2016 Reds

Best-case scenario for the 2017 Cincinnati Reds

I can’t imagine why, but Jason Linden is already talking about 2017. Doesn’t he know that the 2016 season isn’t over yet? Plus — and I haven’t looked at the standings lately — I’m pretty sure the Reds still have a chance to sneak into the playoffs this year.

Anyway, Jason’s latest piece over at Cincinnati Magazine is about next year:

Maybe it isn’t all the way over yet, but we can pretty much call curtains on the 2016 Reds season. If you’ve been paying attention, you know I’ve been keeping an eye on 2017 all year. This year, after all, was about next year from the very start.

So now that we’ve reached the end, what can we hope for next year? And I mean hope. Going into a long, baseball-free winter, I want to think about the best-case scenario. So here it is…

Okay, here’s the question: What’s the best-case scenario for the Cincinnati Reds in 2017?

48 thoughts on “Best-case scenario for the 2017 Cincinnati Reds

  1. Best case scenario? Ok, I’ll take a stab:

    1. Joey Votto hits like Joey Votto
    2. Brandon Phillips is traded and Dilson Herrera steps in a provides decent offense.
    3. Zack Cozart is traded and Jose Peraza steps in a proves his numbers this year were no fluke.
    4. Nick Senzel absolutely sets the world on fire in Spring Training (something ridiculous like a .500 OBP with 15 HR) and is the starting 3B for the Reds, and hits like he has been in the minors.
    5. Billy Hamilton bulks up in a an effort to become more durable and suddenly has 15 HR power while not sacrificing speed or defense.
    6. Jesse Winker makes the team out of ST and proves to be Votto Lite.
    7. Scott Schebler keeps hitting next year like he has been since August of this year, and platoons in LF with Duvall
    8. Suarez becomes a Super Sub and gets 400 ABs.
    9. Mesoraco bounces back like nothing happened and becomes a middle of the order force.
    10. Homer, Disco, Reed, Finnegan, and Garret pitch awesome, with Bob Steve stepping in when one of them gets injured and he pitches awesome too.
    11. Iggy and Lorenzen stay in the ‘pen and the front office brings in some relievers that actually aren’t terrible.
    12. Brian Price doesn’t drop a single F-bomb in an interview all year.

    Final record: 88-74, Wild Card team.

    • I would agree with most of these as reasonable best case scenarios. 4 and 5, however, are more like genie bottle wishes rather than best cases.

    • I’d rather see BHam with a .330 OBP than 15 HRs. And even if Senzel set the world on fire in ST, he wouldn’t come north simply for service clock considerations

    • #12? Forget the drop a single F-bomb scenario. My best case scenario: Price does not drop a sacrifice bunt in the first seven innings of a game. OK. That’s very wishful thinking.

    • all of this happens and they only get 88 wins….you pessimist.

      they get 125 wins, MLB calls off the wild card, DS and Championship Series, puts the Reds into the World Series against Cleveland (to save on travel) and the Reds win in a sweep.

      After seeing such a unbelievible turn of events. Marty decides to retire ‘all of a sudden’ and declares JV to be the best he’s ever seen as he wins the triple crown with a line of .425/.550/1.325 42 HR. 100 2B, 200 RBI, 150 BB and 20 SB.

      That’d make everyone happy!

  2. Probably go around 76-86, while hoping to see a lot of improvement. Hopefully they also get out of the cellar. Remember, until last year the Reds hadn’t finished in last since 1983. That was the longest such streak in MLB at the time. Little steps people. Little steps.

  3. I’d be real surprised if Senzel started off at AA. I think he’ll start at Adv. A and move to AA near midseason. That’s the way the Reds handled Winker, Ervin, Blandino, (all former 1st round/comp picks). Even after destroying the FSL this year Aquino didn’t get a promotion. And Senzel could have helped that Daytona squad this year (as they really didn’t have regular 3B) make a playoff push, but Cincinnati kept him in Dayton. I don’t think they will be as aggressive as some may believe. There’s no reason to get the fans clamoring for Senzel in 2017 and start his clock, which is why I believe we’ll see a measured and methodical approach to his promotions. Plus, Suarez deserves another year at 3B without looking over his shoulder.

    Beyond that, a best case scenario for me:

    A healthy Mesoraco that can play 80-100 games behind the plate.
    A healthy Bailey that anchors the staff with Disco.
    Votto being Votto.
    Progress in limiting BBs by Stephenson and Garrett.
    Continued progress and development by Reed, try to figure out how not to be so hittable with the fastball.
    Phillips and Cozart moved in the offseason to open room for Herrera and Peraza.
    Winker debuts, and plays the way we expect, gets on base a ton ahead of Votto.
    Finnegan cuts down on the walks and keeps progressing with the change up.
    Hamilton stays healthy and gets on base at a .320-.330 clip.
    Suarez carries over improvements at plate (2nd half) and in field.
    Lamb transitions into the bullpen successfully.
    Lorenzen and Iglesias become 100-120 IP back end relievers.
    Schebler and Duvall make it tough to decide who plays the opposite corner to Winker.
    YRod comes back healthy and proves he belongs in MLB.
    Less sacrifice bunts.
    No journeymen over 30 year old pitchers on the roster.
    Marty retires.

  4. Predicting 2017 roster is pure conjecture at this point. However, Reds should make BP a trade offer he can’t refuse. I do think Cozart will be dealt but his returned has diminished due to nagging injuries plus age. No more over-the-hill pitchers like Simon and Ohlendorf. Please, for the love of gawd!

  5. I don’t care how much the players improve they don’t get to make out the line up card and as long as a dummy is captain the ship will flounder. I have seen written in these comments a manager doesn’t have much effect on the outcome Price has proven that not to be the case. I have been on the DL 3 times this year with a concussion from shaking my head in disbelief at his decisions. That last comment would have been real funny if it wasn’t true and tragic! I would bet money if Cozart who I am a huge fan was healthy he would be starting at SS and hitting 2nd in todays game, and Peraza would be sitting and Price gets an extension. SHEESH!!!!!!!! I stated I was a huge fan of Cozart and I am but not hitting in the 2 hole and for darn sure not forcing the future of the team to the bench.

  6. For an individual best-case scenario approach to 2017:

    Billy Hamilton => .270/.330/.360 in 140 games & 600 PA
    Jose Peraza => .320/.350/.450 in 150 games & 600 PA
    Joey Votto => .350/.450/.550 in 150 games & 600 PA
    Devin Mesoraco => .260/.340/.500 in 120 games & 500 PA
    Tucker Barnhart => .270/.350/.420 in 60 games & 200 PA almost exclusively against RHP
    Scott Schebler => .280/.350/.450 in 150 games & 600 PA
    Adam Duvall => .250/.310/.460 in 150 games & 600 PA
    Eugenio Suarez => .270/.340/.440 in 150 games & 600 PA
    Dilson Herrera => shoulder fully recovered and healthy in 150 games & 600 PA

    DeSclafani => 30+ starts & 180+ IP
    Finnegan => 30+ starts & 180+ IP
    Stephenson => 30+ starts amd 180+ IP
    Straily => 30+ starts and 180+ IP
    Bailey => 25+ starts & 160 IP, all healthy with no recurring elbow issues

    Iglesias => 50+ games & 120+ IP
    Lorenzen => 50+ games & 120+ IP
    Addleman => 40+ games & 100+ IP

    Winker returns in spring training with a 100% healthy wrist and his line drive power stroke at the plate. Winker destroys AAA pitching for 2+ months before his promotion to the show for regular playing time in an OF rotation with Duvall, Schebler and Hamilton.

    Senzel destroys A+ pitching for 2 months before a promotion to AA, then destroys AA pitching for 2 months before a promotion to AAA where he destroys AAA pitching for 2 months.

  7. More to say on this later, but best case is definitely NOT a losing record. They’re already a .500 capable team even with the current roster.

    • I agree but hedged a little below by saying they’d win around 80 but could hang in the WC picture into September. I’d be surprised to see them closer to 75 wins than they were to 85 wins at 2017 season’s end.

  8. My best case scenario starts with the Reds not allowing the past to delude their view of the future. The odds are very long against Cozart, Mesoraco, and Phillips being useful pieces in 2017 let alone the next truly good or even great Reds team. Do everything they can to move the two that may be movable (Cozart and Phillips); and, don’t let the third guy (Meso) get in the way of the future by pretending that after two years away featuring major surgery on both hips and a shoulder that he will be ready to play regularly as a contributor any time early in the season (if at all). Put Meso on the 60 day DL and leave him at extended Spring Training. If and when he looks ready, then send him out on a 30 day rehab and don’t be shy about using it all.

    Fill the middle IF spots with the in house prospects. Spend the money to get a decent catcher to work in a 1A/1B tandem with Barnhart and maybe a little more money to get a legitimate #3 catcher to have on ice at AAA.

    Start the season by dancing with the corners in both the IF and OF the same as they’ve been since the Bruce trade. Plug BHam back into CF. Make Winker and/ or Aquino break the door down at AAA to ensure they are really ready before they see MLB. Don’t be shy about moving Aquino up ahead of Winker if he is playing the better of the two.

    Accept that the bodies of Iglesias and Lorenzen are stretched as starters and leave them where they are best suited physically, in the pen. Fire everybody else in the pen except maybe Blake Wood and Josh Smith.

    Figure out who the best 5 starters are from the remaining starting candidates pool; fill out the pen with a some of the drop outs. Don’t shy away from using Reed or Garrett in the pen if they miss the rotation cut; they can always be stretched out into starters later in the year or for 2018.

    Barring a couple of major injuries to key persons, this group should win around 80 games and perhaps if things break right be legitimately in the WC mix into September.

  9. Votto, Herrera, Peraza, Suarez, Duval, Hamilton, Schebler, Selsky, DeJesus, Irreadden. , Starters: DeSclafani, Bailey, Straily, ?,? Relievers: Iglesias, Lorenzen, ?,?,?,?. Prospects: Winker has more to prove, Senzel will be in adv A ball and maybe in MLB in mid 2018 or 2019. Stephenson, Reed, Lamb have turned themselves into long shots to make it until thy prove other wise. Garrett has potential. Finnegan is a questionmark. Is he a starter or a reliever? Adleman may be good enough to a #5 starter or have a spot starter/long relief role. Mesoraco could be a real plus if he makes it back but there is quite a bit of uncertainty here. If everything goes right this could be a .500 team. More likely they will win 75 games max because something always goes wrong….injuries, other teams like Brewers, Pirates get better next season, some player regress. No matter what the team will be more interesting and should they be good enough to get to .500 they will be fun to watch. The big unknown for me is how good will the pitching be?

    • Agree about pitching ???

      If Lorenzen and Iglesias both can’t work on back to back days that really hamstrings the pen which most likely ultimately ripples through onto the position side by causing a shortened bench to allow them to carry an “extra” pitcher. Ideally both Lorenzen and Iggy could work back to back days so they can be staged so that one of them is always available yet on occasion they could be used together.

      I’m not as worried about Stephenson. He looks a lot like the young Homer Bailey did. I think eventually he will be a useful MLB starter. I do however feel like the shellacking Reed took at MLB puts him back almost to where he was at this time last year.

  10. Best case (while still realistic) scenario?

    Hitters:
    – BP and Cozart are moved in offseason, making room for Peraza and Herrera
    – Both Peraza and Herrera prove to be above average hitters with (at minimum) average defense but show ability to improve offensively.
    – Suarez becomes more consistent and even shows willingness to move around (insert overused Zobrist analogy)
    – Votto hits .315-.320 with a billion walks and 25 HRs (and stays healthy for the full year again)
    – Hamilton shows his late surge wasn’t a fluke and manages to become at least an average hitter. He steals 75+ bases, stays healthy, and wins GG in center.
    – Winker transitions seamlessly to the majors and does exactly what we expect him to do: get on base without a ton of power. (best case: 10 HR in 450 AB’s) Also, his defense, while below average, doesn’t handicap the team.
    – Mesoraco gets 400+ AB’s and appears able to handle a 5-7 spot in the lineup on a regular basis (for 2018).
    – Schebler/Duvall combine for 40 homers and an OBP of above .310.

    Pitchers:
    – Homer Bailey stays healthy and pitches 180-200 innings.
    – Disco continues his performance into 2017, going for 200+ innings.
    – Straily continues to buck trends, pitching 175 innings of average/slightly above average pitching
    – Iglesias can start and does so well (although he does go on DL once or twice for small things and the Reds limit innings) and pitches 150 innings.
    – Bob Steve/Garrett/Reed all begin to step forward, each pitching close to 150 innings with ERA’s under 4.25 (yes, I know it’s an imperfect stat, but people generally understand it)
    – Lorenzen becomes a solid closer that pitches more than just the 9th inning.
    – other bullpen pieces put together solid seasons (and a couple are flipped at the trade deadline)

    Coaches:
    – Bryan Price puts guys with high OBP at the top of the lineup
    – less than 10 runners thrown out at home
    – 70% SB rate for base stealers

    Front Office:
    – seamless transition to new management (D. Williams)
    – They find a way to trade BP but keep him happy (Reds HoF later?)
    – get young guys AB’s
    – flip some bullpen pieces at the deadline, along with Duvall (if he keeps his power)
    – Flip Cozart for prospects

    That’s all I got (without completely writing a whole offseason preview article).

  11. 2017 will be a success if the Reds answer a bunch of the remaining questions they have. They need to figure out the rotation, which is nowhere close to decided long term. That conversation must include Iglesias and Lorenzen or the Reds are doing themselves a disservice. They may not end up there, but the Reds better find out if they can do it or not.

    They need to figure out the corner outfield situation, which means Winker needs a chance. The Reds need to learn whether Herrera and Peraza can play. The bullpen has way too many questions.

    2017 needs to be a year of figuring things out because there is still way too much we don’t know after this season.

  12. Bryan Price vacations to Fiji and encounters passport problems that prevent his return to the US. Joey Votto takes over as player/manager, plays the youngsters, and wisely manages the bullpen.

    Both Mez and Bailey pump their body full of HGH to heal completely, but don’t fail a drug test. Mez slashes .290/.380/.501. Bailey goes 16-11 with 210Ks.

    BP accepts a trade to the Yokohama Baystars for cash. Peraza and Herrera play well at SS and 2B.

    Adam Duvall gets off to a hot start and is traded to the AL for two live arms, which immediately support the Bullpen. OF of Schebler, Hamilton, and Winker acquit themselves well. Billy has an OBP of almost .400, steals 95 bases and wins a GG.

    Nick Senzel arrives after the ASG and plays well. Suarez moves to a utility role, playing 15 games at 1B to rest Votto – who noticeably improves his fielding and baserunning.

    Bob C decides to fire all relatives and cronies, so the team is nepotism-free.

    Reds go 88-74 and are in the conversation for the 2nd Wildcard.

    • Trading Duvall is somewhat intriguing (for reals) to a team that might value his right handed bat. It would be interesting to see what the Reds would get in return. That would mean that the Reds are betting the ranch that Winker will make the team.

      I am not a big Winker fan. I think he will be a disappointing ML player. He is rated high in a Reds farm system that is probably not that good.

      • The Reds finally get a 30HR guy in left field and we want to trade him? No thanks. Last time we had power in Left that was worthy was another Adam.

        • And that Adam couldn’t field, though his “efforts” did provide much-needed comedic relief.

        • Look how many games the Reds won with those 30 homers. Look how many games the Reds won with Adam Dunn…

  13. Best case is they continue to improve while evaluating who’s a band aid who is here long term. Don’t make panics moves to fill holes.They’ve done a nice job recently of not making stupid, emotional decisions to appease the lowest common denominator (The Fans). Anywhere from 73-78 wins would be a step in the right direction.

    • Chuck makes a lot of sense. There are just too many question marks in the the bullpen and with the starters to see a huge improvement in 2017. Steady progress would be a good thing. 73-78 wins in 2017 sounds about right assuming there are no major injuries or regression by key players. Marty will be miserable.

  14. Now being totally pessimistic:
    I think Devin Mesoraco’s career is over. The shoulder injury will prevent him from being able to hit; loss of bat speed and power.
    I don’t expect anything out of Bailey in 2017. He starts out 2017 behind in arm strength. Extended Spring Training. Then rehab starts in the minors, then continued arm problems. Then it’s July or August and he will have contributed nothing.
    Trading Zach Cozart should be a no-brainer. If the price is right, someone will take him. The Reds will not get much back for him at all.
    Trading Brandon Phillips will be hard, unless the Reds make it a big financial deal to get him out.

    Positives:
    Amir Garrett, Rookie Davis, somebody will emerge as a good starter out of Spring Training.

    Mike Lorenzen and/or Raisel Iglesias will be a starter again.

    The Reds Front Office makes a real effort to develop a bullpen.

    Barring any major injuries in 2017, the Reds should be between 76 and 84 wins.

    • You’re where my dad is on Mesoraco and Bailey. I’m a little more optimistic about both but don’t think that Mesoraco will ever catch 120 games in a season, especially next season. 100 might be realistic, assuming he can catch again. I think Bailey, another season removed from TJ surgery, should be able to contribute in 2017. I don’t see him going 180+ innings but maybe 25 starts and 160?

      Everything in here sounds reasonable though; both on the positive and pessimistic sides.

  15. Here’s hoping for 2017: that left field will continue to be solid offensively which Duvall provided this season after a long absence at that position; the continued offensive development of Hamilton and Schebler; Peraza and Herrera as the double play combination; a healthy Mesoraco back of the plate; a solid bullpen anchored by Lorenzen and Iglesias; continued leadership from Joey Votto; and a .500 finish or more would be a big step toward contendingdom in the NLC.

  16. Answers are provided as to who will be the starting 5 of the next great Reds team.

    Joey Votto hits .400 in the first and second half.

    Bryan Price hears the dugout phone ring.

    Billy Hamilton continues to build plate discipline and learn from Votto.

    Duvall and Schebler make it a tough call for who wins an outfield spot.

    Tony Cingrani and Robert Stephenson find the strike zone.

    Hamilton and Peraza wreak havoc on the bases.

    Reds pitchers don’t give up 200+ home runs and fans actually feel confident in a lead for the bullpen!

  17. To me, the best-case scenario is that injuries are at a minimum, so we get a better look at who we have…. If we break .500, swell. If not, oh well.

  18. If I were Gm…..

    The Reds have to build this team for 2017 from the back forward. This team is “stacked” with hitters/position players. It is loaded with “starting” pitchers. The bullpen/bench are the key to this team in 2017.

    Let me explain….

    1. Billy Hamilton CF
    2. Eugenio Suarez 3B
    3. Joey Votto 1B
    4. Adam Duvall LF
    5. Scott Shebler RF
    6. Zach Cozart SS
    7. Brandon Phillips 2B
    8. Tucker Barnhardt C

    I will take this line-up all day long. They can play with anyone. This is our starting “8” in 2017.

    Bench,,,,,

    1, Catcher—Mez/Cabrera—either can play 1B
    2. INF—Herrara/Perazza/Renda—Perazza can play OF
    3. OF–Holt/Selsky

    I will take this bench……It is better than what we have had in years…

    Starting 5….
    1. Homer Bailey
    2. Dan Strailey
    3. Anthony Desciliafani
    4. Brandon Finnegan
    5. I think you leave this spot open. Make someone step up.

    Bullpen….This is the key to this team in 2017. I would sign 1 or two “legit” pitchers…
    Let the rest fight it out. No matter if they are starters/relievers….

    Here is the 3 we have….Everyone else we have should be cut/prove themselves in AAA…
    1. Cody Reed
    2. Tony Cingrani
    3. Raisel Iglesias

    • Ok lets start
      Hopefully Cozart and Phillips will be gone… Phillips might still be here though with his no trade clause.

      If Mesoraco is able to catch he will unfortunately be the initial starting catcher based simply on the fact that he is being paid good money. If he is not able to catch then yes Barnhart gets the call and it will be the same catching system basically as this past season. Honestly I am ok with Barnhart.

      I would love to see Bailey be good enough to be our number 1 starters. But honestly I see Disco being our opening day starter. My rotation goes like this.

      1. Disco
      2. Bailey
      3. Strailey
      4. Finnegan
      5. Iglesias (if they keep him in the pen then I maybe give Mike Lamb another shot.
      or one of the other pitching prospects.

      I’m liking this idea of having 3 guys who are reliable that can go 2 innings or 1 inning two days in a row. The Chapman in me is hoping Iggy becomes the closer and Lorenzen the set up guy. I kinda feel like I am off the Cingrani band wagon. I don’t know where he fits anymore or maybe he is included in a trade someplace. Too bad too I was really high on him few years back.

      As far as additions outside the organization for the bullpen I don’t see any relievers wanting to come to Cincy the hitter friendly park with a team that most likely will be a losing team again next year…. though we should get close to .500 in my opinion unless some major trade goes down and we get some new major league ready talent. (I don’t honestly see much off season action happening this year. Winter 2017 / 2018 could be interesting though.

      Ok have at it.

    • RE: Jay’s comments:

      Sounds like we are on the same page in regard to what I’ll call the Vet3, BP, Cozart, and Mesoraco . The Reds org has to be willing to look beyond the past and the payroll ledger so it does not let any of these 3 stand in the way of the future.

      An ironic thing happened this year with the Reds. We all pretty much thought the year would be about answering the pitching questions and that the position questions would get answered later. Instead, the pitching seems as muddled as ever yet a person could project a starting 8 moving forward that likely would be a .500 or better team paired with a league average pitching staff.

    • What about lorensen Why Reed he wasnt Good end cingrani isnt consistant Walks too many i Think adding 3 or 4 other Arms Not 38 yr old Re treads like this Year but actual relievers including at least 1 more lefty if oh costs us
      5 to 8 Million Dollars so what chances are We will be a 500 plus Team in 2017 our Everyday Line-Up is decent starters are decent fix the bullpen trade phillips /cozart Play the Kids See what happens

  19. Bullpen bullpen bullpen issues get resolved!!! That should be #1 and not rely on what is in the farm team! We get a solid veteran bullpen pitcher (1) and some good young bullpen pitchers who the veteran can assist/guide — similar to what Arroyo did with Cueto and Leake to add to Lorenz and Iglesias. Mentoring is so important for young arms and to handle the VERY long season. And if the Reds bullpen is no longer flagged as RED (extremely volatile) on Fantasy Baseball — my stomach would really appreciate that – the 7, 8, 9th innings have killed me this year — never feeling comfortable even with a lead…

  20. 1) Phillips and Cozart are moved. Peraza and Herrera are starting at SS and 2B on Opening Day.
    2) Winker starts the year at AAA and is brought up after the Super-2 Cutoff
    3) Hamilton plays a whole season hitting like he did in the second half of 2016. 293 avg. 369 obp. Maybe this includes giving him a few more days off to keep him healthy throughout the entire season.
    4) Senzel is put on a track to get a September call up in 2017. He could then be brought up for good after the Super-2 Cutoff in 2018. If the Reds are going to be a playoff contender in 2018, I think that Senzel needs to be on the roster.

  21. Pitching, pitching, pitching will be the key. I think we can only count on Disco and Finnegan coming back strong next year. I wouldn’t put much faith ina full Bailey recovery. Straily?? Was this a one-off year, or did we get lucky? Lorenzen and Inglesias are fragile, keep them in bull pen. Lamb, Stephenson, Sampson did not show much improvement. Maybe Reed, after a few more starts in AAA, will live up to his promise and Garrett can live up to his. Cingrani maybe a pick-off specialist, no one will want him. And another cheap veteran FA starter(ala FO promis) doesn’t sound that promising.

    Hitting? Can we surround Votto? Big questions are: is Duvall for real. Which Schebler is real? Can Billy build on his improvement? Maybe we see Senzel on the 40-man roster. I think we know what we got with Suarez. Unless we can trade Phillips and Cozart, Peraza platoons with them both to keep him in the line-up. The longer we wait for Winkler, the less excited I get. If Meso is behind the plate, don’t expect many games from him. Barnhart will do.

  22. This team was a .500 club in the second half already, even with injuries to Cozart, Phillips, Hamilton, Bailey, and Mesoraco. So as far as records go, “best case” starts at 81 wins and goes up from there. I hope Cozart and Phillips are gone and a healthy Bailey is back. I hope the bullpen continues to improve – Diaz, Ohlendorf, Cingrani all must go (or at least smarter use for Cingrani). I hope the bench is stronger with Cabrera behind Barnhart (a healthy Mesoraco would be a pleasant but IMHO unlikely upgrade), Iribarren, Schebler or Duvall depending on the day, and probably Holt and/or IDJ back again. That’s still a lot better than how they started 2016. I hope Winker plays 5 or 6 days a week and gets on base a lot. If he does I don’t care if he hits 20 home runs or 5. I hope Peraza and Hamilton and Herrera and Suarez are all healthy and learn from Joey Votto how to value every at bat (and that it’s okay to not make an out and take a walk). If Hamilton is healthy and plays 130-140 games he gets on at a .325 clip and steals 80+ bases and wins a gold glove. I hope Schebler / Duvall will provide real power from the outfield, and getting more starts against more righties I hope Schebler continues to learn how to hit. I like what I saw toward the end of the year using all fields, and I predict he will eventually be a fixture in the Reds outfield. And Joey Votto will hit. At least .325/.425/.550. Maybe more, maybe a good bit more. So that leaves starting pitching. I won’t try to guess who the starting five will be in June, but since we’re discussing best case, I’ll just hope that they are solid, dependable, sometimes lights out top to bottom. And I hope one emerges as a true stopper. And in that “best case” it’s a 90 win season. Unlikely, but possible. In 2017 if they win 75 or 85 or 95 without squandering prospects in silly trades or stunting advancement of future stars, if they continue to develop their prospects and the current major leaguers continue to develop, that’s the best case. Go Reds!

  23. Assuming Hamilton remains healthy and Duvall continues to hit, what do the Reds do with Schebler when they call up Winker? Does Schebler become a bench player, or will they dangle him in trade talks for a bullpen piece?

  24. A Phillips/Cozart question: If the Reds only traded one of these two players, which one would you rather see traded and which one would you like to see play a final season with the Reds in 2017 (as a bench player)? Both players will likely be extremely difficult to move, given Phillips’ past refusals to trades and high salary and Cozart’s season ending on the DL. I am guessing the Reds will get a very light return from moving either player.

    Personally, I’d rather see the Reds ship off Cozart and leave Phillips on the bench. Trading Cozart might be easier (even after his season-ending injury), given his lower salary and modest home run power.

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