The Cincinnati fan-base is as rabid and cut-throat as any in the sports world. So, despite the slow start, Cincinnati Reds fans should not panic. It can be very easy to call this season a wash, but Reds fans have plenty of reasons to remain optimistic.
Cincinnati Reds Fans Should Not Panic
Great Starting Pitching
This off-season, the Reds’ number one priority was to #GetThePitching. With the exception of not signing Dallas Keuchel (there’s still time!), the Reds successfully traded for Sonny Gray, Alex Wood, and Tanner Roark. Compared to the last few years of Reds starting pitching, it can be said that they #GotThePitching. After nine games, the Reds’ team ERA is fifth best in the National League. The Reds pitchers have given up the second fewest earned runs in the NL. In terms of total earned and unearned runs given up, the Reds have actually given up the fewest. The most impressive stat of all is the fact that they have given up only five home runs. Those five are tied with the Cleveland Indians for fewest in the MLB. Oh yeah, this is all without the help of Wood who was arguably the best pitcher acquired.
The last few seasons have been long thanks to atrocious starting pitching. This year, the pitching staff is exponentially better. Thanks to Luis Castillo living up to his ace-caliber, the Reds finally have some reason for optimism moving forward with their young arms. Throw in Anthony DeSclafani and Tyler Mahle, the Reds are poised to continue for years to come.
Everyone knows how great Joey Votto is. If you don’t, you should probably watch some baseball. On paper, the Reds’ line-up could be considered one of the most explosive in the MLB. Votto, Eugenio Suarez, Yasiel Puig, and Tucker Barnhart have plenty of power to sustain any team. Add in Scott Schebler who, despite his recent struggles, can really put a charge into a ball. Every baseball player goes through hot streaks and cold spells. Unfortunately for Reds fans, just about the entire team is suffering a cold spell. The bats will re-ignite. Not to mention the fact that relief pitcher/emergency center fielder Michael Lorenzen can still hit the baseball into the river. The upcoming series against Miami will be the catalyst for a successful come back. The 1995 edition of the Cincinnati Reds started their season 1-8 and ended up winning the NL Central.
Youth, Youth, Youth
The Cincinnati Reds have a great farm system and have so much young talent already on the Major League squad. Jesse Winker is a formidable lead-off man and will challenge Votto for the best on-base percentage on the team. Suarez and Jose Peraza have been solid defensively for the last few years. Recently, Peraza’s bat has begun to catch up to his fielding abilities. Add into the line-up Derek Deitrich and Jose Iglesias, both of whom the Reds acquired in Free Agency, and there really aren’t many holes.
There is one more name that Reds fans have been screaming for a long time: Nick Senzel. Senzel had a strong spring as a converted center fielder, but the Reds elected to send him down to AAA Louisville. Senzel was injured shortly after being sent down, unfortunately. Despite this, C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic reported that Senzel will be resuming baseball activities this week. This means, finally, Senzel is close to being called up to Cincinnati and taking up the mantle of the everyday center fielder.
The Last Word
Listen, a 1-8 start is not ideal. The Reds hold the worst record in baseball and are the only team without a win since Opening Day. But, there’s hope! The starting rotation is more solid than it has been in years. Behind Castillo, Roark, DeSclafani, Gray, and Mahle, the Reds can get back on track offensively. The hard decision will be who does manager David Bell take out once Wood returns? The offense will pick up. The current Reds starters have plenty of potential to be the best in the league. Not to mention the fact that, as of today, the Reds are without Scooter Gennett, Puig (suspension), and Senzel.
As Aaron Rodgers said: “R-E-L-A-X.”
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