The Cincinnati Reds have certainly upgraded their bats this offseason, but how does the team compare to the rest of the National League Central Division?
We are less than two weeks away from Opening Day and the excitement throughout Reds Country is palpable. The Cincinnati Reds ranked second in the National League Central in batting average last season, but still finished in last place. How will the team’s additions affect their standing this season?
We can debate this until the cows come home, but from where I’m sitting, the NL Central is the toughest division in all of baseball. Yes, the National League East will be a difficult division to navigate as well, but the Miami Marlins take that division down a notch and the NL Central should stand above every other when it comes to competition this season.
The Cincinnati Reds definitely upgraded their lineup with the additions of Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp. Nick Senzel is sure to get a lot of time with the big league club this season regardless of if he’s sat for the first two weeks or not.
The Reds also return injured starters Jesse Winker and Scott Schebler. Winker and Schebler both played less than 110 games last season, and All-Stars Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez spent more than two weeks on the disabled list. Winker and Schebler will be in the outfield rotation with Matt Kemp and Nick Senzel, while Votto and Suarez will get the majority of playing time at their corner infield spots.
The Chicago Cubs, who finished first in the division in hitting in 2018, finished second in the standings and lost during the Wild Card matchup against the Colorado Rockies. Every team in the NL Central, including the Pittsburgh Pirates, finished above the league average in hitting last season. Let’s see where each team stands entering the 2019 season.