New and Improved Reds Begin Spring Training

The Reds warming up before practice,

The Reds warming up before practice,

The Cincinnati Reds have a lot of promise moving forward into spring training and into the upcoming season. With the numerous roster changes from the squad that went 70-95 last year, the program is anxious to get started with the season.  

The Reds have hired native Cincinnatian, David Bell, as their new manager for the season and acquired Yasiel Puig. These two are just a few of the changes made during the long offseason. In general terms, anything can be better than the last four years of last place finishes in the NL Central. The Reds are in desperate need for any type of energy from the fan base and the team. They are looking forward to a hopeful season that feels like a refurbished restart.  

“In short, this is a franchise in dire need of some buzz, and for the first time in five years, the Reds are demanding notice with a roster that not only appears to be good, but fun,” said Michael Baumann from Back in the 2018 season, Joey Votto only had 12 home runs. This statistic is a depressing reminder that the team needs more power from the heart of the lineup.  

Yasiel Puig is eager about starting the season. He plans on playing as he has before and helping the team as much as he can. “When I’m having fun, I can enjoy the game more. I’m a better player,” said Puig. He is having fun with the team. No one likes losing and when a player or others are having success, this increases the morale of the team which is exactly what the Reds need.  

In addition to the roster changes, Manager David Bell has begun to make attempts to change the culture of the clubhouse. The team had discussed the book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. The book discusses many different problems faced in today's athletes from selfishness to uncooperative coaches. The new coach David Bell flew all the coaching staff to a presentation about the book. One of the main points was the immediate need for healthy conflict and to make decisions around it. It is a big cultural change for the team, “It’s an absence of politics, let's be true, let’s be vulnerable,” said Dick Williams from the Reds.  

David Hernandez practicing fielding drills,

David Hernandez practicing fielding drills,

The Reds starting lineup is still figuring itself out these first few games of spring training. The lead off batter is currently switching between Jesse Winker and Scooter Gennett. These two batters are both recent additions to the Reds and have been proving their strengths. At the moment, Joey Votto is expected to be batting in the two-spot. Yasiel Puig tends to be around this spot as well, as the coaches are testing where they should put him. 

The starting pitchers have been looking great so far. The rotation starts off with Sonny Gray who looks to prove himself even more this next season. Coming up next is Alex Wood, followed by Luis Castillo and Tanner Roark. Rounding up the last spot is Anthony DeSclafani. These pitchers are improving steadily and are just as excited for the season as the batters and fielders.  

In general, the Cincinnati Reds are excited. The franchise is tired of being a joke and losing. They have acquired new additions even a new coach and have trained hard this off season to prepare. Baseball is a long and difficult sport and the Reds are looking to prove themselves as a powerhouse coming into 2019 strong.  

Ben Smith