This is the first edition of a new column I’ll be writing this season, where we look at how the Reds are doing in their quest to return to the playoffs and, just as importantly, how all of you feel about how the Reds are doing, as gauged by Twitter polls we’ll be running throughout the season.

I ran the first poll a few days ago. (Follow us on Twitter to participate in the future.) It’s modeled after the right track/wrong direction political polls, and I’ll use it in this column at least monthly.

 

There are a couple of really interesting things about this poll. The first is this: four out of five people who voted think the Reds are on the right track. I never would have guessed that because, frankly, the majority of comments I see from fans, both on blogs and social media are extremely negative.

Which leads us to the second interesting thing. Nearly all of the comments in response to the poll (on Twitter) were the same negative comments we’re used to hearing. Lots of attacks on Reds manager Bryan Price and so on. It seems we’ve got a bit of a vocal minority here in Reds Land — or Redleg Nation, to put it another way — that masks the larger feeling among many of the fans I know personally that the Reds, while probably not ready to contend this year, are on the right track.

So why are (some) fans so overwhelmingly happy with the Reds?

Well, the club just signed Eugenio Suarez to a long term contract. That’s a real investment that the Reds might not make if they thought they were that far away. Further, we’ve finally seen the transition to the next group of core players. Winker is here. So are Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, Sal Romano, and Amir Garrett (probably). As much as I love Bronson Arroyo and appreciate what Tim Adleman did for the club, this year’s rotation is a lot more exciting than last year’s.

Oh, and Nick Senzel will be here soon. Very soon. Joey Votto and Homer Bailey will be the only players over 30 who figure to get significant playing time, which is exactly what you want to see at this point in a rebuild. The team is young and young teams have a way of suddenly improving.

My personal view is that the Reds need to aim for at least a .500 finish this year and, more importantly, need to have a plan ready to fix any holes that they have when the season is over. If that happens, I’ll consider them to have made it through the season on the right track.

There is a lot to be excited about with this team. More than there has been since they were last competitive and I’m excited to watch it play out.

In the comments, I’d like to hear what you think the Reds need to do to get/stay on the right track. And I’d REALLY like to hear from the 80 percent of you who, like me, feel pretty good about where the Reds are right now. What are you excited to see this year? What are you hoping happens as the season progresses?

My hope is to engage with the readership through this column and various poll questions over the course of the season, so let me know what you want to see and I’ll do my best to adapt.

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

Join the conversation! 48 Comments

  1. My biggest concern was the Reds were going to go after “innings eaters” again and that seems to be minimized. I think the offense will be fun to watch and we’ll take some lumps of young pitching but that’s part of the rebuild. The next step, assuming this is rightfully Price’s last year, is who’s next? Will they proceed with a true interview process or just hire from within and keep the old school thinking? I’d love to see a manager who isn’t afraid to make out of the box moves and can put some swagger in these young players.

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  2. Duvall, Schebler and Winker need to start in the outfield, and Billy needs to be used as a late inning baserunning/defensive substitute. If this happens, and the starting pitching takes the next step, then they will push .500. Then, next offseason, they will need to bring in a top of the line starter via free agency, and fill in any holes that opened offensively.

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  3. Great column idea. To stay on track, I think focusing on pitching remains the priority of any good competing ball club. The confluence of Cueto/Bailey/(good)Arroyo/Latos/Leake was such an important cog to their most recent run of success. Good pitching can sustain a team through a lot.

    I really hope that otherwise, they stay focused on developing offense based on guys that get on base. It’s like they saw what happened with Choo at the top of the order and promptly experienced amnesia. I agree with others who have hopes for a manager who is more Joe Maddon, less Marty Brennamen in thinking.

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  4. I think that if you had framed that question slightly differently (“Are you happy with the Reds?”), you would have gotten quite a different result. With surveys, the way a question is framed often drives the outcome.

    For example, I answered that poll and said the Reds were on the right track, but that’s not the same thing as being happy with the team, or having an optimistic outlook for the franchise. If you look at the comments on the recent 2018 predictions post, you’ll see a lot of people predicting 72, 73, 74 wins and Bryan Price’s termination. I was one of them.

    For me, being on the “right track” = no washed-up free agents in the starting rotation, some exciting hitting prospects looking like they’re close to making an impact in the bigs, a little extra support in the bullpen, a relatively team-friendly deal with Suarez, etc. There are some modest improvements and glimmers of hope. At the very least, it stops the franchise’s bleeding. Things at least shouldn’t get WORSE than they’ve been for the last few years.

    But I’m still unhappy with the team, because I think they’re going to lose 90 games this year. While the Reds are “on the right track”, the other teams in the division are on an even BETTER track. The Reds have taken a half-step forward. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have all taken two steps forward (and were already three steps ahead).

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  5. A good deal of our angst seems to be based upon the Reds not adding a good (or better) established player through trade or free-agency. It did make for a boring winter, but may have been a very sensible strategic decision, given how young many of the players are and the talent waiting in the wings and the probability that the Reds are at least a year away from serious contention. Add expensive pieces–as needed–to fill holes when you have a good sense of what you have and are ready to make a run for the championship. So I think the Reds are on the right track. Too many unforseeable things can happen for us to know whether that track leads to the playoffs, but it’s far better to be on the track than off it.

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  6. Angst?? It’s simply due to an unproven rotation and bullpen. If the young starters come through, I’ll be happy. If they prove to be mediocre or worse, well, then the prospect of a Reds championship (or even a competitive future in a competitive division) dims. Here’s rooting for the young arms!

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    • I’ve been reading the comments here at RLN pretty much every day all winter, so, yes, angst. I agree that some of it is due to the unproven pitching staff, but unproven is inevitable at this stage of a youth movement. Anyway, I believe the angst about Price, the front office and BH outweighs the pitching staff angst.

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  7. I’m excited to see how Castillo, Romano, Mahle and Garrett perform. If we can come up with a #2, #3 and #4 starter from these 4 pitchers, we will be competing for the playoffs soon. I believe the starting 8 is going to be playoff caliber for a while and likely to improve a good bit more with Senzel. The Reds can stay on track by upgrading the 8 at CF and SS positions. I hope 1/2 of this happens by adding Senzel as our SS after June 1.

    Can’t wait to see Senzel and Blandino find their places with the Reds and hopefully that is in 18′. I hope it’s Senzel at SS, Blandino at 2B.

    It’s my opinion that we need to trade two fan favorites Scooter and Billy by the trade deadline this season and hopefully we can get an mlb ready bullpen arm for each. They will be owed approximately 13 million next season in their final years of arbitration. I think this will keep us on track toward the playoffs, hopefully we can have an article in 19′ that says like Mr T: “I love it when a plan comes together.”

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    • This is pretty close to my take as well. I am optimistic and do think the Reds are on a good track. Hamilton and Peraza need to improve, fast (I know, unlikely) or be traded. I don’t think Duvall or Gennett are part of the “next great Reds team” but they do have some value and should be moved for prospects. The rest of the offense is solid. And I am excited about the starters, with no need for outside help. There is a strong rotation in the cast of Bailey, DeSclafani, Finnegan, Castillo, Romano, Garrett, Mahle, Reed, Stephenson and Lorenzen. The Reds just need to identify it, and I think they will. 81 wins is achievable in 2018. 91 wins is achievable in 2019. Time to start making those numbers a reality.

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    • With respect: Col. John ‘Hannibal’ Smith said: “I love it when a plan comes together.”

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  8. I have to reserve judgement until I see how certain issue are managed. Does Hamilton get 600+AB and lead off because he creates havoc? Does Winker ride the pine except to give the starting outfielders rest? Is Senzel in the minors until late in the season because they can’t break up the Peraza-Gennett juggernaut? Are any platoons used? Is Suarez asked to bunt a lot to move the runner over for Joey?

    I still think a combination of young pitching and old school management will keep the Reds at a win total in the low 70s. But I’m much more interested watching what the young pitching can do instead of “veteran leadership”. I’m much more interested in seeing what Votto, Suarez, Winker, Senzel can do than hoping Billy can figure out how to hit after 4 seasons. The question is–will I get to?

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  9. Are the Reds on the right track? I guess you could ask are the Marlins on the right track and get the same response.

    Did the Reds do everything (within reasonable expectations) properly to move from 2013 to today? Are the Reds doing everything (within reasonable expectations) properly to move forward from 2017 to competitiveness?

    When the Reds get this and do this…

    http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/22921401/houston-astros-gm-aj-hinch-unusual-career-path

    then they will be on the right track.

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    • Barry Larkin is smart enough and personable enough to be that guy. The question about Larkin – and it’s a huge one – is if he’s open-minded enough to manage using the best information and strategies instead of time-worn baseball cliches that he’s been exposed to throughout his career. It’s really hard for past players, let alone HOF players, to do that. Being open to new ideas is at the top of my list of criteria for the next manager.

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      • Agree 100%. I do not need or even want a link to past glory. I want creative, open minds running the organization, both front office and on the field. Everything I’ve seen regarding Larkin does not include the creative, open-minded aspect. I’m not convinced that DW fills that role either, but there have been glimmers of hope in that regard. Maybe he just doesn’t have the actual power base beneath him to roll with it.

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        • Insularity and nepotism have hindered and side-tracked the so called rebuild. Time as been wasted.

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      • I have heard that Barry Larkin openly refuted using Advance Metrics in analyzing players. So we have that to look forward to.
        I don’t know if Sabremetrics/advanced metrics have all the answers, but I think you can be just mule-stubborn in ignoring them.

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        • Any idea on where you got that information about Larkin “opening refuting using advanced metrics…” That would close the door on my interest in Barry Larkin as the next manager.

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          • Larkin has made multiple statements to that effect, very similar to statements by the prior Bats manager. I wish I had references for you.

            I know I followed a specific conversation on twitter between the prior Bats manager and his hitting coach at the time, prior to their positions with the Bats, and it was a pretty vicious attack on analytics and those who support analytics. The hitting coach involved is still in the Reds minor league system, but I’m terrible with remembering names.

          • I’ve seen several references on this site, but no links to actual quotes. I’m curious how old these comments are. There’s plenty of people that have completely changes their opinion (in the last few years) on the importance of analytics in baseball.

          • My recollection was from around the same time Larkin was managing the Brazilian team. I think that was a couple years ago?

  10. How do you know if you are on the right track if there is only one track? I see a freight train called The Reds 2018 Schedule with several diesel engines running on the same track barreling down on the Reds season.
    I too take exception with the poll question framing. Why would anyone be surprised of the outcome of this poll the way the question was asked? The outcome was pretty much pre-determined. If you want to get closer to what the reality is with the Reds, and Reds fans, giving only two options as answers isn’t going to get that done. If you want to really find the pulse of the fans, at least 4 options for answers should be given. Lesser ambiguity would be nice.
    Have some questions that cut to the quick. Let’s get to the heart of this rebuild.
    How happy are fans with the pace of this rebuild?
    What grade do you give the Reds front office, on an A-F scale?
    What outcome do you see for the 4-man OF rotation? And so on.
    Optimism abounds on Opening Day. But a tough early schedule is going to make that optimism fade as fast as a setting sun. The NL Central is going to be even a tougher division this year. The 3 best teams in the division improved their rosters immensely. The Reds did not, they did virtually nothing to augment a last place team. A tough schedule is a big obstacle to overcome if the team’s roster isn’t built to be ready for it.
    With what Dick Williams did over the off-season, he did not prepare the Reds roster for this tough early schedule. With what the Reds front office did over the off-season, another 90 loss season is on the horizon. Hello another top-5 draft pick for 2019.
    How many fans actually believe the Reds front office is going to trade veterans this year before the trade deadline to create pathways for Winker and Senzel? Neither will be in the Reds Opening Day lineup. The Reds front office will wait too long, over value their own players, and when they finally do trade, they will get pennies on the dollar of trade value. The Reds front office’s status quo will remain the same.
    Away with the softball questions and bring the heat with some hardball questions.
    A ski slope report should follow with these powder puff questions.

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    • Hear! Hear!

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    • This is a great summary. There are 3 teams in the same division that made significant effort to get better, the Reds did nothing.
      Young starting pitching is not a bad idea, it will be up and down and will take time for consistency. Although, the Reds may already be behind the curve in that the good teams are now creating elite bullpens.
      The Reds tend to way overvalue their own players (Duvall, Hamilton, Gennett) and wait too long to replace them.
      The organization just seems to do things the opposite of what the successful power teams are doing, which may be due to a lack of money. That said, it appears that the power teams are doing a significantly better job of developing their own players.

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  11. Probable roster additions for 2018 include: K. Quackenbush (age 29), P. Gosselin (age 29), J Hughes (age 32), D. Hernandez (age 32), & C. Pennington (age 33). Among demoted prospects are: J. Herget (age 24), A. Blandino (age 25), J. Nicolino (age 26), either Z. Weiss or A. Brice (both age 25), & B. Dixon (age 26). I do not believe the first group moves the won/loss record more than a few points, if at all. The 2nd group requires less roster moves than the first group. The illusion that this organization is dedicated to a rebuild is just that- an illusion.Ownership & management demonstrate this by their roster moves every spring over the last 4 (losing) seasons

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    • Great point, the majority of the power teams are going with younger players, those in currently in their organization that they are developing. The Reds decided to add older players that provide little value and demote their younger players. It is not an image of a team attempting to rebuild.

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  12. Are the Reds on the right track? Objectively, no. They have drafted a LOT of pitching in the last 5-6 years, and really, don’t have a whole lot to show for those drafts.
    Castillo came via a trade using a guy picked up in Free Agency. I think that the Marlins were nuts for trading him to the Reds for Strailly, but then, people are sometimes stupid.

    Romano, Mahle, Garrett are solid talents, but who knows if they will pan out? Lorenzen has been misused and is now a mess.
    Cody Reed, Robert Stephenson, etc are just stuck, and it is largely their own fault.

    The Reds do NOT have a great line up. They have one really great player, Joey Votto.
    A few pretty good players in Mesoraco (if healthy), Suarez, Tucker.
    You need a lineup of good OPS players. 6 or 7 guys that are 0.800 OPS or better.
    Gennett and Duvall are good guys and solid players, but are probably as good as they are going to be now. I don’t think they have that much trade value, either.

    Schebler may yet develop into a very good player, but the jury is still out.

    Billy Hamilton as an offensive player is a disaster, and should only be used as a 4th or 5th outfielder.

    I will wager that Winker gets minimal playing time in the next two months, and will have less than 60 AB’s by mid May. I will bet that Phil Ervin may actually have more AB’s and playing time than Winker, because Ervin will likely start in CF against Left handed starting pitching.

    Peraza should be a 2nd baseman, and I don’t think he has the arm to be a very good or even league average Shortstop. And he has not shown he can be a good ML hitter, yet. I hope he proves me wrong.
    The Reds now have two potential “better” 2nd basemen in Senzel and Herrera (if his shoulder ever is strong again).
    They have no top flight SS in the top of their farm system
    They have no top flight CF in the top of their farm system
    We have to wait for Siri, Trammel, Friedl or Aquino to MAYBE develop. Years away.

    The problem with the Reds is primarily Castellini and how he has run the team as an owner; first choosing Jocketty, and then Dick Williams. Jocketty failed in every way to build for the future when he was GM; it was “win now” and then we were out of gas.

    Williams may eventually be viewed as a good GM, but he has a lot to prove.

    I don’t think that overall, with the draft choices over the last few years, that the Reds have drafted particularly well. Hunter Greene may someday be great, but that is still years away.
    Nick Travieso has been a big zero. Lorenzen has been misused and was probably over drafted.

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  13. When the Red’s achieve the “winning” objective outlined in the 2006 Ownership Epistle to us mere mortals I’ll be onboard. I’ve seen to much incompetence from Red’s ownership/FO over the years to think they’re anything but a bunch of squirrels on a hot griddle.

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  14. Reasons I think the Reds organization and the current rebuild is on track and not “going in the wrong direction.”

    1. Castillo is hopefully a #2 starter, he could be a #4 at worst.
    2. Romano is hopefully a #3 starter, he could be a #5 at worst,
    3. Mahle is hopefully a #3 starter, he could be a late inning bullpen guy at worst,
    4. Garrett is a wildcard he may become a solid mlb starter.
    5. We traded Straily for Castillo along with numerous other past trades; Simon for Suarez; Frazier for Schebler, Peraza and Dixon; Leake for Duvall; Latos for Desclafani. These trades make me positive that we can make more trades like these going forward to make us a championship level team.
    6. Romano and Garrett were both late round draft picks and Mahle was a 7th round draft pick. Hopefully this kind of success can continue.
    7. We have the #5 draft pick this summer.
    8. The FO decided not to sign any Starting pitchers, knowing we had plenty of depth in the rotation.
    9. Senzel was sent to AAA and his service clock will hopefully not start till after the super 2.
    10. Jesse Winker has developed into a starting outfielder capable of multiple 3 war season’s.
    11. Hunter Green is valuable, even though it will be a while, wow the potential!
    12. Don’t forget jose lopez, tony santillan, and the possibility of Robert Stephenson and Cody Reed turning things around.
    13. I don’t believe Brian Price will be our manager in 19′: will we get an analytics genius! I’m exaggerating on purpose here, but I’d like to see that.

    I could go on with the positive list and I could also make a list of mistakes, but the good outweighs the negative in a big time way in my opinion.

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  15. Tl/Dr
    The reds are entering year 4 of the rebuild. The cubs took 5-6 years and the Astros took 6-7 years.
    STOP BEING IMPATIENT

    What I’m so happy about with the reds is the fact that they are ignoring the fans that were screaming for them to make a big trade or sign an all star caliber player to a huge contract. They aren’t ready yet. A big free agent wasn’t going to be a game changer and trading away two top 100 prospects for one guy wasn’t going to put us in the playoffs.

    If you look at the cubs and astros, they lost for more seasons than we have already.
    The Astros were rebuilding for 6-7 years with six straight losing years. The cubs did it for 5 years before jumping over 500.
    The reds have really only done it for 3 years. 2014 we weren’t rebuilding some could argue that we should have started rebuilding then but they were still trying to win that year. That team went 76-86 without Votto for 100 games, a hobbled Bruce, and Latos missed half the year. So it’s really only been 3 years of rebuilding.

    The team has made good trades minus the Aroldis Chapman deal, which was a disaster. The Frazier deal was fine and I felt like the Bruce trade could have been better but hindsight is always 20/20. We lost a lot of games so we would have high draft picks, see Nick Senzel, Hunter Greene, Taylor Trammel, Jeter Downs, etc. International signings could have been better but we got 3 Cubans that could be everyday players.

    My biggest fear from the front office is trying to fast track this rebuild. It takes time and wasting money on a 32 year old former all star or trading away our top prospects is not getting us to the World Series any quicker. I know it sucks losing and seeing the cubs win but instead of trying to rush this thing wait it out like the cubs did and we’ll be celebrating a Reds World Series here on redlegnation. Sorry but all of this talk this offseason about wanting the reds to make a splash has been driving me crazy.

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    • I agree. I do think, however that the club can make a big move or 2 this offseason to put us into the 84-90 win range for 19′.

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    • Milwaukee’s rebuild took 2 seasons, maybe even less than 2.

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    • Well stated.

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    • I have the same quibble with this as I had with Lance McAlister a few weeks ago. The Cubs won 85, 97, 83 games from 2007-2009. They had losing seasons in 2010 and 2011, but they weren’t rebuilding in those years. The actual rebuild started in October of 2011 when they signed Theo Epstein. They won 61, 66,and 73 games from 2012-2014. That’s 3 years of losing during their rebuild, followed by a trip to the NLCS, a World Series title, and another trip to the NLCS.

      Similarly, the Astros kind of sort of started their rebuilding in the middle of 2011. Hunter Pence was traded in July of 2011, so if you want to count 2011 as the start of their rebuidl, they had 4 losing seasons before making the playoffs in 2015. They followed 4 losing rebuilding years with 3 winning seasons (for the record, the Reds have not had 3 consecutive winning seasons since ’86-’88).

      The Reds should have started their rebuild in 2014 (I’d argue it really should have started in 2013, but after that season it was obvious they needed to get younger and deeper). They traded Cueto in 2015, so if we apply the same rules to the Reds, we’ll count the 2015 year as year 1 of the rebuild. In that case, unless they win 90+ games this year they’re already behind where the Cubs were. And in danger of falling behind the Astros.

      The Cubs increased their win total by 7 wins in the last year of their rebuild (66 to 73) and by a total of 12 from the nadir of their rebuild (61 to 73) the year before they broke through.

      The Astros increased their win total by 19 wins in the last year of their rebuild (51 to 70).

      In order to have any faith in this rebuild, the Reds need to win at least 75 games this year. Anything less than that and the rebuild will be delayed another year and will no longer really be a rebuild it will simply be 5 straight years of bad baseball.

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      • The Reds may win 75 or 80 games this year, but they are by no means out of the woods in terms of rebuilding. That may be a plateau that they hit and cannot rise about. Joey Votto is not getting younger, by the way.
        We have yet to see ONE very good potential starter emerge. Luis Castillo may be that guy, but that is based on his pitching for part of one season in the ML. He may regress, or he may hit a fairly low plateau. This may be as good as he gets. I hope I am wrong about that, but nothing is given.
        They don’t have the deep pockets of the Cubs to go out and buy several very good free agent pitchers to cap the rotation. The Reds are stuck on the absolute quality of their players. They don’t have a Kris Bryant in the wings, a potential NL MVP quality player. Senzel will be good, but he is not the breakthrough talent that Bryant was/is.

        This could be a great year for the Reds, I think the POTENTIAL is there. But these guys (especially the pitching) has to prove it on the field. Too much unknown about that.

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  16. I play in a lot of cash fantasy baseball leagues on yahoo. Now fantasy sports doesn’t have a lot of relevance to real life winning/losing, but its obviously an indicator of talent and production. Votto was 24th (walks don’t help) and Castillo was 98th. That’s it. Raisel was 110th or something. Pretty sad. Especially when you see our competitors adding real talent!

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    • I sense sarcasm, Indy. If Votto was 24th and Castillo was 98th, it’s a flawed indicator at best.

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      • Actually Votto was 16th but thats it. He doesn’t get steals or enough rbis to be any higher. Hrs and average but everyone hits 30-35 Hrs now. I tried to bid for him in one league that has on base percentage vs batting average but got outbid. I got Suarez dirt cheap though in almost every league and Castillo/Mahle as well

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  17. So far, so good. Undefeated.
    But really, I think the Reds are definitely headed in the right direction. The young talent and depth in our system has me confident that one day we will have the pitching to get it done (even in GABP). Maybe this year. Maybe not. Although I do expect continued progress.

    What I’m eager to see (and a little worried about) is if we can make the pieces work on the other side of the plate. Do Peraza and Hamilton have what it takes? Do Suarez and Barnhart (and maybe even Scooter) have sustainability? Do Winker and Senzel fill the hype (and there’s A LOT of hype there). If the answer is no to any of these questions, then who picks up the slack? Someone else in the organization? Someone(s) picked up with said organizational depth?

    Either way, I think we have the pieces to make this work. Putting then puzzle together should be fun and antagonizing all in one.

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  18. As an organization, the Reds have made some very big strides to get on track.
    They have had some really good drafts and player development is crackling.
    Internationally, they have been active. Hopefully they can get some of these players past AA, including the shortstop position.
    Their minor league infrastructure and changes in nutrition and player support are more modern.
    They have dramatically increased the analytics commitment and contribution within baseball operations.
    The stadium experience is good. FSO coverage is great. Every game is televised.

    The biggest drawback at this point is these modern changes are being blocked at the last step, the 25 man MLB team and its manager and coaching staff. Price, Castellini and both Brennamen’ s are the front porch of the Reds. Throw in Jocketty and it is apparent these like- minded decision makers and opinion makers are still living in the 1970’s and 80’s baseball mold. That makes me think the Reds are not on track.

    That said, 2018 is about starting pitching. If Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle and Sal Romano and Amir Garrett turn into a good rotation, absolutely the Reds are on track.

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  19. Chris sale dominant start wasted as red Sox bullpen implodes and loses to Tampa Bay. Raisel Iglesias as a trade deadline piece could net an elite CF or starting pitcher or SS. Andrew benintendi would look good in CF wearing red.

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    • That ain’t happening….but we could get somebody that could help?

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      • The AL East is ridiculous. Boston can’t afford to spend a gazillion dollars to Chris sale and David Price and blow leads to watch the Yankees win. A Reds outfield of Winker Benintendi and Senzel would be the best young outfield in baseball for 5-7 years.
        Iglesias Hamilton and Trammell would get that done in late July.

        Take that cheap elite outfield with cornerstones at 3b/1b and catcher and positionally the rebuild is close to done. Sort the SP this year and then use FA and trades to finish the pitching staff and the Reds are ready to win in 2019.

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  20. What am I excited about?
    I am excited about Schebler. I think this will be a breakout year.
    Jesse Winker. We have been waiting a long time, and now is the time!
    Mesoraco-will his bat return? Will they trade him? What will we get in return? Going to be fun to find out!
    Garrett, Reed, Romano, Mahle, Castillo, Bailey, Finnegan—A real pitching staff!!!!
    Joey VOTTO! –How can you not be excited about Joey?
    A-you-hen-ee-OO Suarez–Going to keep on getting better!
    Senzel, Blandino and the others coming on quickly.

    What am I hoping to see happen?
    Win a few more than last year.
    Some of the young pitchers finally stepping up and settling in.
    A trade or two to open the way for the young guys.
    Some answers at shortstop.
    Somebody hit for the cycle!
    5 wins in a row, one for each of the starters.
    LOT’s of BASEBALL!

    Jason, I appreciate your attempt to get some positive responses! Ignore the naysayers and word those survey questions however you want!

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About Jason Linden

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

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