A quick thought for today. I’m really pining for some baseball. Usually happens every year around this time. Sure, countdowns to pitchers and catchers reporting help to excite me, but ultimately I’m waiting for the real thing on March 29th. You can bet I’ll be at the stadium again this Opening Day, but I’m sure they’re be a few more blogs between now and then about that. This post is focused on one thing, the Reds bullpen.
Now I know that’s not grabby, may have even lost one or two folks who clicked in to this post, but the Reds just signed their second free agent reliever of the offseason. Both relievers were signed to two year deals, and neither one is a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. They’re bonafide, major league deals, meaning the front office believes these guys can bring some real value to the bullpen.
Jared Hughes was signed a few weeks ago and David Hernandez was inked at the beginning of this week. Middle relievers don’t tend to move the needle in January, but it’s these types of guys who playoff contending teams go after in July…so it only makes sense to see value in having them for an entire year.
I’ll not get into the stats, right now, but leave it to an emotional response. I love these signings. It shows that the coaching staff believes in the young pitchers vying for spots on the starting rotation, and it is the Reds way of emulating teams in years past whose bullpen propelled them to a successful season.
Sure, Milwaukee getting Christian Yelich is the kind of transaction that galvanizes a fan base. It officially signifies a team’s belief that its window to the playoffs, and possibly contending for a world championship, has opened. The deal was one the Reds could not make, though. The Bre Crew had to give up one of their two best prospects and 3 of their top 10. To put that in perspective, that means the Reds would probably have to have traded Nick Senzel. If you haven’t heard of him, that’s because he is still in the minor leagues, but he is the Reds future great hitter. A future that could begin this season at some point when the Reds call him up to the majors. He is not someone I want the Reds to trade…unless they are getting Clayton Kershaw…and that ain’t happening.
The Reds now have a bullpen that could easily finish in the top half of the league, so long as health problems do not become a thing. If the starting rotation can just be average, with the lineup they can run out each night, the Reds have a real shot to improve this year.
And I know I am crazy biased…but I really don’t think I am far off when I say they could finally end the streak of losing seasons in 2018
Pitchers and catchers report in 13 days.