5 Questions the Cincinnati Reds Must Answer During Spring Training

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5 Questions the Cincinnati Reds Must Answer During Spring Training

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The 2013 Cincinnati Reds were far from an embarrassment to their fan base. They almost made it fully into the postseason, losing the wild card playoff game to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Heading into the 2014 Major League Baseball season there is a decent amount of excitement for the team.

In addition to excitement there are also questions however. After another successful season in his sixth with the Reds, Dusty Baker was fired under odd circumstances. He was replaced by the team’s pitching coach Bryan Price who has zero MLB managerial experience. That is quite a change right there and would be enough to cast at least some uncertainty on the entire season.

There is more than that however. Shin-Soo Choo is gone but could possibly have a replacement that is even better than he was for the team. Like many questions going into any MLB season, some of these will begin to be answered during Spring Training. With that in mind we are going to look at five questions that the Reds have to answer this spring.

Some not included would be whether or not Johnny Cueto can stay healthy. Also it remains to be seen how well Joey Votto will consistently perform. We know he will be one of the better first basemen in the NL but will he again be the absolute best? We’ll have to wait a little longer on those answers but the following we can get small answers to now.

David Miller is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5 – What will the Starting Rotation Look Like?

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As the spring season progresses and we continue to see Bronson Arroyo has gone elsewhere, what will the starting rotation look like? We all know Cueto has had injury issues of late but he is a great ace if he is healthy. After that and the no-hitter specialist, things get a little questionable. That doesn’t mean they have no pitchers there of course. The question is who will fill the spots exactly and how good will they look exciting Spring Training?

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4 – Will Bryan Price Succeed as Dusty Baker’s Replacement?

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Baker has been called many things but his record pretty well speaks for itself as far as I’m concerned. That doesn’t make him irreplaceable of course and it may well be that Price is even better fit to lead the Reds than Baker was. That all will begin to take shape early in Spring Training and will be fun to watch develop throughout the spring season.

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3 – Can Devin Mesoraco Definitively Prove He is the Man Behind the Plate?

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Now that Ryan Hanigan is a member of the Tampa Bay Rays, Mesoraco basically has to grab this pitching staff, uncertain as it may be in parts, and make himself the catcher. No one questions his ability overall but some do question if the staff will be hurt a little by the exit of Hanigan. Mesoraco could well erase any such fears during the Spring Training games and proceed to be the man during the season.

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2 – Can the Team Put the Brandon Phillips Drama Behind Them?

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Some say that the entire drama surrounding the Reds second baseman was overblown by the media. That may well be true but it sure didn’t seem overblown that he basically called the team’s owner a liar. After the remarks at the end of their Wild Card loss, even more questions rose up and a ton of trade rumors surfaced. The team might be able to shut that down in the first week of Spring Training but many of us will need to see that smiling face of Phillips for a while before we buy it.

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1 – Can Billy Hamilton Emerge as a Threat to Get on Base?

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We all know Hamilton is going to steal bases. When the man is on base he is going to be standing on the next one more times than not. He was able to get on base well during his September showcase but the question is whether or not he can do so consistently during the season. He can begin to prove himself as early as he wants.

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