Cincinnati Reds face daunting task of balancing roster

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds let their roster get too old under Dusty Baker and now it could be too young.

The Cincinnati Reds were an older team in 2013.  They are a small market team.  That means they need to constantly rebuild the roster.

During the time of the tandem of Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker, the Reds were not effective in maintaining a balanced roster.  It is no secret that Baker leans more towards veterans that is both on the bench and in the bullpen, which is among the differences between him and current manager Bryan Price.

2013 was Baker’s last season leading the Reds.  Some of his favorite players were long in the tooth.  A 36-year old Bronson Arroyo was in the rotation and a 35-year old Ryan Ludwick was the every day left fielder.

The back-up catchers on that team were Corky Miller and Ryan Hanigan.  They were 37 and 33 respectively.  That is just behind the plate.

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Their back-up infielders were a pair of 33-year olds.  That was Jack Hannahan and Cesar Izturis.  Remember, neither of them could hit that year.

On the mound three of their middle relievers were on the wrong side of thirty.  Alfredo Simon was 32 and a year ahead of making the All-Star Game as a starter.  Both lefty specialists, Manny Parra and Sean Marshall, were 31 and ended the season on the DL.

The Cincinnati Reds wanted to get younger at every position group, but now they are just young.

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Look at the infield.  MVP runner-up Joey Votto is a veteran.  After that the most veteran infielder is Scooter Gennett who was in arbitration for the first time last off-season.

How about the outfield?  Billy Hamilton who enters arbitration for the second time last year is the most experienced outfielder.  Left fielder Adam Duvall is the only other outfielder on the roster to complete two MLB seasons.

Behind the plate isn’t too bad.  Devin Mesoraco presents a nice veteran balance to the youth of Tucker Barnhart and Stephen Turner.

Too bad the Reds are looking to move Mesoraco because of his salary.

On the mound it is Homer Bailey and corps of youngsters.  None of them have even reached arbitration yet.  There is no true experience on the staff.

This the curse of a small market club.  They cannot let themselves get old because then they end up too young.  Letting Brandon Phillips earn his 10 and 5 rights was the coup de grace of the fall of the Reds.

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Now, the Reds are about ready to come out of the rebuild.  They need to get a touch younger.  The Reds need some youngsters to back fill behind Nick Senzel and Jesse Winker as bench players when those two are leading the Reds into the playoffs and beyond.