Matt’s Take – Cincinnati Reds’ baseball is back


Beginning this weekend, we won’t go another Friday, Saturday, or Sunday without Reds baseball until October (and hopefully well into October). There is a lot of competition to look forward to over the next 38 days and I cannot wait to watch the players battle for a spot on this Reds roster come March 28. Hearing many from the coaching staff say there are no “foregone conclusions” with this team is exciting, as this team has enough depth to where the best players at the current time will take the field. We don’t have to worry about Jason Vosler, Nick Senzel, Curt Casali, Wil Myers, TJ Hopkins, or Matt Reynolds taking at-bats in 2024. If you’re looking to tune into some Spring Training games, there are certainly ways to tune into the action over the next couple weeks. Saturday and Monday will both be available via Bally Sports Ohio. The 27th will be aired on MLBtv and the 29th will available on MLB Network.

Time to Prove FanGraphs Wrong

As I was scrolling through Twitter last week, the MLB page shared the FanGraphs projection for Elly De La Cruz. They project that Elly will have 21 homeruns, 30 stolen bases, 5 triples, .311 OBP, and OPS of .752. Talk about low, huh? In just 98 games last season as a rookie, he had 13 home runs, 35 stolen bases, 7 triples, .300 OBP, and .710 OPS. If he stays healthy, I think he will have over 30 stolen bases before the All-Star break. Maybe I am too optimistic, but 5 triples projected, when he had 7 last season in a limited amount of games? Prove them wrong, 44!

David Bell – Hands Full

With this much depth throughout this entire Reds roster, David Bell will have his hands full with managing this club. A lot of people like to complain about Bell, but he has winning records in 3 of his 5 seasons as the manager in Cincinnati. He is described by many as a “players-coach” and with depth like we have this season, he will have plenty of opportunities to make changes throughout a game as needed. Of course, I don’t always agree with the changes he makes throughout a game. It would be quite odd if someone honestly always did. However, there is no denying that he keeps the interests of his players in mind. Another crazy stat that I came across over the week was regarding David Bell and his ejections. He has 27 ejections in 708 career games managed. He averages 6.18 ejections per season, which ranks him as number one across all managers in baseball with a minimum of 162 games managed. With a loaded roster in 2024 though, let’s hope there is less frustration coming from our dugout, as this team is expected by many to make a run at the Central title!

Minor League Options

As we go through Spring Training and eventually get to a point where the organization has to decide on a 40-man roster come the end of Spring Training, we have to keep in mind the players on the roster that are out of minor league options. Per Charlie Goldsmith, this includes Barrero, Candelario, Fairchild, Farmer, Maile, Gibaut, Sims, Montas, Martinez, and Maile. This means that if any of these players would not make the 40-man roster, they could be claimed by another team. Barrero certainly sticks out to me in this group, as I think this is his last Spring Training to prove he has what it takes to be a big league player. Unless he shines at around the .300 average mark, I think his time as a Red might certainly be coming to a close.

This column appears in several newspapers in southwest Ohio.

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