Did the Cincinnati Reds do what they needed to do?
No, the Cincinnati Reds did not. Not getting a better catching option than Rob Brantly as insurance for Devin Mesoraco and Tucker Barnhart leaves the Reds vulnerable both offensively and on their pitching staff. They really needed to solidify the catching situation and have several extra catchers in camp.
Barnhart is an underrated catcher, overall, but he has proven himself unready to be an everyday catcher. Most alarming for Reds’ fans is his CERA from last year. That’s the ERA of the pitchers when Barnhart was behind the plate.
Not only did Barnhart have the highest CERA in all of baseball last year for a regular, but he had a positive differential. In other words, the Reds allowed more earned runs per nine innings with Barnhart behind the plate than on average. Usually, that is the stat of a back-up catcher.
They did move Brandon Phillips which they needed to do desperately. Getting Jose Peraza an everyday position to play should help the Reds offense and Peraza’s defense. The biggest concern on this front is that Peraza ends up being a second baseman defensively rather than a shortstop.
They also added Desmond Jennings and Ryan Raburn late in the off-season to provide some pinch-hitting options. The Reds didn’t need to do that, but is something that was a good idea. They eventually need to get a manager with work experience as a manager from elsewhere, but that wasn’t for this off-season.
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The Cincinnati Reds didn’t need to do much in the pitching area, except get healthy.
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On the pitching front the Drew Storen signing is a positive. The Reds needed someone who can be flexible as to his usage after letting Ross Ohlendorf walk away. Ohlendorf may not be a fan favorite, but he did everything that the team asked him to last season.
Ohlendorf had long outings and short outings. He came in late and he came in early. Most importantly, he was the best pitcher in a historically bad bullpen the first half of last season.
The Reds really needed to prepare for life without Homer Bailey. He cannot seem to stay healthy.
He may never be healthy and with the trade of Dan Straily they didn’t seem prepared for what ended up happening with Bailey.
The Reds also need to get better at being honest with the fans. Telling us Bailey is having a great off-season a week before he comes up lame is ridiculous. Cincinnati is a great baseball town and the fans understand the facts of the game.
Overall, the Reds made some great moves, but didn’t do what they needed to. Hopefully, it won’t come back to hurt them through injuries. The Reds are improving, but the depth is still lacking.