Isn’t it funny how quickly things can change? In the sports world, we fans have a tendency to put each game and each decision under a microscope. A bad month means the Reds are failing in their attempt to rebuild. Another loss and another weird decision lead us to question the organization and their leadership.
I wrote this piece about a month ago questioning the Reds and the rebuild:
Although we still may question some of the decisions made since the beginning of the season, you have to admit that the month of June was really fun. It was basically a complete 180 from what happened in April and part of May. The Reds offense played to their potential, the pitching improved, and dare I say it…there was progress seen in the rebuild.
It seems like a lot of the decisions that we questioned earlier in the year are working themselves out. Amir Garrett has found a home in the bullpen and may fulfill the Reds’ grand plan of moving him to closer if/when Raisel Iglesias is traded. Matt Harvey has been pitching lights out over his last few starts and has increased his trade value. Jesse Winker is playing (and playing well) every day. It’s becoming clear who should get the majority of playing time in the outfield. To put it simply – other than some kook on Twitter suggesting that the Reds bring back Jim Riggleman next year – there hasn’t really been a whole lot to complain about over the past month and a half.
Most important, though, is that for the first time since the rebuild started there have been real signs that things are progressing and that the pieces are being put into place. Sure, the winning helps, but this team wouldn’t be winning without some kind of improvement from their core group of players. You can finally visualize what the roster of the next winning Reds team could look like…and I don’t think you could have realistically done that until now. We are discovering that guys like Eugenio Suarez, Scott Schebler, Tucker Barnhart, and Scooter Gennett are good players and guys you can build around. We are finding out that Anthony Desclafani, Tyler Mahle, Luis Castillo, and (maybe) Sal Romano are all in some way or another parts of a decent starting rotation.
In no way is the rebuild over. The Reds still need pieces. They need to continue to look at ways to improve their front line starting rotation and outfield. They need to figure out what they are going to do with Nick Senzel and Scooter Gennett (which will dramatically improve the team, in my opinion), and they need to decide if Jose Peraza is the answer at shortstop. But this is the first time since the rebuild that I’ve actually been excited about the rebuild. It’s exciting to think what this team could look like in 2019 with a trade and a couple free agent signings. It’s the first time since the rebuild that I’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel.
Maybe I’m overreacting like I did a month ago, but the results of the past month seem sustainable. All of this happened in a little over a month, just think of what the next 30 days could have in store for us…
Jeff is Cincinnati born, Ohio University educated. Reds baseball has been a central theme of his family ever since his mom and dad helped him skip school to attend Opening Day. Jeff has been accused of having a “man crush” on Joey Votto and longs for the day that he gets to witness the Reds finally win a playoff series. You can follow him on Twitter @Gaaangs