Reds Storylines to Watch This Season
Opening Day is just around the corner, and in spite of a frustrating offseason, I’m genuinely excited to watch this season of Reds baseball. In the immortal words of Michael Scott, “I’m ready to get hurt again.” As the Queen City braces for what will likely be another losing season, it’s important to remember that there are several interesting storylines to follow that can paint a picture of where the team will be heading in the future.
Let’s dive in.
Personally, this is what I’m most excited for this year. Reds fans will have the treat of getting to see not one, but two stud pitching prospects take the mind this year in Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo. Greene has already been confirmed to be in the rotation, and Lodolo will likely take the rubber a little over a week into the season.
Both of these guys have tons of talent and high upsides. Greene has a devastating fastball that regularly reaches triple digits, as well as a plus slider. The young rookie is continuing to refine secondary pitches, but his talent ceiling is incredibly high. Lodolo, having been drafted out of college, comes with a bit more polish. He lacks the velocity of Greene, but he works with sharp precision and has managed to get hitters out at every level of his career.
These two are going to have ups and downs as they adjust to MLB hitters, but it’s exciting to know that such highly touted prospects will finally be taking the mound in Cincinnati.
Joey Votto Still Bangs
Never bet against Joey Votto.
After many, including yours truly, had given up on the aging Votto, the star first baseman reinvented his approach at the plate and had an incredible comeback year in 2021. Tapping into his hitting power, at the expense of more strikeouts, worked for Votto, resulting in a productive slash line of .266/.375/.563 with 36 home runs. If Votto hits 64 more home runs, he’ll become the all time Reds home run leader.
It’ll be exciting to see if he’ll continue to tap into his power and get even closer to that goal this year.
Never bet against Votto.
This one’s a bit more depressing. As mentioned above, this offseason has been frustrating. The Reds, in attempt to “align payroll to resources” have made the team decidedly worse this year. It’s highly likely that the Reds will be sellers at the trade deadline.
So, who’s the next Redleg to be shipped out of Cincinnati?
Honestly, anyone is going to be fair game. Starting pitching tends to be the most in demand commodity around the deadline, so we can expect to see plenty of rumors surrounding Tyler Mahle and Luis Castillo. It’s also probable that we’ll see several relievers get shipped out to contending teams. Tommy Pham would also be an interesting candidate for a trade. He’s a talented player, and if he can have a bounce back year, teams will likely as about him.
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