Top Reds News
Reds' Matt Kemp: First base unlikely
Kemp is unlikely to be part of the Reds' first base picture, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports. "We hope Joey (Votto) plays every day for the most part, but I think there's going to be some thought to making sure he's strong all the way through," manager David Bell said. "Matt Kemp has never played there. I know we talk about moving positions a lot and try to talk about how possible it is because I believe that, but that's a tough thing. At this point in his career, to have never played the position, that would be a big ask."
Obviously Joey Votto is the every day starter at first base, but in the event that Votto is injured or needs a day off, it's unlikely that the Reds turn to Kemp. Kemp is going to have a difficult time playing regularly absent an injury, especially if Nick Senzel starts up with the big club on Opening Day.... See More ... See Less
Reds' Joey Votto: Swing adjustments
Votto spent the offseason analyzing his swing to find out why his power dropped off, and believes that the issue was mechanical and not a matter of physical strength, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports. "I thought there was something in my swing, the angle as it came through the zone," Votto said. "A lot of my hard-hit balls were poorly directed. I think it was very much a mechanics thing and not a physical thing."
Votto has a reputation for having a sterling work ethic and an ability to diagnose his swing issues. He's gotten off to slow starts in recent years and is redoubling his efforts to overcome that shortcoming. With an NFBC ADP of 73, he's as affordable as ever this season.... See More ... See Less
Reds' Jesse Winker: Heavy playing time expected
Reds manager David Bell said Monday that he expects Winker to get 500-plus at-bats, the John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports. "Not so much does he need it. . ." Bell said. "He does need to continue to develop, but we want him to contribute at that level and as an everyday player. Again, it's challenging having a lot of guys that can contribute, but I'm confident that it will work out. I really am. He's going to be a big part of what we're doing."
The Reds have a crowded outfield, but they are committed to playing Winker regularly. And why wouldn't they, after seeing him post a .299/.405/.431 line last year? The primary obstacle for him is health, not competition.... See More ... See Less
Reds' Nick Senzel: Favorite to win CF job
Reds manager David Bell suggested that Senzel is "the favorite" to win the starting center field job, John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
Bell also suggested that Jesse Winker is expected to get 500 at-bats, meaning that both Scott Schebler and Matt Kemp would thus lose playing time. Earlier, Reds President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com that they would "... put the best team out there ..." for Opening Day when asked about Senzel's likely Opening Day status. Neither quote affirmatively says that Senzel will be with the team on Opening Day, but at least with their comments, the Reds are addressing Senzel differently than the Jays are with Vladimir Guerrero Jr.... See More ... See Less
Reds' Derek Dietrich: Signs with Cincinnati
Dietrich signed a minor-league contract with the Reds on Monday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
The deal includes an invitation to major-league spring training and will pay Dietrich $2 million should he earn a big-league roster spot. His bat is at least worthy of a bench role, as he hit .265/.330/.421 last year, good for a 109 wRC+, a number which exactly matches his career mark. He's limited to the corners defensively, where his bat is less interesting, but he'll have a good shot to earn at least a handful of starts.... See More ... See Less
Reds' Raisel Iglesias: Looking at expanded role
New manager David Bell said Friday that Iglesias won't be used strictly in the traditional closer role, John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports. "He'll be used in the most important spots in the game," Bell said. "We don't want to limit him."
It sounds like the Reds will be among the increasing number of teams implementing non-traditional roles in the bullpen. Iglesias, who signed a three-year extension with Cincinnati in November, is said to be "fine" with the decision. It's hard to envision his role actually changing all that much, but if he's used a bit more in the seventh and eighth, Iglesias could lose out on a handful of saves to the likes of Jared Hughes, David Hernandez and/or Amir Garrett. The bigger concern with Iglesias is the dip in velocity we saw last season, which led to a drop in strikeouts and a big uptick in hard-hit balls and home runs.... See More ... See Less
Reds' Nick Senzel: Reds non-commital about Opening Day
When asked about whether Senzel would start the year with the big club or in the minors (for arbitration purposes), Reds President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams said "I anticipate putting the best team out there that we can [for Opening Day]," Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports.
The quote probably means less than you might think -- of course no general manager is going to admit to keeping a player down to preserve his arbitration clock, even if that's precisely what they're doing. Given that Senzel is learning a new position and didn't spend much time playing this offseason, the Reds already have a perfect reason to send him down to begin the year. But if he bangs down the door in spring training, then maybe they'll still keep him up.... See More ... See Less
Reds' Matt Bowman: Dealing with lat strain
Bowman's injury has been disclosed as a lat strain, John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
Bowman's chances of making the Opening Day roster could be diminished by his late start to the spring. He's facing a little bit of an uphill battle anyhow.... See More ... See Less
Reds' Robert Stephenson: Right shoulder inflammation
Stephenson is dealing with right shoulder inflammation, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports.
Stephenson really struggled with shoulder tendinitis down the stretch last season, so it's concerning that he's already dealing with it again this spring. Making matters tougher is that he's out of options this spring.... See More ... See Less
Reds' Curt Casali: Offseason hip surgery
Casali had hip surgery over the offseason, but he's expected to be ready for Opening Day, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
Casali was an ideal backup for the Reds last season, hitting .293/.355/450 in 156 plate appearances. But barring an injury to starter Tucker Barnhart, he's unlikely to get more playing time this year, and of course there's plenty of danger in relying on his small sample size from last year as a candidate to repeat.... See More ... See Less
Reds' Matt Bowman: Might be held back
Bowman has an undisclosed injury that could keep him out for a couple of days, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports.
Bowman ended the 2018 season early with a finger circulation issue that required surgery in September. That might have prompted the Cardinals to make him available when the Reds claimed him in November, and that might be related to his delayed start this spring.... See More ... See Less
Reds' Alex Blandino: Now fielding groundballs
Blandino (knee) has been hitting and taking groundballs at the Reds' spring training facility, and expects to be ready by Opening Day, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports.
Blandino had surgery to reconstruct both a torn ACL and MCL, and he might not be ready for the start of full-squad workouts next week. When he is ready, he's far from guaranteed a roster spot.... See More ... See Less
Reds' Alex Wood: Wins arbitration case
Wood will make $9.65 million in 2019 after winning his arbitration case against the Reds on Wednesday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
The left-hander split time between the rotation and the bullpen with Los Angeles in 2018, ultimately producing a 3.68 ERA and a 135:40 K:BB in 151.2 frames. As a result, Wood will make more than the $8.7 million the Reds offered him in arbitration. Now that the contract figures are cleared up, Wood can focus on his role as one of the top starters in the revamped Cincinnati rotation.... See More ... See Less
Reds' Connor Joe: Vying for reserve catcher spot
Joe will focus on catching during spring training, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
The Rule 5 pick has experience at first base, second base, third base and outfield from his time in the minors. However, as was initially speculated, the biggest draw for Cincinnati was his recent work at catcher. Joe will look to crack the Opening Day roster as a third catcher for the Reds, and his additional defensive versatility won't hurt his case. He'll need to impress with the bat against major-league pitching, however. Joe has just 188 plate appearances above Double-A to his name.... See More ... See Less
Reds' Michael Lorenzen: Won't play OF until late spring
Lorenzen may see playing time in the outfield toward the end of spring training, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
Manager David Bell is open to the possibility of using Lorenzen as a two-way player, but the focus will be on pitching at first. Once Lorenzen has completed a normal spring training progression on the mound, then he might get some reps in the outfield and at the plate. There's certainly some intrigue on both sides of the ball here, as the right-hander produced a 3.11 ERA in 81 innings last season and holds a .250/.276/.500 slash line with six homers in 92 MLB plate appearances.... See More ... See Less
Reds' Sal Romano: Not expected to win starting spot
Romano is not expected to open the season in the Reds' starting rotation, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports.
Manager David Bell failed to mention Romano when running through the team's projected Opening Day rotation, though he did say the right-hander will remain an option to start and/or fill a long-relief role. It's worth noting that Romano fared better as a reliever in 2018, posting a 3.77 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 14.1 innings of relief compared to a 5.48 ERA and 1.45 WHIP across 25 starts (131.1 innings).... See More ... See Less
Reds' Cody Reed: Unlikely to win rotation spot
Reed is not expected to open the season in the Reds' starting rotation, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports.
Manager David Bell all but confirmed the team's Opening Day rotation, and Reed was left off that list. The southpaw spent time as a starter and reliever last season, notching a 4.60 ERA and 1.50 WHIP across seven starts (31.1 innings) and a 2.31 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 10 relief appearances (11.2 innings). Reed is a candidate to fill a long-relief role in 2019.... See More ... See Less
Reds' Robert Stephenson: Currently outside of rotation
Stephenson is not expected to open the season in Cincinnati's starting rotation, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports.
Manager David Bell suggested the team's Opening Day rotation will be comprised of Luis Castillo, Alex Wood, Sonny Gray, Tanner Roark and Anthony DeSclafani, leaving Stephenson to fill a long-relief/swingman role for the big club if he wants to open the season in the majors. The soon-to-be 26-year-old posted a 2.87 ERA and 10.8 K/9 across 20 starts with Triple-A Louisville in 2018, but he struggled across four appearances (three starts) for the big club, posting a 9.26 ERA, 2.49 WHIP and 11:12 K:BB in 11.2 innings.... See More ... See Less
Reds' Tyler Mahle: Unlikely to open season in rotation
Mahle was not named among the Reds' projected starters to begin the 2019 campaign, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports.
Manager David Bell all but confirmed the Reds' starting rotation will consist of Luis Castillo, Alex Wood, Sonny Gray, Tanner Roark and Anthony DeSclafani, leaving Mahle on the outside looking in. It's unclear if the young right-hander will remain stretched out as a starter in the minors or transition to a long-relief/swingman role with the big club. Mahle posted a 4.98 ERA and 1.59 WHIP across 23 starts (112 innings) for the Reds in 2018.... See More ... See Less