2013 CINCINNATI REDS FORECAST
February 28, 2013Eastern Indiana Sports
CINCINNATI REDS 2013
Troy Derengowski…Indiana’s Sports Page
The Cincinnati Reds of 2012 had a magical season and a disappointing season all in one. First let's explore the positives. They won the NL Central Division by nine games over St. Louis. They won 97 games. Their starting pitching was as good as anyone in baseball and though their offense struggled at times, they still had Jay Bruce hitting 34 homeruns, Ryan Ludwick was a great surprise with 26 dingers, Brandon Phillips hit 18 and part-time 3B Todd Frazier hit 19. Joey Votto hit 14 HR’s while spending a great majority of the season on the DL.
MANAGER DUSTY BAKER
As for the bad news of 2012….Cincinnati collapsed in the playoffs to the eventual world champion Giants after having a 2-0 series lead. The collapse left a bad taste in Cincinnati because they haven’t had a post season series win since 1995.
So what about 2013? Things are looking up for the Reds despite having very little money to improve their bench depth. Despite the lack of money, they did resign reliever Jonathan Broxton and Ryan Ludwick. Broxton will start the season as the Red’s closer since they will move Aroldis Chapman to the starting rotation. Ludwick managed to have a great season (26 HR’s, 80 RBI, .275 BA) after struggling in Pittsburgh and San Diego. Cincinnati also acquired a lead-off hitter which was a huge problem for the Reds in 2012. Cincinnati was one of the worst teams in baseball in the lead-off position so they traded for OF Shin-Soo Choo. Choo hit .283 overall in Cleveland last season but as a lead-off hitter, hit .310 with an OBP of .389. The Reds hit a mere .208 from the lead-off spot and a .254 OBP. Choo also had 21 SB’s.
1B Joey Votto is back after suffering through an injury riddled season. Votto hit .377 in only 111 games last season. If healthy, Votto is one of, if not the best hitters in baseball. He’ll be joined by Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, Zack Cozart and Todd Frazier in the middle of a potent Reds line-up. Ryan Hanigan will be behind the plate.
The pitching staff is solid. Johnny Cueto had a stellar season after being snubbed for an All-Star spot. Cueto went 19-9 with an ERA of 2.78. Mat Latos also had an excellent season with a 14-4 record and an ERA of 3.48. RHP Homer Bailey finally reached the potential many in the Reds organization had hoped for by winning 13 games. Veteran Bronson Arroyo went 12-10 with an ERA of 3.74. Chapman will move into the starting rotation after saving 38 games in 2012. Mike Leake will compete for a spot in the rotation after struggling last year (8-9, 4.58). Broxton will be the closer with Sean Marshall getting a look if Broxton struggles.
If Votto returns to his MVP form of 2010 and Jay Bruce along with Brandon Phillips have All-Star seasons, the Reds will win this division again. Choo will be the key in the lead-off position and they must stay injury free like they did in 2012. One big question will be the pitching. Will they be able to duplicate what they did last season?