2018 Cincinnati Reds Depth Chart
Careful construction of previous holdovers and wily veterans comprises the make-up of the Cincinnati roster. There’s instance of flashy play, but potential is limited in the power category. Run production seems to be this team’s kryptonite and playing within the NL Central doesn’t assist this outlook. The influence of young talents is beginning to take its turn for the organization, brightening the future build of this team. Some telling acquisitions, like grabbing Matt Harvey on a flier deal, help piece this roster to a refined structure.
|Catcher||Tucker Barnhart||Curt Casali||Tim Federowicz|
|1st Base||Joey Votto|
|2nd Base||Scooter Gennett||Dilson Herrera|
|Shortstop||Jose Peraza||Blake Trahan|
|3rd Base||Eugenio Suarez||Brandon Dixon|
|Left Field||Pillip Ervin||Mason Williams|
|Center Field||Billy Hamilton|
|Right Field||Scott Schebler||Gabby Guerrero|
Undoubtedly, the team’s best starting pitcher is Matt Harvey. Amidst the Tommy John surgery and the lack of managing his best pitches, the Matt Harvey of old started to emerge. During his final two years in New York, his ERA climbed to the 6.00 and 7.00 ranks, no longer featuring a sense of surprise in his pitching mix-ups. He has since lowered his ERA to a sub 4.50 level, a promising sign for getting back on track. The run support issue comes into factor when you look at Homer Bailey’s body of work. Bailey has been with the organization since 2007 and has never had a season with a sub 3.25 ERA. This year, Bailey has only won one contest, despite an ERA that is on par with previous seasons. Holding 14 losses speaks to consistencies within the offense and tamed run support. The bullpen takes on a heavy workload this season with two converted starters firmly planted in the relief rotation. Michael Lorenzen and Wily Peralta have both adapted to the move. They’ve been called for relief ranging from long appearances to a couple of batters. Raisel Iglesias moves to the closer position and has 25 saves under his belt. Lowering his ERA past 2.00 is a goal that might have to wait until next season, but his development in this position will be heavily fostered in the off-season.
The interior of the team is sprinkled with talents across the diamond. Scooter Gennett has evolved into an everyday player, earning his time at second base. He’s batting at .317 and boasts the team lead in runs scored. He is also slugging above .500, something he has yet to accomplish in his career. Jose Peraza was introduced to a heavy workload as the shortstop position. He leads the squad in at-bats and reserves a .289 average. The remaining production comes between the tandem of Eugenio Suarez and Joey Votto. Suarez is posting career numbers, claiming the team lead in home runs, RBIs, slugging, and other major categories. The story for Votto is a bit of the opposite. His 10 home runs and 61 RBIs have him on pace for career lows, not the MVP-caliber production we are used to from this leader of the pack. Developmental talents in Dilson Herrera and Brandon Dixon are also making a strong claim for playing time. They are slotted across the infield in relief efforts, but their experience is growing at the correct clip.
The consistency in offensive and defensive production comes in center field where Billy Hamilton resides. His on-base numbers are down, leading to less runs and stolen bases. Hamilton has collected 29 stolen bases and amassed 68 runs scored. Upping the steals would come with better plate consistencies. He is on pace for a career low in batting average. The remaining outfielders are a rotational combination of new faces. Most come as carryovers from other organizations, speaking to talents like Preston Tucker and Mason Williams. There is no shortage of speed in the outfield, making for sound defensive combinations. There is, however, a lack of performance at the plate, severely limiting the power and offensive production this team can possess. Phil Ervin has been afforded a decent workload, marking his development in the correct direction. Unfortunately, the farm talents don’t do much for increasing depth in the outfield. Building around a big free agent signing could be key for placing this tier back on the offensive.
Constant fluctuation and match-up challenging makes for the construction of the day-to-day starters. The batting order is relatively consistent, with Hamilton and Peraza being the two players that go up and down the most. Suarez resides near the middle, a place where Joey Votto has called home over the course of his career in Cincinnati. The defensive construction is sound, assisting the starting pitchers with limited errors. Getting some bigger bats into the rotation will be something the team looks to approach once the off-season begins.