Cincinnati Reds: Will Their 2023 Be Any Better Than 2022?

Cincinnati Reds: Will Their 2023 Be Any Better Than 2022?

Tyler Vaysman
2 months ago
4 min read
Wil Myers admires crowd after coming out of game in eighth inning

Last season was a really rough year for the Cincinnati Reds. In the midst of another rebuild, they finished 62-100, tied for dead last in the NL Central with the Pirates and 31 games behind the division-winning Cardinals.

As we look forward to 2023, the question to examine is whether or not the Reds will be any better next season than they were in 2022. With a young roster and not much offseason activity, the answer might be a bit unclear.

Recapping 2022

At 62-100, the Reds tied for the second-worst record in the National League and third-worst in all of baseball. Despite their poor record, the new MLB draft lottery was not kind to them as they will pick seventh in the upcoming draft.

On offense, they ranked 23rd in the majors last season, averaging four runs per game. They also ranked 21st in batting average (.235), 26th in slugging percentage (.372), and 24th in on-base percentage (.304).

Defensively, they ranked 27th in the majors in runs allowed at 5.03 per game. Their defense also ranked 28th in earned run average (4.86), 26th in WHIP (1.39), 11th in K/9 (8.94), and 25th in run differential (-167).

With so many struggles both offensively and defensively, it is hard to imagine the Reds doing much worse next year.

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Offseason Moves

As we approach the end of the calendar, the Reds’ front office hasn’t been too active in offseason moves thus far. In fact, their only free agent acquisition was for a backup catcher as they signed Luke Maile to a one-year deal worth just over a million dollars.

On the trade market, they acquired Kevin Newman from the Pittsburgh Pirates, who will likely take the bulk of the early work at shortstop next season until some of their highly touted prospects are ready. In 288 at bats last year, he hit .274 with two home runs, 24 runs batted in, 31 runs scored, and eight stolen bases.

Elsewhere, the Reds traded away Kyle Farmer to the Twins for pitching prospect Casey Legumina. They also acquired utilityman Nick Solak from the Texas Rangers for cash considerations.

The Reds also most recently signed Wil Myers to a one year contract, hoping they can get some sort of spark from the former Padre. 

Last year, Myers hit .261 with seven home runs and 41 RBI's in just 77 games played. 

How Do They Get Better In 2023?

The best way that the Reds will see improvement for next season is a mixture of improved play from some of their youngsters and bounceback seasons from some of their veterans.

The two most exciting youngsters to watch in 2023 will be Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo. Last season, the hard-throwing Greene went 5-13 with a 4.44 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and he struck out 164 in 125.2 innings. As for Lodolo, he went 4-7 with a 3.66 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 127 strikeouts in 112 innings of work.

If these two can continue to improve, it could give the Reds a solid 1-2 punch at the top of rotation for years to come.

In terms of the veterans, the one that the Reds would most like to see a bounceback year from is first baseman Joey Votto. The 39-year-old veteran enters the last year of a 10-year extension he signed in 2012. Last year, he hit just .205/.319/.370 with 11 home runs, 41 runs batted in, and 31 runs in 322 at bats.

Given that he hit 36 home runs as recently as 2021, the Reds would love to see the Votto of old return. While he is no longer the perennial MVP candidate he once was, the Reds would still like to see him provide a bit more production.

The other major candidate for a bounceback campaign is second baseman Jonathan India. After winning the Rookie of the Year award in 2021, India managed just 386 at bats last season. In that span, he hit .249/.327/.378 with 10 home runs and 41 runs batted in.

Expectations For 2023

It will undoubtedly be another rough year in Cincinnati in 2023, but there should be more excitement for what could be coming on the horizon. Expect some of the veterans to bounce back and some of the young players to take steps forward.

Furthermore, there is a good chance that some of their top prospects get plenty of time with the big club in 2023, particularly in the field. Keep your eyes on names like Elly De La Cruz, Noelvi Marte, Brandon Williamson, Spencer Steer, and Matt McLain, all of whom could get looks next season. 

The offseason isn’t done, so don’t be surprised if the Reds still pick up a player or two with the mindset of potentially flipping them at the deadline, but they also won’t break the bank for any free agent.

Overall, the Reds still won’t compete for a division title in 2023, but expect to see some growth from last season, which might translate to them avoiding another 100-loss season.

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