2023 Preview: Cincinnati Reds

Thu Mar 23 3:57pm ET
Field Level Media

2022 record: 62-100, tied for fourth in National League Central

Offseason headlines: Cincinnati was only one loss away from matching the franchise record for the most in a single season, so the hope is that the Reds can only go up from here. Outfielder Wil Myers could add some pop to the lineup after singing a one-year, $7.5 million deal. He had a 30-home run season back in 2017, but hasn't eclipsed 18 since. Another acquisition seeking redemption is utility man Nick Solak, who has yet to fully live up to the expectations of a second-round pick. Cincinnati also traded for 2B/SS Kevin Newman to help the offense. Pitchers Mike Minor, Justin Wilson, Hunter Strickland and Chase Anderson left in free agency, and the Reds only went out and got RHP Luke Weaver, who posted a 6.56 ERA in 26 appearances (one start) last season. It looks like Cincinnati will be looking within to touch up its pitching staff, which might be in for another rough year if the offense struggles once again.

Spring storylines: The silver lining in the Reds' rebuild is that plenty of young talent had the chance to take center stage this spring. First baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand had eye-popping numbers, and Matt McLain and Elly De La Cruz also had their moments. Stats didn't account for the intensity and enthusiasm that Cincinnati's prospects showed, though. "That's how they play," Reds farm director Shawn Pender told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "When you have guys like that around, it makes the other guys see and feel that energy too."

Young guns: De La Cruz, the No. 1-rated prospect in the organization according to MLB.com, is expected to reach the majors this season but probably won't be breaking the Opening Day roster. His power-speed combo is dangerous, and it was on full display when he homered and tripled in a 12-6 loss to the Royals on March 4 to snap an 0-for-9 rut. "It definitely helped with confidence, but he's taking good swings, he's handling himself great at camp," Cincinnati manager David Bell said.

Fall feeling: With last season being as historically bad as it was, the Reds should focus on recording 70 wins before they even think about a playoff run. There's a chance the future could be bright in Cincinnati, but first the Reds must muscle through the present.

Odds, even: Cincinnati has the worst odds to take the NL Central crown, sitting at +6000 at both DraftKings and FanDuel. The Reds also share the third-lowest win total (65.5) with the Colorado Rockies over at DraftKings, with the over of that line at -120 and the under at +100.

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