2017 Reds

Best-case scenario for the 2018 Cincinnati Reds

I’m sorry to do this to you guys, but it needed to be done. I say dumb stuff all the time here at Redleg Nation and you guys make fun of me, so it’s time to turn the tables.

One year ago, we asked you to answer this question: What’s the best-case scenario for the Cincinnati Reds in 2017? A bunch of you chimed in with your answers, and some of them are — let’s be honest — ridiculous.

Okay, okay, we were talking best case scenarios, and not what we actually thought would happen. (Heck, I predicted that Billy Hamilton would be an All-Star in 2017? Remember that nonsense?) But it’s kinda fun to go back and look at our hopes, then compare them with the dreams dashed upon the craggy rocks of the 2017 season. Wait, that’s not fun at all. Never mind.

Earlier this week, just like last year, our resident optimist Jason Linden once again looked at his best-case scenario for 2018. So…after you look at your projections, come back here and let’s do this again, Nation: What’s the best-case scenario for the Cincinnati Reds in 2018?

41 thoughts on “Best-case scenario for the 2018 Cincinnati Reds

  1. Wire to Wire. You asked. Now don’t ask me for the odds on that… But whatever the odds were when Jim Carey said “so you’re saying there’s a chance” this is about the same. I’ll take 81 wins and a stable and promising rotation heading to 2019.

  2. From this moment forward? Best case is we sign or trade for a true ace, sign Cozart for a discount, abandon inning restrictions on young starters, Disco becomes a non injured contributor, Winker and Senzel get 140 starts and go 1 and 2 in ROY voting, Castillo Mahle and Romano all add consistency to their production and we go 92-70 with the best 1B in the world having a big C on his chest.

    I still don’t think we’d make it out of the NL playoffs but we’d go 6 with the Dodgers in the NLCS and scare a lot of people while doing it.

  3. Best case scenario is a wild card spot as long as the wild card doesn’t shape up like it did this year with two 90+ win teams.

    My real prediction is that, if pitching is relatively healthy, the Reds will go 81-81 in 2018.

    • That’d be 13 more victories in just one season. With Price still as Manager, it’s highly unlikely.

      • The prediction is probably contingent on Price not being in the starting rotation or playing at all, for that matter. He’s too old, for one thing, and doesn’t appear to be anywhere near playing condition. If the pitching is decent and they don’t lose too much offense or defense, they’ll make the playoffs.

      • Spot on. Who has the best job in Cincinnati, Marvin Lewis or Bryan Price? Incompetence pays big bucks in Cincinnati.

  4. Well, since I never wanted the Reds to go thru a rebuild my hope is that this rebuild produces a championship 🏆 or two. I once read that the reds were gonna implement a system that would make them competitive(winning baseball?) most years and that this new way of operating would virtually eliminate the need for rebuilds. I guess part of the reason I was so upset that this rebuild was happening is bcuz I thought this new way of operating had already been implemented under Jocketty. While Walt’s method of building championship caliber clubs may be considered old school (in retrospect) it did produce an exciting club that had so many superstars and did produce some success. Part of me still believes that those reds teams could still challenge for a WS title if most of that team had been kept intact while being supplemented with young exciting talent. Maybe I’m an idiot for thinking that, I don’t know. So, basically, this rebuild better produce multiple championships. But, for next year, it is my hope that we make the playoffs but at this point I’m tired of losing 90+ games a year so I MIGHT settle for anything under 90 losses. Sorry I gave such a long winded answer.

  5. Best case-the young pitching develops and Bailey & Descalfani regain their form and the reds maybe win 85 games. Offense continues to improve and suarez hits 30+bombs,Winker gets the starting role
    Worse case-pitching falters again,price gets fired, Winker rides the bench all year. 65-70 wins

  6. My best case scenario is Reds tank in April, Price gets fired, Reds hire a fantastic new manager, and Reds take off get in as second Wild Card win NL by beating Cubs and Cardinals go to WS and win 4 in row continuing running their WS winning streak to 13.

  7. That was an interesting look back. Unfortunately injuries continued to play a big part in the rebuild progression. There were a couple of areas where I was on point:

    Senzel – 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…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.
    Votto being Votto.
    Winker debuts, and plays the way we expect, gets on base a ton ahead of Votto.
    Suarez carries over improvements at plate (2nd half) and in field.
    Schebler and Duvall make it tough to decide who plays the opposite corner to Winker.

    I was wrong, or mostly wrong a lot more, where health and/or usage were concerned.

    For 2018:

    I predict the starting rotation will stabilize and rank within the top half of the NL rotations.
    Castillo will turn into a legit ace and that Romano and Stephenson will cement themselves into the rotation. Bailey will experience a nice bounce-back year.
    I predict that the bullpen will receive a positive contributions from rookies Weiss and Herget during the season.
    Finnegan returns to the back end of the bullpen.
    I believe we’ll see Senzel up in the ML’s by June.
    I believe we’ll see a BB rate of 6% from Peraza (up from 3.9%)
    I believe that Herrera will hit well enough to take playing time away from Gennett
    I predict Price’s lineup construction, playing time allotment, and insistence upon giving away outs through the sacrifice bunt will continue to frustrate many fans.
    I believe the Reds will make a competitive push to be in the 2018 WC race.

  8. Best case is the pitching improves and we start to play more and more close games which magnifies how poorly Price’s line up construction and in game managing really is.Bob then tells DW that having Billy and Peraza at the top of the lineup doesn’t give us our best chance to win nor does having our best relievers watch while others lose the game.DW goes and tells Price to do things differently and Price counters with why now after you supported me and agreed with me should I change.DW says oh yeah I forgot and tells Bob who says yeah I forgot too.The Reds in spite of all of this finish with a 85 win season and Price is named manager of the year and signed to a 5 year deal.

  9. The 2017 Reds had the worst pitching staff I have ever seen. They gave up more runs than any NL team. They had only two pitchers throw 100 innings. Sixteen different pitchers had negative WAR.

    But, because they used 30 pitchers (not counting Scooter), we got to see a lot of people. So, it is possible that they dramatically improve by picking and choosing the best of that bunch and keeping them healthy.

    Best case is a Wild Card Spot (see, Twins, 2017) or perhaps even a division title.
    Here’s what would have to happen.

    1) Trade for a very good controllable starting pitcher. Trying to replicate the Latos deal would be great. Trade from your position player depth (Duvall? Peraza? Cozart?) AND a prospect or two (Trammell? Siri?) AND maybe someone you think won’t make it from the pitchers (Davis/Reed/Garrett?).

    2) Your rotation would then be greatly improved. Castillo, Disco, Mahle and your newly acquired pitcher would potentially anchor it, with Finnegan, Bailey, Stephenson/Romano to pick up when needed.

    3) Fix the bullpen. Only Iglesias and Peralta were good last year. I’m not sure Lorenzen is a good major league pitcher. You’d need to overspend on a lights out set up person whose price tag won’t be inflated by saves. Someone like one of the guys the Yankees have, but not Chapman. Think Dibble or Charlton, not Myers.

    4) Hope that the offense just stays the same. This is very very unlikely; each of the regular infielders had their best years ever, and Cozart and Votto are on the wrong side of 30. Even expecting regression, hitting Winker at leadoff and Hamilton 8th or 9th, however, will help.

    Realistically, the Reds offense will be worse, the Reds pitching better, and the team a little better overall, perhaps 78 wins and 3rd place.

  10. Best case?

    Disco gets healthy. Bailey remains healthy. Finnegan contributes. Reds do what needs to be done to acquire one more SP and the 5-man rotation is solid.

    Votto continues to Votto. Senzel takes 2B in spring training and never lets go. Cozart resigns and plays well at SS. Suarez has a breakout year and finishes in the top 5 in MVP voting. Scooter is a super sub, and continues to display power.

    The OF rotation of Winker, Hamilton, Schebler and Ervin clicks.

    Billy and Peraza traded away for a good return.

    Price manages well with a healthy roster.

    Bullpen is solid, with Iggy leading the league in multiple inning saves.

    Reds finish 89-73, earning a wildcard, then win the one game playoff in Cincy for the first postseason win @GABP.

    Anything else would be gravy. I don’t think this is an unreasonable prediction.

  11. My predictions for 2018: DeSclafani returns to the rotation in mid-April, Finnegan a couple weeks later. Bailey, Castillo, & Stephenson secure the other 3 rotations spots, leaving Romano, Mahle, and a rejuvenated Garrett without ML starting gigs. Without Cozart, the Reds can’t compete in 2018. Reds seem intent on compromising their defense in at least 3 positions. The young pitching keeps them in more games, but they do no better than 3rd place in the division & out of the wild-card money. A lackluster emergence from a half-baked rebuild.

  12. The very fact that the readership can poke fun at this site’s founder, and he can do likewise, re-affirms what a special place Redleg Nation is.

    The best case scenario is….being the Colorado Rockies of 2018.

    -Get off to a hot start, bank wins in the first 2 months of the season.

    -Doing so while most of America is asking “who are their 5 starting pitchers over there?”, which likely means a combination of kids and rehab guys being “on” from Opening Day …. and a rock-solid Homer Bailey.

    If these things occur, then the justification happens/public pressure grows for the Reds to fill any holes at the trading deadline, similar to the Rockies solidifying their catching by obtaining Jonathan Lucroy.

    Unlikely, because several things would have to fall right starting on March 29, but far from impossible.

  13. Another last place finish is what you should expect.

    Someone please tell me why you expect anything different. Einstein said it best…the definition of insanity is expecting a different outcome without making any changes.

    We have the same owner, the same coach, and essentially the same team. Oh I’m sure the Red’s will go out and purchase the contract of some washed up pitcher that won’t win 10 games but is that change? No, wasted money. We need new ownership and a new coach. Someone may want to phone Washington.

  14. Best case scenario? Fire Price. Apologize to the baseball gods for firing dusty for no reason. Trade Hamilton, Duvall. Don’t resign cozart. Package Bailey with Hamilton and eat half of his salary but get a good 8th inning reliever. I like Rivero from the pirates. 100 mph stuff that will blow you away. They also have some outfielders that might need a change of scenery so give me Polanco.

    You now need a 7 th inning guy. Lights out. That’s where Duvall comes in. He can net you that plus a good AA player. Preferably a bat. The rest can come from young arms.

    For the draft fire buckley. Pluck someone from the marlins or the dodgers to draft for us. Have strong draft and this time, go position player crazy. Bats, bats, and more bats. Most of your bats in the lower levels are c rated/ d rated players. Most likely d. Draft heavy.

    To think what we could have gotten for Stephenson, garrett, or Reed is rediculous. THINK BIG. No more homer Baileys.

    • Why would you fire Buckley? Do you not enjoy his absurdly high ratio of 1st round picks that ma me the majors (average is 50 %)

    • Dusty was fired for “no reason”? Look, I actually like Dusty Baker but it was time for the Reds to move on from him. Do you really think that sending Bailey, Hamilton, and half of Bailey’s salary will net you Rivero and Polanco? Not really close to getting a deal done in my opinion. Reds have to hope that Bailey can perform for them because at the moment, he has much more value for the Reds than he does if the Reds want to move him. Right now, it would have to be almost a BP kind of deal where the Reds would need to eat pretty much all his salary if they wanted something back.

      Duvall can probably land that 7th inning guy and maybe a fringe-prospect AA guy.

      Why fire Buckley? He seems to have done a decent job drafting the last couple years and he’s also not the only one who makes draft decisions.

      No more Homer Baileys? Do you mean the contract? If so, yeah, in general I don’t like large long-term contracts for pitchers. I agree if you mean the contract. For Bailey specifically though? No real issues with it as he was basically paid what the market probably would have dictated for him assuming health going into his FA season. You don’t need to look to hard at MLB pitcher contracts lately to agree that he wasn’t “paid like an ace”. He wasn’t and that’s not really debatable. As for Bailey in general, anytime you draft a guy, especially high in the draft, your hope is that he can be a star. Realistically though, the logical part of your brain knows that if he’s provides a positive contribution to your team for a few years, then the pick was a success. Bailey was certainly that for a while. So if you mean don’t pick a guy like Bailey, then I’d strongly disagree.

  15. Best case scenario:

    1.) Homer Bailey rebuilds his arm in the offseason and finds that 96 mph fastball again and throws 160 innings and wins 14 games.
    2) Finnegan builds upon that pitcher he was in the second half of 2016 and becomes that elusive lefty starter the Reds can’t find.
    3.) Luis Castillo develops into a dominant righty pitcher and throws 190 innings and wins 16 games.
    4.) Joey Votto repeats.
    5.) Jesse Winker plays 150 games and is allowed to be a productive player.
    6.) Eugenio Suarez becomes a 5 WAR third baseman.
    7.) Nick Senzel dominates in AAA and becomes the #1 prospect in MLB.
    8.) Hunter Green dominates at Dayton and Jose Siri develops plate discipline at high A. Taylor Trammell becomes a top 10 best young outfield prospect in baseball. Tyler Stephenson has a solid year at Daytona.
    9.) Tyler Mahle throws 180 innings and wins 12 games.
    10.) The FO solves the shortstop problem in the offseason and identifies a solution.
    11.) Billy Hamilton is not leading off on opening day.

  16. Best case scenario? The Reds will be healthy and the pitching staff will be made up of what is already available. Billy Hamilton will hit 8th. Winker will prove to be an on base machine. Senzel Peraza, Blandino, and Ervin all produce and become valuable pieces. Mesoraco returns to the middle of the batting order. The Reds are a surprise participant in the playoffs and win a series.

  17. Here’s hoping 2018 brings a decrease of Red legs on the DL, especially the pitchers. A leadoff man with a good OBP (Winker) followed by Suarez, Votto and Duvall which will make the Reds one of the best offensive teams in the NL. And a maturing young pitching staff anchored by an acquired established starter which causes the Reds to play at least .500 ball with a shot at the playoffs.

  18. 2018 Best Case Scenario: Castellini’s sell their majority ownership to the fans, seeing this the other owners also sell their positions to the fans (See Green Bay Packers). Fans hire knowledgeable baseball people to run the team, not a WJ or son of an owner.

    The knowledgeable baseball people hire a knowledgeable manager to LEAD the team. The knowledgeable baseball people make astute, cutting edge decisions, and are not afraid to make adroit, timely trades and player transactions that actually contribute to the team’s success. In other words they don’t make trades just to dump salary, getting nothing in return. The knowledgeable baseball people don’t talk down to the fans, spewing B.S., after all the fans are the boss.

    The folks return to the GABP because the Reds are winning!

  19. Best case – short any big changes will be a high to mid 80’s loss team. Most likely, they’ll lose 90+ again.

    For the life of me – I don’t understand how most of you think – same or worse players than last year (because we keep losing people – this year probably Cozart ) and you expect for something “better” to happen than the last year – and then the next year – here we are again..

    What’s that definition of insanity?

    • It will be different next year, because the starting pitchers won’t be Arroyo, Bonilla, Feldman, Wojo, adelman, ect ect ect

  20. The question is, do we currently have on our roster players that can seriously be considered division contenders for the 2018 season?

    I don’t think we do. I believe we have a team that may be a .500 team if healthy, and, if all falls in line, may contend for the second WC.

    I believe the Reds need a bat or two, one in front of Votto and another behind him. They also need two proven starting pitchers.

  21. Interesting article over at mlb traderumors on projected arbitration salaries.

    Gennett 6 million
    Hamilton 5 million
    Suarez 4 million.

    Rendon has 1 more year of service time than Suarez and is projected at 11.5 million.

    Time to lock up Suarez to a 5 year deal.

  22. hate to say it but it is time for a “mini” rebuild again.

    we tried the outfield combo of Hamilton, Duvall and Schebler for 2 years and it just aint enough.
    they all hit below 250 and that just isn’t going to get it done.
    I think you keep one of them and let Winker and Ervin get the lions share in the outfield.

    Cozart cant play short anymore. no other place to put him so we need a new short stop.
    Scooter is not a good second basemen so he needs to go.

    our core is votto, suarez, barnhart, Castillo, bailey and Iglesias.
    we need to build around them.

    • I agree with your outfield opinion. I like Winker and Ervin in the outfield. I would give them some play and see what happens.

      I am not on the Suarez wagon either. He only had 139 hits. We need better for that position to contend.

      • I’ll take whatever you’re drinking.

        Suarez finished 6th (or 7th if you include Ramirez of CLE since he split time at multiple spots) in ALL of MLB 3B in WAR. Top 5-10 defensive 3B and finished with 50+ XBH. When ranking Reds issues I would put about 60 things in front of Suarez with Votto being about the only thing lower on the scale.

  23. Best case scenario for 2018.
    1. Reds win NL Central over the Cubs and Cards.
    2. Reds beat the Washington Dusty Harpers in the NLDS.
    3. Reds beat the LA Dodgers in the NLCS and win the NL pennant.
    4. Reds beat the NY Yankees in the 2018 World Series as Joey Votto wins both the NL MVP and the world series MVP.

  24. This should be one of the more exciting winters in recent history for the Reds, as the trading away of established players looks to be over (although the Reds could still trade away players such as Duvall, Hamilton, or Gennett in a package deal for a pitcher). Now it’s time to add pieces to the current team, either via free agency or trade. It will be interesting to see what types of moves Dick Williams makes. His moves have looked solid thus far: picking up Straily off the waiver wire in 2016, flipping him to the Marlins the following winter for Castillo, then picking up Gennett prior to 2017.

    As I have said before and others have written here, the Reds need to make a trade to acquire a young starting pitcher like they did with Latos after 2011. Depending on Homer Bailey to anchor the rotation in 2018 would be foolish. Desclafani is still a huge question mark. Finnegan has yet to prove he can stay healthy and pitch well enough to stick in a rotation. Adding a young ace-caliber pitcher to stabilize the rotation is virtually a necessity at this point. The worst case scenario in doing so is that the Reds end up with too much starting pitching heading into the 2018 season, which would obviously be a nice problem to have.

  25. Castillo takes another step forward and proves himself as a legitimate ace and top 5 pitcher in all of baseball.

    Homer Bailey regains his 2014 form and gives the Reds 200+ IP and 200+ strikeouts

    Disco has a full healthy year

    Robert Stephenson figures out his control and becomes another one of the most exciting young pitchers in baseball

    Sal Romano is a work horse #5 with 200+ IP of 4.00 ERA baseball

    Scooter Gennett repeats his 2017 but as a super sub

    Jose Peraza hits with more authority and becomes a .300+ hitter again while providing above average defense at SS

    Joey Votto continues his roll that started at the ASB in 2016 and wins the MVP hitting .338/.472/.625

    Nick Senzel is the NL RoY and hits .300+ with 20+ HR, 40+ 2B and good defense at 3B

    Eugenio Suarez moves to 2B and his away stats improve significantly become a great all around player as he enters his prime in his age 26 year (.978 OPS at GABP in 2017, .694 everywhere else)

    Tucker Barnhart starts 130 games at C, continues his gradual offensive improvement and has an .800 OPS (.650 OPS in 2015, .702 OPS in 2016, .750 OPS in 2017), and wins a gold glove at catcher

    Phillip Ervin emerges as the every day CF fulfilling his promise as a 1st rd pick and hits .265/.345/.415 in CF while playing above average defense

    Billy Hamilton becomes the 4th OF used extensively as a pinch runner and late inning replacement and steals more bases than he has official at bats.

    Jesse Winker hits .300+, OPS .400+, and hits 25+ HR while providing solid defense in LF

    Adam Duvall and Scott Schebler platoon in RF and neither one wears down. Duvall repeats his performance against LHP (.279/.352/.571) and Schebler repeats his 2016 performance against RHP (.278/.342/.449)

    Raisel Iglesias has the best season of any closer in MLB

    Michael Lorenzen lowers his walk rate and shows he is a top notch setup man

    Ariel Hernandez finds his control consistently and dominates

    Wandy Peralta dominates lefties all season and doesn’t wear down

    The Reds using an arsenal of arms between the MLB club and AAA have the leagues best bullpen ERA

    That kind of pie in the sky best case scenario would break records. How sweet it is to dream.

    • I liked your dream until you got to the part about Peraza ” above average defense at ss”; Ervin “above average defense(in cf)” ; & Winker “solid defense in LF”. Just too preposterous to contemplate simultaneously.

  26. Pieces to be fixed: SS, SP3, RP2
    Trade Bait: Gennett, Duvall,
    Moves: Winker to full time LF, Senzel to 3B mid-year, Suarez to SS/2B

    If they can shore up those areas and a couple of the young pitchers and 1 young MI mature, this team could win 85+ games. Think Brewers – we have at least that much talent here…

  27. The reds made the playoffs twice during the time that Houston and Chicago were rebuilding, meaning they had like 38 games with weak division opponents. It is no surprise they then exited the playoffs in short order, as they just were not that good.

    I notice that other teams that go into rebuilding mode make it stick, Cubs, Astros, Royals, for instance, each making the most of trades, drafts, a free agent here and there. It appears that the Reds are well on their way to second-wild card contention. They just don’t seem to fire on all cylinders even after all of the trades.

    Other stuff: I would like to see baseball discard the heavy divisional rivalries and adopt a more balanced schedule. I get tired of them playing the Cards, Cubs, Pirates and Brewers so often. I know it is economics, but I would like to see all the other teams on a regular basis.

    Also, I would like to see them chop maybe ten or twelve meaningless September games off the schedule, eliminate the play-in, add one more true wild card, expand all playoff contests to seven games, a true test of a well-balanced team. Heck, knock off 15 meaningless September games and add two more playoff teams. It would keep fan interest alive a bit more. Baseball is now a regional game. I am on basic cable, and so won’t see any playoff games until the World Series, this year Yankees/Dodgers, it appears, meant to tap teh two largest TV markets. And it appears that this year, just like last t\year, the best team in baseball, the Indians, got a memo to stay home.

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