Spring has sprung which means it’s baseball season.
After the shocking trades of Gold Glove catcher Tucker Barnhart, left fielder Jesse Winker, third baseman Eugenio Suarez and starting pitcher Sonny Gray, as well as the not-so-shocking but heartbreaking decision to not re-sign right fielder Nick Castellanos, Cincinnati Reds fans aren’t too happy with what’s been happening with the team.
Second baseman Jonathan India won the National League Rookie of the Year award last season, and it seems like the Reds have been making some devastating, yet necessary, moves to rebuild the team and give the younger players a chance to shine.
The owners and front office believe in their farm system; they’re giving last season’s minor league stars like shortstop Jose Barrero and pitchers Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo a chance to play in the big leagues.
The team also signed center fielder Tommy Pham who recently played with the successful San Diego Padres. Pham led the major leagues with 30 pinch hits with a .299 batting average, 15 homers and 49 runs batted in last season.
Many Reds fans want owner Bob Castellini to sell the team so the franchise can have an owner that puts winning over money. They are frustrated by the Reds shedding talent, but still, some of the younger players are exciting fans in their newly opened opportunities.
There has been some excitement around the offense, especially when non-roster invitee Elly De La Cruz hit a go-ahead grand slam against the Brewers on March 23.
First baseman Joey Votto, who is known for his dry humor, got an Instagram and a TikTok recently, so that’s another thing that may keep fans optimistic after having to let go of some of their most beloved players.
The biggest concern is keeping the team healthy. There already have been injury reports for strong players like starting pitcher Luis Castillo and infielder Max Shrock. Both of them have to miss the beginning of the season.
Another big concern is the readiness of the minor league players who are now getting a chance to play in the show. Jonathan India might be one-in-a-million, and the question of if they are truly ready to take on the big leagues always pops up.
If the Reds players can keep healthy throughout the season, there may be a glimmer of hope for the team despite losing some of their star players. And if things don’t work out, fans can always root for that free LaRosa’s Pizza.
The Reds’ first regular-season game is against the Atlanta Braves at 8:08 p.m., on Thursday. The team’s first home series is with the Cleveland Guardians and it starts at 4:10 p.m. on the following Tuesday.