Taking a peak at the 2015 Cincinnati Reds


Finally, we’ve turned the corner to 2015. No longer are the 2014 Cincinnati Reds last year’s team in a baseball calendar sense, but now a literal sense. The scars last season left still sting, but the welcoming in of a new year now masks them.

Today we’ll take a look at what the 2015 Reds may be looking like. The roster is nearly crafted, sans a few minor tweaks that may be made in the next month and a half prior to Spring Training.

Let’s take a look at the starting lineup:

CF – Billy Hamilton

1B – Joey Votto

3B – Todd Frazier

RF – Jay Bruce

C – Devin Mesoraco

2B – Brandon Phillips

LF – Marlon Byrd

SS – Zack Cozart

Pitcher’s Spot

If you just let a smile peek out from behind your frown, you’re like me. There’s a lot of reason for optimism with that lineup in 2015. Of course, there are a million and one ways it could be reconfigured as far as slotting is concerned, but for the most part, those will be your eight usual suspects.

Despite Votto, Bruce, Cozart, and partially Phillips, having down seasons last year, the rise of Frazier and Mesoraco have taken this lineup to the next level. Projecting health is a near impossibility, but should those eight play the majority of the games in 2015, it’s hard to see—when coupled with the pitching staff—how they’re not in contention come this September.

The bench:

OF/2B – Skip Schumaker

C/1B – Brayan Pena

UTIL – Kristopher Negron

OF/1B – Donald Lutz


Assuming that the club will roll with 13 position players like they usually do, they will need to add at least one more body. There are few internal candidates, which begin with Eugenio Suarez, who was recently acquired in the Alfredo Simon deal from the Detroit Tigers, and Neftali Soto.

Just hours after swinging a deal that brought Marlon Byrd to the Queen City, general manager Walt Jocketty made it be known that he would also be keeping his eyes on grabbing another player for the bench. Jack Hannahan has signed over in Korea and Chris Heisey has been dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers, leaving bench voids to be filled.

Now for the starting rotation:

RHP – Johnny Cueto

RHP – Homer Bailey

RHP – Mike Leake

LHP – Tony Cingrani

RHP – Anthony DeSclafani

Once again, that’s entirely my projection. As 2014 showed, the chances of five starters making it all the way through the year healthy is a near impossibility and having depth will be imperative.

Also candidates to make the rotation with strong performances in the spring are: Daniel Corcino, Dylan Axelrod, and David Holmberg. Top prospects Robert Stephenson and Raisel Iglesias are candidates for appearances down the line, but will almost assuredly begin the season down on the farm.

Lastly, we’ll take a peak at the bullpen:

RHP – J.J. Hoover

LHP – Manny Parra

RHP – Sam LeCure

RHP – Jumbo Diaz

LHP – Sean Marshall

LHP – Aroldis Chapman


Anchored by the Cuban Missile at the backend, the once vaunted Reds bullpen of years past will once again be a question mark coming into 2015. While Sean Marshall should make his way back, the question will be whether or not he can still be a dominant set-up man.

The seventh man in the ‘pen should come either via a trade, or one of the minor-league arms. Carlos Contreras, Ryan Dennick, and Pedro Villarreal will all be internal candidates if the club chooses to not make a leap and acquire outside help.

This has been a rough look at what 2015 has in store. As 2012 reminded us, last-second moves can be made, like when Alfredo Simon was acquired off the waiver wire and Todd Frazier was sent down to Triple-A—what we think is certain now almost never is.