3 overreactions from the Reds opening weekend series split with the Braves

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Hunter Greene (21) pitches.
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Hunter Greene (21) pitches. / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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Well, we're off and running. How we lookin', Reds Country? Honestly, given all that has transpired in the Queen City this offseason, the fact that the Cincinnati Reds are sitting at .500 after the first four games of the 2022 season is pretty impressive.

The Reds looked very good on Thursday night in Atlanta and performed quite well on Sunday afternoon as well. The team's one-run losses on Friday and Saturday were disappointing, but the Redlegs showed a great deal of fight during both contests.

Of course, the easiest thing to do at the beginning of the season is to overreact. If a Reds player fails to meet fan expectations, the Cincinnati faithful are bound to call for said player to be benched for the rest of the season. There's also the other side of the coin that would see the fanbase ready to erect a statue outside GABP for a player who happened to luck into a game-winning home run.

So, with 158 games remaining in the 2022 season, what do you think of your Cincinnati Reds? Are you ready to boldly proclaim that the Redlegs will take home the NL Central crown? Is there a player who's well on his way to winning the NL MVP? Let's look at the three biggest overreactions after the Reds opening weekend series split with the Braves.

1. Reds pitcher Hunter Greene will win the NL Rookie of the Year.

After watching Hunter Greene's performance from Sunday afternoon, you thought about the possibility of the Cincinnati Reds having back-to-back NL Rookie of the Year Award-winners. Jonathan India took home the honors last season, and Greene is certainly in the mix to take home the trophy in 2022.

The last time a National League team saw back-to-back Rookie of the Year winners wasn't that long ago. Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager won the award in 2016 and Cody Bellinger was named the NL Rookie of the Year in 2017.

On the American League side of things, it was Bobby Crosby winning the award in 2004, and Huston Street followed that up with a 1.72 ERA and 23 saves in 2005. Street bested then New York Yankees infielder Robinson Cano for the AL Rookie of the Year that season.

Greene was dominant at times on Sunday afternoon. The former first-round pick racked up seven strikeouts and routinely hit triple-digits on the radar gun. Even more impressive might have been Greene's breaking ball and his changeup.

But just hold your horses when it comes to proclaiming Hunter Greene as the odds-on favorite to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award. Pittsburgh Pirates' Oneil Cruz, when he finally debuts in the big leagues, is likely to put up terrific numbers for the Bucs in 2022. There's also Joey Bart, Seiya Suzuki, C.J. Abrams, and Greene's teammate Nick Lodolo.

Yes, Hunter Greene was very impressive on Sunday afternoon, but he also got touched up a bit by the Atlanta hitters. Greene allowed two balls to leave the yard, and that could be something to keep an eye on throughout the season.

Cincinnati Reds infielder Brandon Drury rounds the bases.
Cincinnati Reds infielder Brandon Drury rounds the bases. / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

2. Brandon Drury should be the Reds starting third baseman.

Okay, who had Brandon Drury hitting the Cincinnati Reds first home run in 2022? Nobody? That's what I thought. Look, I about jumped out of my chair when Drury's three-run homer cleared the fence on Thursday night. I'm also not onboard with Mike Moustakas as the Reds starting third baseman. But Drury is not the longterm answer.

Drury is a journeyman infielder who's now played for five different teams during his eight-year major league career. Drury is worth -0.6bWAR and has been little more than a part-time player throughout his tenure in the big leagues.

Let's be honest, were it not for Jose Barrero, Max Schrock, and Donovan Solano opening the 2022 season on the Injured List, it's doubtful that Brandon Drury would have even made the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster.

Drury may well be designated for assigment once Solano and/ or Barrero return the IL. His experience in the outfield might see Drury stay on the active roster a little bit longer, but to insert the 29-year-old as the team's everyday third baseman is an overreaction.

I expect Mike Moustakas to be back on the bag during Tuesday's home opener at Great American Ball Park. While Moose appears to have lost a step, David Bell is still more likely to trot out the former All-Star as the team's starting third baseman rather than Brandon Drury.

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Senzel makes the catch.
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Senzel makes the catch. / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

3. Reds CF Nick Senzel is going to win a Gold Glove.

Nick Senzel has arguably been the Cincinnati Reds most valuable player during the first four games of the season. The former first-round pick turned a one-run inning into a five-run inning on Sunday afternoon after booking it down the line and beating the throw the first base.

Senzel has also been tremendous on the outfield grass. The 26-year-old has made at least three really difficult catches during the first several games of the 2022 season. Senzel's been getting great reads off the bat and has tracked the ball quite well.

But let's temper our expectations just a little bit and not forget that David Bell is essentially sending out a third baseman to play center field. While incredibly quick and very athletic, Senzel is playing out of position and has since his MLB debut in 2019.

Can Senzel hold up over the course of a 162-game season? Senzel's injury history has been well documented and every time the former Tennessee Volunteer jumps against the wall or makes a diving catch in the outfield, all of Reds Country holds its collective breath hoping to see Senzel get to his feet.

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Does the opportunity exist for Nick Senzel to win a Gold Glove? No doubt. Senzel has all the tools to be an elite defender at almost any position on the field. If his body can hold up to the rigors of an entire season, Senzel could definitely be in contention for a piece of hardware, but he's going to have to prove it first.