By Julia Lankisch, staff writer
Some of the Reds’ management decisions over the past few weeks have caused a stir among fans.
They have chosen not to re-sign third baseman Nick Castellanos, and they lost veteran Redleg Michael Lorenzen to the Angels. They have parted ways with pitchers Sonny Gray, Mychal Givens and Wade Miley, while also trading away outfielder Jesse Winker and infielder Eugenio Suarez.
Cincinnati has seemingly been attempting to lower its payroll, as some of their more expensive players have been taking up resources that could be better distributed to cover a couple of younger prospective stars.
This leaves those players who do cost a lot of money with a charge to step it up for the next season. They will be surrounded by new team members to teach and motivate for a franchise that hasn’t seen success in many, many years.
Joey Votto, in particular, will be an essential part of the Reds’ rebuilding this season. He had a fantastic year in 2021, and a continuation of his comeback could make or break the morale of Cincinnati’s new guys. He and Mike Moustakas are responsible for carrying the torch and handing it off to the next generation of players.
Meanwhile, some of the young talent entering and staying on the Reds’ roster could be big contributors to any chance to make waves in the National League. Jonathan India and Tyler Stephenson have reportedly been practicing well and are ready to step up as leaders and starters on the team. Additionally, young pitchers Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo are likely going to step up from the minor leagues to play in the big leagues this year.
Another big question as the regular season approaches is the health of Nick Senzel and Moustakas. Their injuries could make or break the team’s success at the beginning of the year, and the Reds are notorious for losing momentum quickly if they don’t do well off the bat.
Likely, if Senzel has to sit, Aristides Aquino will make it onto the roster for the first couple of weeks, and he tends to be a strikeout magnet.
Honestly, although the Reds’ bullpen looks better than it has over the past few years, I can’t say I expect much more out of them than we’ve seen the last few seasons. Reds fans know by this point that the team’s budget is low and the confidence some of our players inspire is even lower.
Ken Griffey Jr. is still in the top five highest paid players on payroll, if that tells you anything about the current state of affairs at Great American Ballpark.
All in all, despite another less-than-encouraging “rebuilding” year, there are some promising names that have the opportunity to bring the Reds up to par with the rest of Cincinnati’s sports victories this year.