Cincinnati Reds Roster In 2013: State Of The Union
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Friday, January.04, 2013
Matt Steinmann (Reds Correspondent): Follow @thesteinmann
97 wins. NL Central Championship. Knocked out of the playoffs by the eventual World Series Champion, San Francisco Giants in the NLDS. That’s the story of the 2012 Cincinnati Reds. Everything that was going so great in the summer of 2012 ended abruptly, leaving many people scratching their heads wondering what went wrong? How did this team, who went 2-0 in San Francisco in the NLDS, come home and lose 3 straight at Great American Ballpark? Having nobody on base when Joey Votto came to the plate didn’t help, but that was only part of the story. Lack of clutch hitting was another problem. You could point fingers at skipper Dusty Baker as well, who did not manage with the sense of urgency that San Francisco’s skipper Bruce Bochy did. Either way, it was a team effort to get where they got, and a team effort on why they didn’t get to where they wanted to be.
Cincinnati Reds: Fan-Made 2012 NL Central Champions Video:
It’s been a long time since the Reds have had a true leadoff hitter. Going into 2013, it looks like that has finally changed with the trade for Shin-Soo Choo from Cleveland, for Drew Stubbs. Choo’s career .381 OBP will serve well as the table setter for Brandon Phillps and Joey Votto. In 2012, he also drove in 67 runners, hit 16 Home Runs, and batted .283. Although his defensive skills have been brought into question, the offensive numbers can make up for it. Minor League speedster, and leadoff hitter of the future, Billy Hamilton isn’t projected to make the Reds 25 man roster, until 2014, and I don’t think that will change even if he has an unforgettable Spring Training; there’s no reason to rush him to big leagues.
Ryan Ludwick returns after putting up a .275 BA, 26 Home Runs, and 80 RBI in 2012, along with a .346 OBP. With Todd Frazier set to be the opening day starter at Third Base, and the Reds picking up utility man, Jack Hannahan for depth, the odd man out would be Scott Rolen. If he decides not to retire, and is willing to return to the Reds as a part-time player, I see no reason they wouldn’t welcome him back.
The pitching rotation is set with Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Bronson Arroyo, and Homer Bailey returning, and the addition of Aroldis Chapman from the closer’s role. If that doesn’t work out, and Chapman is put back in the bullpen, Mike Leake could slide into the 5th starter slot, unless someone emerges in Spring Training. The biggest question is depth. None of the Reds starters last season missed a start, which certainly covered up the lack of starting depth. In all likelihood, that won’t happen again in 2013. The closers role will be taken over by re-signed Jonathan Broxton, however they still have quality bullpen arms as Sean Marshall was on of the better late inning guys last year
The best thing that happened during the offseason, was signing Brandon Phillips to an extension with the club that runs through 2017. ‘Dat Dude BP’ is showing the same kind of defensive and offensive steadiness as legendary Red Barry Larkin did in his day. He has great defense and hits for a high Batting Average, with 20 HR and 80 RBI power, while scoring about 90 Runs and stealing about 20 bags.
2013 looks to be another good year in the Queen City. The Reds have a good, young core of talent that has one more year of experience under their belts, and quality veterans to help lead the way. Not only will they be the favorites to repeat as NL Central Champions, they will also be looked at as a favorite to win the NL Pennant.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***
A big thank-you goes out to Matt Steinmann for preparing today’s featured article. Matt was born and raised in Cincinnati, and has been a Reds fan his entire life, along with the Bengals and the UC Bearcats. His first baseball memory was watching Pete Rose hit #4192 with his Dad and grandparents when he was 5 years old. He didn’t quite understand exactly the significance of it at the time, but it’s always stuck with him, and his love and wanting to learn about the game grew from there. Matt considers himself lucky that I was able to watch Barry Larkin play his entire Hall of Fame career in Cincinnati, so he goes down as his favorite player. Matt currently works for 700WLW radio, the Cincinnati Reds flagship station, as the producer for the early morning show. Feel free to follow Matt on Twitter and talk the game of baseball Follow @thesteinmann
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Posted on January 4, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @steinmann on twitter, aroldis chapman, barry larkin, BIlly Hamilton, brandon phillips, Bronson Arroyo, bruche bochy, cincinnati reds, drew stubbs, dusty baker, homer bailey, jack hannahan, jay bruce, joey votto, johnny cueto, jonathan broxton, mat latos, matt steinmann, Mike Leake, NL Central, ryan ludwick, Sean Marshall, shin-soo choo. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.