30 Teams in 30 Days - Reds

The Reds are rebuilding. Expect the team to go through 90 losses. Also expect many of the players on the current roster to not reside on the roster once the season starts. The package they received for Aroldis Chapman from the Yankees was weak. It gave the impression the Reds were desperate to get rid of him. The Red Sox paid a pretty penny for Craig Kimbrel by comparison. Aroldis could be facing a significant suspension time to begin the 2016 season after a domestic dispute..

Strengths - How long they remain strengths is not known. Joey Votto may not have signed his long term contract if he could look in a crystal ball and see where the Reds were heading in 2016. The Reds may not have signed him if they could see where this franchise was heading in 2016. Votto takes a lot of walks, hits his share of homeruns and plays a solid defense at first base. He fell short of 100 RBIs this year, but that is a result of the lineup built around him. Brandon Phillips was supposed to go to the Nationals, but he got greedy and wanted more years to his contract. So now he must stay with the Reds instead of fighting for a playoff opportunity. His bat is solid, but even if he is traded the Reds can turn over the job to either Jose Pereza or Eugenio Suarez. Jose has no power but the potential to steal 50 plus bases if his hit tool translates well to the major leagues. Eugenio took over short for the Reds in 2015 after Cozart was injured for most of the year and, with Eugenio slugging 13 homeruns. It will be interesting if Votto or Phillips survive the full year in 2016.

Weaknesses - The bullpen was blown up after the trade of Chapman. This gives the team J.J. Hoover and Jumbo Diaz as their only experienced closers. This duo collected one save each for the 2015 season. There are no experienced alternatives. Raisel Iglesias was a closer in Cuba but the Reds spent all of last year extending his arm to put him in the rotation. The rotation will have a lot of inexperience. Last year this team trotted out five starting pitchers who were rookies. These rookies Raisel Iglesias, Anthony DeSciafani, Michael Lorenzon and two pitchers acquired from the Royals in the Johnny Cueto trade, John Lamb and Brendan Finnegan will compete for four spots in the rotation. Homer Bailey, who only started two games last year after Tommy John surgery ended his 2015 season, hopes to head the rotation starting opening day in 2016. Top level prospects Robert Stephenson and Amir Garrett should also get opportunities for the rotation by mid season. Third base is a black hole, but that may give Eugenio Suarez an opportunity to find a position to play to get his bat in the lineup. Adam Duvall is another possible option. Left field will be a battle of rookies with newly acquired Jake Cave and Scott Schebler battling with Yorman Rodriguez for the job. If this was not a rebuilding year they could always try to sign an Alex Gordon, Justin Upton or Yoenis Cespedes for this position. Schebler has the most power among that trio.

Prospects - They have two of the top pitching prospects in baseball in Amir Garrett and Robert Stephenson. Both dial up their fastballs in the high 90s and occasionally hit the triple digits. Expect at least one of them to take over a roster spot by mid-season. Jose Pereza has a lot of speed but little power. This may put a little more pressure on his hit tools when outfielders squeeze him shallow. The Braves are famous for trading their prospects who fail to make an impact with other teams. Jose only hit .182 in his abbreviated time with the Dodgers. John Lamb is another rookie who may find a role in the rotation. He is not the same pitcher he was prior to his Tommy John surgery when pitching for the Royals. His fastball now sits in the high 80s/low 90s. The outfield will be crowded with a number of players looking for opportunities. Jake Cave is a rule V pick from the Yankees. He lacks the power to be an impact player and may be better used as a fourth outfielder. Yorman Rodriguez was signed to a record bonus a number of years ago and has not turned into the superstar everyone hoped. His baseball patience is his biggest weak point (17/80 walk to whiff ratio). Scott Schebler was acquired in the three team deal with the Dodgers and White Sox that shipped Frazier to Chicago. Jesse Winker, their first round pick in 2012 is another possibility. Schebler and Winker have similar tools, with weak arms, minimal range but good power best suited for left field. Of the four outfielders only Rodriguez bats right handed, if the Reds decide to go a platoon route.

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