3 players Reds fans should lower the bar for in 2023

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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Sometimes, you just fall short of expectations. Fans of the Cincinnati Reds know this difficult life lesson all too well. What's true in life is also true in baseball; not everything happens the way you assume it will. When that happens, it's time to adjust your expectations accordingly.

As the Redlegs get ready to descend upon Goodyear, Arizona in the coming weeks for the start of spring training, it's probably about time that the fanbase set some realistic expectations for a few of the team's underachieving players.

While Reds Country will need to lower the bar for the team as a whole, who are three Cincinnati players that fans will need to lower the bar for in 2023?

1. Reds fans should lower the bar for Tejay Antone.

It'll be great to have Tejay Antone back on the mound in 2023. The right-hander missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2021. However, having not set foot on a major league field since August of 2021, fans might want to set the bar a bit lower for Antone - at least through the first couple of months.

Antone was Cincinnati's best reliever back in 2021, but injuries forced him to miss significant time. Antone last through over 100 innings during his minor league stint in 2019.

Of course, as a reliever, it's foolish to think that Antone will eclipse much more than 50 or so innings in 2023. Still, with such a long absence, there's sure to be some rust. The Reds training staff and coaches will almost assuredly have a innings-limit placed on Antone as well.

Tejay Antone could still be very effective in 2023, but after being away for so long, the Cincinnati faithful should probably lower the bar. That said, don't be surprised if Antone quickly returns to the dominant reliever who struck out 42 batters in 33.2 innings of work in 2021.