Cincinnati Reds will be better across the board in 2018

(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds can only get better after injury and youth held them back in 2017.

The Cincinnati Reds suffered through 90 loss seasons in 2016 and 2017.  During a slow off-season, another 90 loss game seemed in the offing.  Now, though, it looks like the team is improving.

Comparing this spring training to last spring training quickly brings a few things into focus.  The first is the depth of the starting rotation.  Because of the injuries in 2017, ten pitchers in camp in 2018 started a game last season.

The bullpen will be better than the 2016 version.  Last year it greatly improved thanks to Michael Lorenzen, Wandy Peralta, and Raisel Iglesias.  This year, the additions of David Hernandez and Jared Hughes will provide it with even more depth.

Behind the plate there is no longer a question about who the starter is.  Tucker Barnhart took over the position in 2017 and won the National League Gold Glove.  Now, Barnhart is the undisputed starter and Devin Mesoraco is the back-up.

Want your voice heard? Join the Blog Red Machine team!

Write for us!

The infield is somewhat similar to last season with one notable change.  First baseman Joey Votto and third baseman Eugenio Suarez are established on the corners.  This year Jose Peraza is attempting to maintain his hold on the starting shortstop role after losing second base to Scooter Gennett last season.

The success of the Cincinnati Reds will be determined by how they handle the outfield.

More from Reds News

Early in the off-season it was all but a foregone conclusion that center fielder Billy Hamilton was getting traded.  It appeared that a deal was made to send him to the San Francisco Giants.  Instead, the Giants ended up with Andrew McCutchen.

Now the Reds have four starters and only three places to play them.  If the the team leverages this right, it will help the Reds win more games this season.  They just need to make sure that all four outfielders stay fresh and play regularly.

The biggest challenge will be not overplaying left fielder Adam Duvall.  He is a former All-Star and the truest slugger.

The Reds must only let him start 120 games if all four outfielders stay healthy.

The Reds also shouldn’t be afraid to bench center fielder Billy Hamilton.  They have to see if overplaying him is what injured him the past few seasons.  Plus his offensive output has really hurt the team.

Next: Scooter won his arbitration case

The Reds should be better this season.  Their pitching staff is markedly better.  The team just has to manage the match-ups for the outfielders favorably.