Cincinnati Reds Rebuild Report – will they surpass Milwaukee Brewers?

(Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Brewers surprised the Cincinnati Reds and most of baseball by contending for a playoff spot all season long.

The Cincinnati Reds thought they would finished fourth place or higher in the National Leage Central heading into the 2017 season.  The Reds were wrong.  They ended up the season in last place.

The Reds finished the season 68-94.  Meanwhile, the Brewers finished 86-76.  That was just one game out of the wild card game.

The Brewers added several players during the 2017 season.  The most noticeable addition was slugging second baseman Neil Walker.  Ironically, the Brewers released Reds starting second baseman Scooter Gennett just before the season started,

The other big name to come to the Brewers was a returning Brewer.  Former closer Jeremy Jeffress came back for the last third of the season.  He was a middle reliever for the Brewers after a rough start to the season with the Texas Rangers,

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The Brewers also added veteran catcher Stephen Vogt.  He came over from the Oakland Athletics mid-season.  He was there in support of new starting catcher Manny Pina.

Of course, the story the first half of the season was first baseman Eric Thames.  He returned to the majors for the first time since 2012. In the interim Thames re-established himself playing baseball in Korea.

The Cincinnati Reds want to copy that sort of ability to compete and then find help in the trade market in 2018.

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The Reds are well positioned to make a run in 2018.  There offense was competitive in 2017 aside from a horrible month of July.  On the other hand first baseman Joey Votto was one of the top three offensive players in the NL this season without a doubt.

The Reds also had a much improved bullpen from 2016 in 2017.  That was a key step in moving along the rebuild road.  Michael Lorenzen, who had an up and down season, and Wandy Peralta look like relievers made to support closer Raisel Iglesias for as long as the Reds can afford him.

The rotation is questionable and young, much like the Brewers rotation was in 2017.  Chase Anderson was the only young veteran in the Brewers rotation.  That is why Anthony DeSclafani is so important for the Reds in 2018.

Next: Is Billy Hamilton about to be traded?

The Reds should be able to mimic what the Brewers did this season.  They have a better set of young pitchers and a more established line-up.  Now they just have to smooth over the rough edges.