As we begin the second week of the season, there is a lot that the Cincinnati Reds are doing well. Surprisingly, Cincinnati is on top of the NL Central and beat the Baltimore Orioles yesterday. But they have done some things that need fixed as well. Today we will discuss the positives and negatives to take from the first two weeks of the Reds’ season.
Fresh off the “Bullpen of the Week” award, The four headed monster of Michael Lorenzen, Raisel Iglesias, and Drew Storen look primed to make Cincy competitive for the 2017 season. Reds’ coach Bryan Price came into this year with the idea that they would not have an everyday closer, but rather an “anyone can be the closer” mentality. It seems unorthodox and unusual, but so far it has been working for the Reds. Cody Reed especially has performed well. A starter by trait, he became a long relief pitcher this year, and it has made him into the dominant pitcher the Reds hoped they got when they traded Johnny Cueto. As the season progresses, it will be interesting to see if the bullpen can continue the success they have had early.
In his second full year as a third baseman, Eugenio Suarez looks like a completely different player. To put it in best of terms, Suarez was not a third baseman last year but rather a hitter. He led the MLB last year in errors with 23, and many wondered why Price let him continue to play there. But 2017 has begun, and he has looked much more comfortable at the hot corner. He has made plays this year that he would not be able to make, even in his dreams. Then there’s his bat… which is been the best on the team up to this point. He leads the team in doubles, home runs, and RBI. He looks very relaxed at the plate, and he will look to continue to help the team as the season progresses.
The Starting Rotation
For as good as their bullpen has been, the Reds’ rotation has been a liability. Outside of Amir Garrett, Cincinnati hasn’t had very many quality starts to date. Brandon Finnegan had an excellent first start, but after that, has hit a rough patch. Now he is injured and will not pitch until May. Bryan Price has to decide between Cody Reed and Robert Stephenson as to who will take his spot. Bronson Arroyo had a nice comeback yesterday against Baltimore by going five innings and only giving up three runs. It was nice to see a fan favorite do this against a line-up like the Orioles. As the season grows older, Cincinnati will need to have more innings out of their rotation if they want to remain relevant in the league.
As already stated with Finnegan, Cincinnati has already had its fair share of injuries to some key players. Most notably Anthony DeSclafani, Homer Bailey, and Devin Mesoraco. Those are three players that could seriously put the Reds over the top in the NL Central. Once they get back, that adds both a number one and two starter to their weak rotation. Once they return, their one weakness could disappear. Former All-Star catcher Devin Mesoraco could add another powerful bat to an already formidable line-up once he comes back. Unfortunately, he has not played a full season since being an All-Star in 2014, and only played 38 games in the last two years. If and when these three get back, it will add a much needed boost to a young team that could maybe push them over the top.
Overall, Cincinnati has exceeded expectations and looked really good Tuesday night against the Orioles. It is very early however, and it’ll be interesting to see how long the Reds can continue their early success. So far, so good in 2017 and it will be interesting to see how long they can keep it going.
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