2013: 90-72, 3rd in NL Central; lost in Wild Card Playoff to Pittsburgh
After three playoff appearances in four years yet no series wins (not to mention blowing a 2-0 series lead to San Francisco in the 2012 NLDS), manager Dusty Baker was the fallguy for an organization that may have maxed out on its ability to acquire significant talent. Indeed the Reds have the roster to make a serious run at the NL pennant, but Cincinnati's small-market attendance and TV deal makes it hard for the team to just add on last-minute free agents to push the team upward in the standings. The lineup depends on Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and Brandon Phillips. Phillips is quite consistent but Bruce got off to a rough start to 2014 and Votto still hasn't solved a confounding power loss that actually sees him drawing more walks than RBIs. He's probably got the strongest understanding of the strike zone of anyone not named Joe Mauer, but perhaps he should be batting higher in the lineup if he can't hit bombs anymore.
Ace Johnny Cueto often puts the team on his back. Games are instantly more compelling with him on the mound. Mike Leake, Alfredo Simon, Homer Bailey, and Tony Cingrani round out a young, somewhat unproven rotation. Simon is the lone veteran. The other three have all shown flashes of being great but Bailey especially got off to a rough start in 2014, interestingly around the time he signed an eye-opening contract extension. The bullpen has been a major issue; new manager Bryan Price, the former pitching coach, hasn't been sure who he can count on outside of his closer Jonathan Broxton and Sam LeCure. The bullpen has issues to work out, but seeing as the NL Central isn't as competitive as it was last season, the Reds have plenty of time to figure it out. The Reds play in modern Great American Ball Park on the river; the park is still a home run launching pad, making an exciting fan experience. This summer is a great time to see a talented Reds team in Cincy. Gold Coast Tickets has the hookup for the best seats at Reds games--give us a call today!