5 Reasons to Be Thankful if You’re a Fan of the Cincinnati Reds
Why Reds Fans Should Be Thankful Heading into 2014
Cincinnati Reds fans certainly have reasons to be thankful during this offseason despite the fact that the Reds lost early in the playoffs again and manager Dusty Baker was fired.
It’s a whole new era in Cincinnati under Bryan Price. Price has been with the Reds since 2009 as their pitching coach under Baker, but now it’s time for Price to show what he can do as manager of the Reds. It should be a great 2014 season in Cincinnati.
The Reds’ front office has high hopes for Price. They are hoping he can take the Reds to the postseason right away and take them past the first round. They wouldn’t have hired him if they didn’t think he could do it. One of the reasons Baker was let go was because he was unable to get the team past the first round of the playoffs.
Price has already been talking about making some changes to the Reds pitching staff. We’ll have to wait and see just what those changes will be.
We also have yet to see what the Reds plan on doing with their free agents. The only offer that has been made to any of the Reds’ free agents was to leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo. He was offered a one-year, $14.1 million deal but has to decide by next Monday and is expected to look for a multi-year deal. The other Reds free agents, including pitcher Bronson Arroyo, were not offered any deals but could re-sign with the Reds as free agents.
There has also been talk of the Reds wanting to unload the large contract of Gold Glove second baseman Brandon Phillips. This would not be a good move, though it would save them money.
Despite the many questions that linger in Cincinnati there are still plenty of things for Reds fans to look forward to next season. Most of their success will likely come from their pitching talent as it did in 2013.
Keep reading to find out the reasons that Reds fans should be thankful heading into the 2014 season.
5. Joey Votto/Jay Bruce
Right fielder Jay Bruce, first baseman Joey Votto, and outfielder Choo carried much of the offensive load in 2013. They all have the ability to do so, though Choo could likely be leaving the Reds for a multi-year deal. Votto and Bruce are the biggest offensive threats in the Reds’ starting lineup and are not bad on the defensive side either. Bruce hit .262 with 30 home runs, 109 RBI, and a .329 on-base percentage. Votto hit .305 with 24 home runs, 73 RBI, and a .435 on-base percentage. Votto and Bruce are the only returning starters with on-base percentages above .315. The Reds have some spots to fill in the offseason, but it has to feel good for Reds fans to know that their two biggest offensive threats will be returning for 2014.
4. Bryan Price/Playoff potential
The new Reds manager has been with the team as their pitching coach since 2009. Price and the current Reds players already know and respect each other, plus Price already knows how the organization works having been there for the past few years. The changes he wants to make to the pitching staff are still unclear, but there is no doubt that he will make the right decisions when it comes to a pitching staff that he knows very well. Price is expected to, and likely will, take the Reds to the playoffs again this season, especially with one of the better pitching rotations in baseball.
3. Aroldis Chapman
Current closer Aroldis Chapman could likely be one of the changes that Price makes to the pitching staff, and we could see him in the starting rotation next season. Price was a big fan of the plan to convert Chapman to a starter, and he may decide to pursue that plan this offseason. Either way, the reliable Chapman will still be with the Reds in 2014. He is one of the more exciting players to watch.
2. The Bullpen
The Reds' bullpen will be just fine even if they lose Chapman to the starting rotation. Relief pitcher Sean Marshall has the potential to be a great closer. They have plenty of depth and talent in the bullpen already and could potentially add some new talent during the offseason if that happens to be part of Price’s plans to make some changes to the pitching staff. No matter what, the Reds' bullpen should continue to be good and reliable.
1. The Starting Rotation
Price does plan on making some changes to the pitching staff in the offseason, though it’s not clear what those changes will be. It does have to feel good for Reds fans to know that they will likely have Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, Mike Leake, Johnny Cueto, Tony Cingrani, and possibly Arroyo still in their starting rotation for the 2014 season. The starting rotation was the key to the Reds’ success in 2013 and is still expected to be one of the better rotations in baseball in 2014.