Lerner, Nats
        Ted Rogers, Blue Jays
        Bill DeWitt, Jr., Cardinals
        John Middleton, Phillies
        Bob Nutting, Pirates
        The Monfort Brothers, Rockies
        Larry Dolan, Indians
        John Angelos, Orioles

        You could say the same about the two prior Reds’ owners, Marge Schott and Carl Lindner, neither of whom were interviewees. Bob Castillini is a piker compared to most of these guys, because the produce business isn’t too sexy, and Bob did actually run it and expand it over a long period.

        Phil is a liability, but he also doesn’t seem to have much of an operational role these days. And ever since Phil gave his silly little speech to the Rosie Reds about this time last year, and apparently got fully out of the way, the Reds have been on a roll.

        I don’t care who owns signs Hunter Greene’s check. I do care about the baseball operations, and I am happy with that right now.

      • BK

        If you’re suggesting that Bob and Phil Castellini should be subjected to disrespectful comments and biased articles because of the money they received via inheritance, I disagree. All people should be respected because of their humanity.

        I have no problem with criticism aimed at their decisions/actions.

      • greenmtred

        I don’t know the answer to this, Jason, but of how many MLB owners could a similar thing be said? Some very wealthy people are self-made, but plenty are not.

    • west larry

      I’m sorry to hear of your ordeal, dealing with a egomaniac as a father figure, Sounds as if you came out of that situation as a whole, fully functional human being. I don’t think the glass half empty bloggers are as clueless as you do. Prior to Krall ascending to be a major influence on this ownership, this team was run badly. Several years of near one hundred loss seasons followed by a hundred loss season Krall is proving to be exceptional. and I hope the reds lock him up into a long term contract. It appears the ownership was listening to the wrong “experts” for a long time. Now the team appears to be on the right track, and will be serious contenders in this division for years to come.

      • Greenfield Red

        I agree with that Larry. 20 years of bad decisions are what forced 2022 and 2023. And yet in 23 they turned in an 82-80 record BECAUSE of Ownership and the front office setting about the right reset. Having Castillo and Mahle to trade off combined with the falling off of bad money was the perfect storm combined with what looks to be unbelievable good fortune (ELDC for $65,000). Adding 2 60+ hit tools in the next 6 months. The future is bright.

    • DaveCT

      Greenfield, I know that guy and that kid.

      Thank you for writing this.

      Cheers,

      Dave

      • Greenfield Red

        Maybe that’s why we understand each other.

    • Rednat

      Thanks for sharing your story Greenfield Red. I have been down on the reds . Lets face it this century hasnt exactly been a barrel of good times for us reds fans. And yes besides some good young pitchers I really dont think there is a lot of hope for us turning things around anytime soon. The talent just doesnt seem to be there.
      I dont blame management or ownership at all however. I blame the league and its weak leadership and i blame the fact that the game is dying in a sense in this country. The best athletes simply arent playing baseball anymore and that hurts small market teams like the reds. There is some talent out there but it is getting harder to come by and much more expensive. Nick Castellanos is a great example. I think we make the playoffs last year with him in the lineup but I dont blame ownership for not paying the 20 mil a year to get him,based on principal alone.
      I think most of the negativity on this site comes from frustration and lack of any hope. Just human nature i guess.

    • BK

      Thanks very much for sharing your story and more importantly for not allowing your circumstances to define your character. Congrats on being a better parent and for showing your step-father a better way through your actions.

  11. MBS

    It’s good to have power in GABP. You don’t want to get into a shootout and realize the other team has more guns than you. That being said, I like the power mix we have, and it’s young power. We’ll likely see some growth from many on the roster.

    However if they sign Soler tomorrow I will not be mad.

  12. docproc

    I agree with your power appraisals of our current roster and don’t think we need to get a thumper who strikes out 180 times a year and hits .200. Let Dunn be the 5th OF and RH bench bat and we’re good to go.

  13. CI3J

    Early in the offseason, it crossed my mind that the Reds should sign Cody Bellinger to play 1B and trade CES as part of a package to land that coveted top-of-the-line pitcher.

    I’m still not sure they shouldn’t do that, if they’re willing to spend the money. Bellinger is 28, so he could probably stay at 1B for at least half a decade, if not longer. His left-handed power would certainly play well in GABP. And while I like CES a lot, if he could help bring in a significant upgrade in the rotation I’d absolutely make that trade if Bellinger was already onboard.

    I know it won’t happen. But it was the kind of bold move I was hoping the Reds would make. That said, I’m pretty satisfied with how things have worked out anyway.

    • Jimbo44CN

      No, no, no, no H double hockey sticks no.
      Bellinger had one good year following 3 really bad ones. CES is a keeper.

      • Bob Purkey

        Agree 100% Jimbo. Plus, he wants an outlandish sum of money and 6-8 years. .258 lifetime hitter? The Reds, and 90% of all teams, can’t live with his demands.

      • Dan

        I’ll take CES over Bellinger every day and twice on Sunday (as they say). Factoring in $$$, I think it’s not even close.

        I’m not saying I’d bet my life on this, but I think there is a reasonable chance that CES is a better player than Bellinger, even just purely based on on-the-field performance going forward (and ignoring the $$$ entirely). CES has young Konerko vibes to me.

        No chance I’d want to commit the mega-contract that Bellinger is going to get, with as volatile as his career has been up to now. He was excellent in 2023, and even cut his K rate a lot… I’ll give you that. But there’s still way too much flame-out risk in him (IMHO, obviously)…

        I’m a big CES fan. Excited to see him out there every day and see what he can do.

    • The Duke

      Any trade for a front of the line starting pitcher probably starts with Noelvi Marte, one of our young pitchers and another prospect of note.

  14. Michael Wilson

    I’m more concerned about the closer situation. Diaz was lights out until he hit the wall due to overuse. There’s probably someone on the roster who can step up but I would be more comfortable if we added another good bullpen arm.

  15. Tim

    Reds need to have a roster that takes advantage of GABP. Agreed that we don’t need empty ABs, but we need more HRs than last year for sure.

    • Old Big Ed

      You don’t need a big booming bat to hit homers at GABP. It counts the same to hit one in the second row as it does the 22nd row.

      Further, the most brutal outcome for a hitter in a hitter’s park is a strikeout, which is a waste of a better-than average chance to do something productive.

      Give me a team full of guys who can hit 15-30 HRs and who don’t strike out.

  16. lars

    If and when Friedl goes down, who plays center? The current answer is Fairchild or Barrero.

    The Reds need a competent backup center fielder more than a “power bat”. And of course it would most certainly be a right-handed hitter to give Bell more platoon toys.

    • Reaganspad

      I think Dunn will be here sooner than later.

      For that reason I do not want to gum up a lot of roster spots. We see what we have, who can immediately replace from AAA, then address in the market.

      That said, you continue to build and churn the entire roster for overall improvement. Krall has done a great job of that. He reminds me of Krivsky.

      An 82 win team with the pitching improvements we have made, a full year of McLain, EDLC, Abbott, CES, Marte, Williamson, and some health from from Greene, Lodolo and Ashcraft should be a 90+ win team. I think Candelerio has a very good year at GABP.

      And as we have been seeing, we are restocking AAA

      We are in for a lot of fun the next few years.

    • Monty

      The way Friedl plays, almost a given he will have an injury of some sort. That’s why I like the Reds to bring back Duvall. Him or Fairchild? Who’d you rather have??

      • greenmtred

        In center? I’m pretty sure that Fairchild is a good bit faster than Duvall. Duvall was/is? an excellent left fielder and you’d think his arm would play in right, too, but I doubt that he would have played center if the Braves had had a legitimate alternative.

      • DaveCT

        I believe the Red Sox played Adam in center. He reportedly did a credible job.

        That said, if reports are accurate, we already have the right handed OF bat in house (and it’s not Steer, whose move to the OF is assumed), which makes Duval unnecessary.

        That is, of course, Jonathon India, who I expect to come out with a freakin’ vengeance this year.

      • greenmtred

        I’m sure he did a credible job: he’s a good outfielder. My point was only that he’s probably not fast enough to cover the ground that a centerfielder ideally does. Fairchild is fast enough.

    • DaveCT

      Fairchild provides professional defense, professional at bats and professional base running. He also understands his role and may have a bit more upside than we think, given past minor league production and a greater role in the ML’s. He’s a competent, qualified 26th man.

      Barrero is hit or miss. I’d love to see him succeed as our backup OF/IF 26th man, if not more. It remains in doubt of course.

      Currently, if India is to begin taking right handed OF at bats, as suggested, and in essence take away at bats for the 5th OF, the bat you seek is already in house. If not, the minor leagues await, Hurtubise as a LH center fielder would be the likely choice, given the 40-man. Dunn requires a 40-man move and the prospective loss of a player via DFA.

      Conor Capel is another fill-in candidate, if the kids are not ready or scuffling. Capel superceded Thompson.

  17. CFD3000

    I agree with those who say the current top priority should be a back of the bullpen, late innings reliever. It feels risky to be relying on just one key guy – Diaz – and maybe the health of another who hasn’t stayed healthy – Antone.

    There’s mid- to high-range power up and down the lineup, with at least 10 guys who will hit double digit homers if healthy. But I have an odd hope that the Reds sign Votto to a minor league contract as power depth insurance. If he’s healthy and hits, they’ll need him in Cincy when the inevitable injuries hit. If not, low risk signing. Of course I can’t see him agreeing to that unless literally no other team is willing to give him a major league job so it’s highly unlikely. But it’s easy and free to play armchair GM.

    Bottom line, I think the Reds will have plenty of power. Duvall might make sense as right handed outfield insurance but I doubt the price will fit. Otherwise I’m good with the offense and outfield as it stands now. Focus on one more closer level reliever, then let’s play!

    • Redsvol

      Bingo! We have enough power. And honesty the team was gunner and more successful when they were singling and stealing bases before July.

      The team needs another high leverage reliever. If Diaz goes down we’re done. Need 1 more so the late innings are locked down. I don’t worry where Ian gibault and will be pitching next year.

    • Reaganspad

      The only way you sign Votto is as hitting coach with invitation to spring training. He is player/hitting coach like Pete Rose.

      And given the roster I keep posting about, there is just no room for him. Rose was able to play because we had a horrible roster. 84 was fun though when returned home.

      I am sure Oldtimer will clue us in to how fun

      • Oldtimer

        Reds finished second in 1985-86-87-88 and started 1989 pretty well until injuries took over after ASG.

        Those rosters were talented. Those pitching staffs were not so much.

        It was a big improvement over 1982-83-84.

    • Stock

      Why would Joey Votto sign a minor league contract? He would be insulted if any team offered this.

      • CFD3000

        Stock you and Reaganspad are completely correct. The Reds won’t sign Votto on a minor league deal, nor would he be interested. But as a fan I can wish they would. There’s no downside. If he’s still hurt or stinks then he never leaves Louisville. If he’s healthy and hitting then he could add power in Cincinnati. I won’t be a tiny bit disappointed when this doesn’t happen. There’s approximately zero chance. But the fan in me is just enjoying imagining a fun outcome during the offseason when there’s little else to discuss. But the realist in me understands it won’t happen. That’s okay.

  18. Old-school

    No. CES is a BIG thumper. Give him 600AB’s at first base/DH in the 5 hole and you have your 35 HR guy. Next question.

    • Reaganspad

      I agree Old-School. And I am looking forward to this. Exactly why there is no room for Votto

      • Colorado Red

        Thank you
        Too many people want OVER THE HILL Votto.
        Happens to all of us.

    • DataDumpster

      I agree with that potential for CES. Furthermore, couldn’t EDLC, McClain, Steer and perhaps one more be odds on for 20-25 HR?
      I like Soler and maybe Duvall has found his stick (again) for who knows how long but how can we not use the rookie class to its fullest extent? No, we don’t need a power hitter. Remember what we did during the winning streak? More of that please.

      • Jason Linden

        EDLC has the most pure power on the team. His ceiling, in terms of power, is way, way, way above 20-25 homers. Think Acuna or Judge if he manages to fully harness it.

    • Roger Garrett

      Exactly 100% correct but will he those at bats is the bigger question?I hope Bell looks beyond his age and treats him as he did per example Suarez and Joey and just play him regardless of his slumps at times.I hope Bell goes to him and says just that but we will see.

    • Ernest Howerton

      I been saying that CES is the next big cleanup hitter in NL.He will accidentally hit 40 playing in Cincy.

  19. Melvin

    I’m not concerned about the Reds “power”. They’ve got plenty of it. Want to make the team better? Go get Chapman.

  20. MK

    Only concern about the offense I see is using some of Bill James research most 2nd year players who have has successful rookie years have a regression in performance the 2nd year. Used to be called the Sophomore Jinx. Saw it with India and Stephenson and in 2024 there are several potential candidates.

  21. MK

    Only concern about the offense I see is using some of Bill James research most 2nd year players who have has successful rookie years have a regression in performance the 2nd year. Used to be called the Sophomore Jinx. Saw it with India and Stephenson and in 2024 there are several potential candidates.

  22. JayTheRed

    The team is fine. Unless we are signing someone who hit 20 + home runs in the past few years. Like you said in the article not a lot of options out there.

    With the additions we already made I don’t see too many players that actually would be better than what we have currently unless they are going to go out and spend a lot of money again which Krall already said he wasn’t going to do.

  23. Rednat

    The offense died after the all.star beak. That is the reason we didnt make the playoffs last year.

    I think the pitching is there to be competitive i really do. I would take any veteran bat available at this point.
    These young pitchers we have are ready to dominate. Now go out and get somes bats to supporr them!

    • greenmtred

      The offense did die, but the pitching was riddled with injuries, so it was part of the problem.

    • Old-school

      The offense died because McLain got hurt, india got hurt, Fraley got hurt, and the league snuffed out Elly and Votto hit .202 with an OBP of .300

  24. tim

    randall grichuk is still out there, if he would accept a platoon role with benson/fraley in right. it would likely mean the release of jose barrero, though, with no room left on the roster.

  25. Stock

    Several thoughts so will provide several posts. Most important is sending my regrets to Greenfield Red. Nice to see you turn out so well considering the trauma you had to endure as a child. Most people who have to deal with this flip this same problem on their children. Glad to hear you didn’t. Most importantly CONGRATS to your children. I am sure you are quite proud.

    As for your own intelligence, I think you were one of the first if not the first on here to say hold onto prospects. Seems you are on the ball.

    • Greenfield Red

      Wow Stock… nice of you to say. Growing up was tough, but there are others who had it worse. When I was about 7, I started sneaking a transister radio into bed with me to listen to the Reds in the Summer and the Pacers in the Winter. I got caught by my mom crying myself to sleep the night the Pacers lost to the lowly Virginia Squiers. She didn’t tell my step-father so I got to keep my radio.

      I couldn’t care less about the Pacers today, but I remain a loyal listener to the Reds on Radio and 700WLW in general today.

  26. Stock

    Second,

    Pertaining to the blog. Last year the Orioles won 100 games and had zero players with 30 HR. Santander and Gunnar Henderson led the team with 28 HR and Rutchsman had 20. These were the only 3 players on the team with at least 20 HR.

    Two current Reds had 20+ HR and I would not be surprised if 8 had at least 20 HR in 2024.

    • Old Big Ed

      Much of that, though, is that the Orioles took out the temporary fences at Camden Yards and turned the place into a pitchers’ park. GABP is at the other end of the spectrum, and they ought to hit more homers than they did last year.

      I generally agree, though, that several of the Reds will increase their power this year –especially EDLC and CES — and that they will get some power out of every position on the field.

  27. Mark Moore

    I was onboard with the idea early in the offseason, but now I’m not so sure. I’m personally not a fan at all of the three true outcome guys and place considerable value on defense (I’m assuming that Steer improves when he’s focused only on LF). The guys we have certainly possess the potential to bang it hard, especially given 80+ games at GABP. Unless something falls into Krall’s lap, I’d tend to hold and keep an eye out for pitching.

  28. Stock

    Third,

    Replying to a post from LDS along with the reply from LarkinPhillips.

    On MLB tonight they talk about Josh Hader and how he is reducing his market value because he has stipulations about pitching no more than 4 outs and never 3 days in a row. I think all managers who are looking long term should apply this rule to all their RP except maybe a long man.

    Why does this impact the Reds?

    Back in 2020 the Reds were done in the FA market in early January with the signings of Moustakas and Shogo. However, come late January they signed Castellanos to a contract because it was such a good contract that Bob approved it.

    Fast forward to 2024. As LDS pointed out, the Reds have room (salary wise) to add another FA. As LarkinPhillips pointed out the Reds could use another pitcher at the back of the bullpen. With Diaz already in the pen, the Reds should have no problem meeting Hader’s demands and with him can apply the same limitations on Diaz which should save him for 162 games.

    If the Reds sign Hader, I think even LDS may consider the Reds 2023/2024 off-season a success.

    • Reaganspad

      Hader would be fun, but I think he gets a wacky contract from someone. Not sure about Chapman as a lot of folks on this board pine for.

      I wouldn’t mind seeing Brad Hand added. Lefty with experience closing and after Colorado last year, due for a bounce back

    • LDS

      I might consider that a success but I’m safe in thinking that’s not going to happen.

  29. Stock

    4th, people are so critical about Bell. Bell led the team to 82 wins when most experts projected less than 70. He did this inspite of many, many injuries.

    People don’t like all the platoon’s. Fraley should be a platoon. Benson is undetermined as of now.

    But the fact of the matter Bell has the opportunity and obligation to play match-ups like never before this year. The Reds have 10 starters for 8 positions.

    When a LHP is on the mound you should play the 8 hitters projected to do the best vs. this pitcher. If that means Fraley and Benson sit vs. all LHP, so be it.

    If a pitcher has a great slider and 2 or the 10 struggle vs. slider first pitchers, they should be on the bench that day.

    Bell and the Reds have the opportunity to lean on their data team unlike any team before. Bell will have the opportunity to play the match-ups a lot this year.

    As for going out and pitching a 2nd inning if you did well in the first inning. Talk to Dellin Betancies on how well that worked for him. Talk to Josh Hader on why he refuses to do this. Manage for the entire season (and in reality for several seasons) and not just for one game.

    • Reaganspad

      Great thoughts Stock. But I do have a question. Many times in 23, we had relievers have single digit pitch innings, often 5 or 6, only to be removed. If you are warm, your stuff wicked that day, wouldn’t you want to pitch the next inning?

      I totally get when you need 20 pitches to get through an inning. But when your stuff is that good that day, and 20 pitches gets you through 2 innings, wouldn’t you want that second inning?

      • Stock

        I think I would need a lot more facts to answer that question.

        Do you know if the pitcher warmed up in the bullpen prior to the inning he threw 6 pitches?

        Did he pitch the day before or even the two days before?

        If he pitched the prior two days he probably should not have pitched at all let alone a second inning.

        If he warmed up earlier in the game I say 6 pitches is plenty.

        Hader made a specific demand because he understands that his arm is an investment.

        I have no idea why the lifespan of RP are so inconsistent and often short. But I do believe their usage plays a role in this somehow.

        6 pitches means much more than 6 pitches. It means pitches thrown in the bullpen plus 8 pitches on the mound when he enters the game. The second inning he would have 2 minutes to warm up again. I have no idea how many pitches that includes.

        Looked what happened to the overworked bullpen in the second half. Because of a lack of quality SP Bell had little choice. Several games he stuck with Weaver or Cessa because he needed innings. He stuck with Lively one game for the same reason and it put him on the DL.

        I can’t guarantee a second inning would have tired the pitchers arm. I can’t tell you a DL list would follow. I can’t even be certain that Lively went on the DL because Bell stuck with him that game.

      • Reaganspad

        Thanks Stock,
        That is why I asked the question. It seemed like Bell Was locked in to using 4 relievers for the last 4 innings regardless of their performance. And with last years staff, we had a lot of 4 inning finishes in addition to extra innings games.

        It is those games I am specifically speaking of. Yes, you may have Gibault warming in the pen, but if Law has a 6 pitch inning, and you knew you had to cover 4, having him throw an additional inning could save Sims on a particular night.

        We never did that, and sometimes after bringing in Diaz in a tie game, we were out of arms in extra innings.

        Will be less of a problem in 24

      • Greenfield Red

        Agree BK. I really think it’s gonna be a fun year to be a Reds fan. Like others, I wouldn’t mind one more 8th or 9th inning reliever.

    • Oldtimer

      The Reds pythagorean W-L record in 2023 was 77-85. Bell did a good job overall.

  30. Hotto4Votto

    Early in the offseason I too had wanted a power hitting RH OF’er. But since signing Candelerio has made Steer into a full time OF’er my feelings have changed.
    Now I would like to see a RH OF’er to platoon with Fraley/Benson who are both really bad bs LHP. Power doesn’t have to be a calling card, but the ability to hit lefties should be. Right now the options are Fairchild and possibly India if he can successfully transition to play some OF. Unfortunately both have reverse splits where they hit RH pitching better than LH pitching. But neither hit RHP nearly as well as Fraley/Benson.
    I’ve posted their split numbers before but without looking it back up I seem to recall both being below average in OPS vs LHP. I think both were around.738 OPS. India was far worse than that last season checking in around.642 vs lefties last season. (Again I may be slightly off).

    I still an upgrade in this area being a need. Not a huge one, and not necessarily one that needs to be figured out right now, but at some point it would be nice to have a viable platoon option from the right side.

  31. Jason Franklin

    Wow. Guys, layoff the LDS is a “half-empty” glass kind of commenter. He has every right to voice his opinion as do you, but it just seems if he says anything you feel is too contrary to your own thoughts, you throw some sort of diatribe his way venting about something. We should enjoy the opinions of each commenter on here. LDS has his views, which typically carry merit even if you don’t agree with them. Some people are half-full while some are half-empty. But that concept has been beaten to death.

    • greenmtred

      I think it was used for the first time yesterday. By me. I certainly don’t begrudge LDS his opinion or his comments and sometimes agree with him and say so. He gives as good as he gets.

    • Stock

      I agree with you in part Jason. I 100% agree LDS has the right to voice his own opinion on here. But I also think others have every right to express their disagreement with him on here.

      I post on here occasionally and encourage people to give a dissenting view if they think I am wrong. Every post on here provides me with an opportunity to gain an insight I did not have before or learn something or change my opinion on a subject. I guarantee you that people have posted their thoughts on here and that they have changed my opinion on certain subjects.

      Dissenter’s are very important and should be encouraged.

      I don’t know who LDS is and have probably never met him. I do know he is a confident person. I do know there are times he does research before he posts on here and times he speaks off the cuff. I think he enjoys the dissenters on here. I think sometimes he posts just to get a response. His posts provide value here as do the replies of his posts.

      • LDS

        @Stock, yes, I’m sure some of my comments are merely sarcastic. Unlike many here, I see no value in David Bell at all. He’s mediocre and routinely outplayed by the opposing team’s manager. And data/analytics doesn’t actually say what many here seem to think they do. They are descriptive and some are merely repackaging of traditional statistics. And no, it’s safe to say that no one here has met me. I haven’t lived in the Ohio River Valley in 50+ years. But, I’ve been a Reds fan since the 60’s. And I have little doubt that Castellini is the worse majority owner that I remember. I’d take Marge over him any day and I wasn’t a Marge fan. As for Krall? He’s shown that he’s good at the salary dump and the stockpiling of prospects. He has shown that he can build a winning team nor has the Reds development staff shown that they can develop the talent. We’ll see, but I’m not optimistic. It will be interesting to see how Senzel fares with the Nats.

  32. DW

    Teoscar Hernandez seems like a good fit, IF the Reds do decide to add a power bat. Last year was a down year for him at Seattle. Seems like a one year “prove it” contract to hit in GABP to up his free agency status for next year would be a nice fit for both sides. Much like Bellinger for the Cubs last year.

    • Old Big Ed

      I think Teoscar would cost too much for his intended usage. There is no reason to play him much against RH starters, because they have Friedl, Benson and Fraley for that, and Candelario would also play most of those days. Defensively, no matter where they would play him, Teoscar would be the worst defender at any position on the Reds.

      I’d just stay with who Steer, India and either Barrero or Fairchild against LH pitching. If they do sign somebody, Grichuk would be cheaper than Teoscar, and he is a better fielder, too.

      I also like the idea of having plenty of room for a salary-dump trade in July.

    • Stock

      Teoscar Hernandez OPS:

      2020: .963
      2021: .870
      2022: .807
      2023: .752

      A trend I would not want to pay for.

      • JayTheRed

        Give me a break. I’d take .807 from him as long as he didn’t cost the moon. Plus, I highly doubt that he would end up under .850 with half his games in GABP.

        I feel like he would have a monster year in the Reds ballpark.

      • JayTheRed

        Oh PS. I highly doubt the Reds sign anyone of any significance until maybe the end of spring training. Even then that’s a huge maybe.

      • Stock

        I am thinking .707 is more probable than .807. More important he would be the last bat off the bench and why pay that much for a bench bat.

    • DW

      Good points Ed and Stock. I pretty much agree. This is only IF they really feel the need to add in this area. And then it would need to be a short term deal.

      I don’t actually want the Reds to sign him, as I would rather they continue to focus on speed and athleticism. There is plenty of power in that lineup, especially with these young guys maturing. I love the combination of speed and power already there.

    • JC18

      Just signed with the Dodgers for 23.5 million. Crazy to me, but I think they moved the mint to LA so no biggie for them.

  33. CleatsOn

    As the Reds stand now, they have the potential to be one of the top power hitting teams in the NL, behind ATL and LAD.

  34. RedsGettingBetter

    I’d really like the idea of adding another OF RH power bat but I think Mr Linden is right. The Reds was in the 15th-16th spot in homers last season hitting 198 dingers so they are not bad. Additionally, Dunn and Hinds could help at the end of the season giving more long shots. If adding a power bat is not possible,the other idea that I’d like to see would be landing another reliever such as Neris, Chapman or Maton.
    However, we should remember Krall said he does not see the team making major moves at this point and they are likely done… So dreaming is free…

  35. Oldtimer

    Off topic. Saw this on Facebook. Arguably the greatest CF ever in MLB.

    … A few months before future Hall of Famer Willie Mays takes his first swings at Seals Stadium in 1958 as a San Francisco Giant, he signs a one-year contract 66 years ago today for $65,000. The deal is the richest ever handed out by the Giants, who only a few months earlier end their 75-year stay in New York and move to California …

    A different day and time. $65K for 154 games of Willie Mays.

    • Old Big Ed

      Per the San Francisco Chronicle, you could get a beer at Seals Stadium in San Francisco for 35 cents.

      I consider Mays to be the best player of all time. He played his best years in the integrated 8-10-team National League that was full of Hall of Famers, and many like Dick Allen who ought to be. Mays also lost over a year and half in his very early 20s to military service.

      • Oldtimer

        All true. I put Clemente as best all around I ever saw. The early 1960s Giants had 5 HOF-ers (Mays, McCovey, Cepeda, Marichal, Perry) but only won 1 NL pennant (in a playoff with Dodgers) and 0 WS.

      • Oldtimer

        Still a bargain for best CF ever.

  36. Amarillo

    If we added another good hitting Outfielder, I would be pleased, because you cannot have too many good players. But, here is a question:

    Why is it that having 6 quality infielders is considered a “logjam” and a problem, but having 5 quality Outfielders (Steer/Benson/Friedl/Fraley/Free Agent) not considered a “logjam”?

    • Stock

      It is. The don’t need another bat. Right now I think the Reds are hoping Barrero’s latest swing change works and they dump Fairchild. Otherwise the dump Barrero and Fairchild becomes the 26th man.

      If they sign another pitcher I can’t help but think that forces a Gibaut trade.

      • Amarillo

        I don’t believe logjams actually exist in baseball due to how often injuries occur. That said, I feel comfortable with the roster as is, and would be shocked if anything changed before Spring Training.

      • Kevin Patrick

        I think if Barrero’s swing is convincingly different and impressive at the same time, I would have to think that frees the Reds to trade an “untouchable” player. I’m not saying I would do it, but if Elly brought back Castillo…and Barrero decided to hit…I would be pretty jacked for THIS season. Not necessarily next season though…

  37. Stan

    Sims is a free agent in 2025 believe if a reliever gets moved it will be him.Still think a surprise move is coming sometime in the near future.

  38. Redhaze

    Chapman would be a great signing for two reasons – left/right closer combo and the stadium will rock again when the flames come out of the smokestacks.
    I used to think that a Soler or Duvall signing would be solid. Then I thought signing Bellinger would be intriguing. But as long as Krall keeps India and Friedl the Reds have enough gloves and bats currently to make a run at the division title.
    Barring injury, two players out of India, McClain, De la Cruz, Marte, Candelario, Benson, Fraley, Encarnacion-Strand, Steer, Friedl, and Stephenson will have to sit every game.

  39. Mauired

    If healthy there’s plenty of power on this team. It’s just very balanced. There’s not a starter in the lineup not capable of hitting at least 20 homers. Even Friedl had 18 last year and missed a lot of time.

    I agree the better move would be to improve the setup situation in pen. Chapman would be great but Prez Krall has stated no more big moves. But if the price is right who knows. I would love to see Cueto and Winker back on minor league deals. Maybe Cueto has a second life as a high leverage relief pitcher. Weird off season. Pitchers and catchers report in a little over a month and there are tons of high end free agents.

    The addition of a big bat is possible at the trade deadline if needed. I think Krall and Bob will be more willing to pull the trigger after watching the DBacks win two more games and go all the way to the World Series.

  40. Frankie Tomatoes

    Do they need to? No. Should they? Not in free agency. No one is there that makes sense. But if a trade is there then you could have some options that do make sense. If they don’t add someone then they will probably be fine when it comes to power. Everyone on the roster who could be a starter can hit 15 home runs. Some guys can hit 25 or more.

    • Old Big Ed

      I agree, plus the Reds will have 90 games or so to play before the deadline, when it will be more evident where (if anywhere) that they need an upgrade. Somebody will get hurt or fail to produce, and another guy (or two) may have turn out to have a much better season than expected.

  41. Babalooey

    That was a strawman, but you thoroughly demolished it, anyway. Also, you forgot Tyler Stevenson. If he’s healthy, he should start hitting with more power at this point in his career.

  42. doofus

    The lineup needs an accomplished hitter. Others have also proclaimed this on this most esteemed forum of Red’s fans. I called for the signing of Michael Brantley awhile back. Alas, he has retired.

    I want to see a hitter who averages over 1 hit a game. Someone with bat control. Someone who has his head on the ball. Someone who does not corkscrew himself into the ground as he swings at outside pitches. Someone with a beautiful swing that produces line-drive doubles into the gaps. Someone who does not strikeout over 100 times per season. Someone with a discerning eye at the plate.

    Who is that someone?

    • west larry

      I don’t know who that player is, or if he is available. Such a player would probably be outside the reds price range if a free agent, and would require some of our best prospects if acquired in a trade. Doesn’t seem likely.

    • Old Big Ed

      George Brett retired 35 years ago.

    • Greenfield Red

      The Reds may have that hitter soon. That sounds like a guy with a 60 or higher hit tool. There aren’t a lot of them, but two are headed this way in the next 6 months.

      • doofus

        You are alluding to the 2024 draft, our second pick in the first round.

    • west larry

      I’m older than you. I actually remember that game. Me and my dad went to that game in Crosley that year. Brooks Lawrence was 13-0 before that game, but alas, he had his first loss of the season. He tired and gave up a three run dinger in the top of the ninth. He lost 5-4. thanks for bringing back the memory.

      • Oldtimer

        We had season tickets (4 seats) from 1961 until 1970 in Crosley. Dad bought all four seats when offered for sale after Crosley closed in 1970. Each of us three kids got one and he got one, too.

      • Old Big Ed

        Excellent performance by Dad there. Probably one of many.

  43. gusnwally

    Oldtimer, the 56 team was my favorite team of all time. I was born in 47. My kids bought me a brick over at the HOF walkway. It’s my name and BigKlu rookies 1947I ried when they gave it to me. 1956 was by the way the 4th consecutive yeat that Big Klu had more Home Runs than times he struck out. Think about that young fans.

    • Oldtimer

      They were in the battle for the pennant until the end. By far the best Reds team of the the 1950s and arguably as good as the 1961 Reds.

    • Jim t

      @gusnwally my children got me a brick there also. It reads to our HOF dad. We all go to opening day every year.

  44. gusnwally

    That was cried when they gave it to me.

  45. Phil

    The Reds do not necessarily need a power hitter. The way I see it, the last hole on the offensive side of the roster is someone who can cover centerfield defensively and can hit left-handed pitching. Of our 4 current outfielders only Steer and Friedl have shown they can hit lefties. Maybe Fraley or Benson can when given enough at-bats but I wouldn’t want to count on that. There is also nobody on the roster who should play centerfield other than Friedl.
    Barrero or Fairchild could potentially fill that roll. I think Michael Taylor would be a great free agent signing though. He can hit lefties, plays a great centerfield, is not projected to get a large contract and would add another veteran presence to an otherwise very young roster.

    • AllTheHype

      Barrero, Fairchild as you said. Then Dunn, who needs a bit of time in AA, and probably a mid-year call up if things go well. Dunn is a guy though that they probably want to give more starts than just a 5th OF would normally get, when he gets to MLB. Not sure a Taylor type is needed or a fit to be honest, particularly since Friedl can hit LHP just fine.

      • AllTheHype

        bit of time in AAA for Dunn, not AA.

      • Phil

        My thought with Taylor is that he could start in right-field when facing a lefty starter in place of Fraley or Benson. Steer and Friedl would start in left and center. He then could also provide great defense when needed to spell Friedl in center.
        The Reds are also counting on Steer, EDLC, Marte, CES and McLain to be big factors in the lineup. All were rookies last year and while all have all-star level potential there seems a good chance at least 1 has a “sophomore slump.” Benson and Friedl both have just over 1-full season of service time going into 2024 so were rookies in all but name last season as well. The “veteran” Reds are Stephenson, India and Fraley with 3-years service time each, then Maile and Candelario with 6 seasons each. Adding 1 more veteran hitter to the team feels like a good idea rather than another young player in Barrero or Fairchild.

      • AllTheHype

        I think Barrero, Fairchild, India are those guys opposite the one other LHH platoon bat, and Barrero and Fairchild are the CF backups. That might be the plan until Dunn is ready.

        Mlbtraderumors suggests Taylor is in line for a contract similar to Kiermaier and Bader, $10.5M. I don’t see the Reds going there when they have redundancy on the roster already for mostly peanuts (league min).

        https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2024/01/angels-padres-pirates-interested-in-michael-a-taylor.html

      • Greenfield Red

        I thought Dunn would be ready this year until I looked at his strikeout numbers in 23. Still some work to do there.

      • Optimist

        Greenfield – Dunn’s BB/K % looks fine – there will be a drop off in MLB, but he’d fit right in with the rest of last season’s rookies. Look at CES and McLain – with Dunn’s OBP and speed and CF defense, he’s valuable even if he lags them slightly.

        I expect he and Hinds are looking at June/July debuts, depending on AAA performance and the MLB roster changes a few months into the season. Perhaps later, but certainly both debut with September callups if needed.

    • David

      Fraley has been given some opportunities (At Bats) against Left handed pitching, and has looked pretty bad.

      I don’t know about Benson. And Benson, I think, has a world of talent that has yet to be seen, at the ML level. I think that he has a really “high” ceiling, and would really hate to trade him away for someone who might not be as talented.

      As far as regression from 2023, I have to kind of think that Matt McLain might be the likeliest for regression, just because he was just SO GOOD in 2023. I don’t think he will fall off the table, but might bat 0.280-.300 in 2024. But….he could be better, too.
      And he needs some more days off. The Reds need extra guys to spell some of the starters, and give them days off, so they aren’t worn down by September.

      • AllTheHype

        Personally I view Steer as the most likely for regression. I think McLain’s bat is legit.

      • Harry Stoner

        Steer and McLain are going to get a steady diet of sliders and down and away stuff to chase.

        If they can learn to manage that stuff, their futures will be very bright.

  46. Oldtimer

    (Saw this on Facebook) Active leaders in hits in the Major Leagues (Top 20):

    1. Joey Votto, 2135.
    2. Freddie Freeman, 2114.
    3. Elvis Andrus, 2091.
    4. Andrew McCutchen, 2048.
    5. José Altuve, 2047.
    6. Evan Longoria, 1930.
    7. Paul Goldschmidt, 1909.
    8. Eric Hosmer, 1753.
    9. Manny Machado, 1737.
    10. D. J. LeMahieu, 1697.
    11. Charlie Blackmon, 1690.
    12. Nolan Arenado, 1669.
    13. Carlos Santana, 1665.
    14. Michael Brantley, 1656.
    15. J. D. Martinez, 1639.
    16. Mike Trout, 1624.
    17. Xander Bogaerts, 1580.
    18. José Abreu, 1573.
    19. Anthony Rizzo, 1567.
    20. Jean Segura, 1545.

    Make an amendment to this list with the announcement of Michael Brantley’s retirement, Bryce Harper will take his place, who moves on to #20, with 1513 hits. So Martinez is 14, Trout 15, Bogaerts 16, Abreu 17, Rizzo 18 and Segura 19.

    • DataDumpster

      Nice list. I had thought that Joey’s total hits would make his HOF bid be in the very least much delayed. Could be but looking at the his peers (and some I would consider a better bet for the HOF), he is not lacking in that department. Of course, several will better his mark but I doubt that any will get to the previous gold standard of 3000 and only a few break 2500. Hope that Joey gets some hidden credit for his batting eye (OBP).
      I still identify from the players who hit pay dirt in the 70s (Reds, Pirates, Dodgers, and Cubs especially) who were 20 game winners or .300 hitters. Now, for injuries or whatever, the standards have changed to the downside. Are there seasons now when not 1 player gets 200 hits?

      • Greenfield Red

        200 hits, 20 wins, and for the most part, .300 hitters are a thing of the past, although it seems there is a bit of a revisit of hitting over power. I hope so. Makes for better baseball in my opinion.

      • Amarillo

        Only 3 hitters had 200 hits this year, and only 10 had 175. It wouldn’t surprise me if we had 0 in the near future.

      • Indy Red Man

        Especially in our park. Don’t we have the smallest OF in MLB? Where we could improve is drawing walks. Love Freidl and McLain, but neither likes to walk much. Can’t be hacking at borderline 2-0’s just because it’s 2-0, but that’s usually a skill developed over time and we’re aggressive

  47. The Duke

    The Reds have plenty enough power, I could very easily see CES, EDLC, McClain, Steer, and both COF platoons all having 20+ HR. We need to play the guys that get on base, so when the power comes, it’s scoring 2-3-4 runs, not solo HR shots.