Though it still feels as if baseball just returned, the Cincinnati Reds have already completed a third of their 2020 schedule, somehow. In reality, they should be several games past that mark, should weather and positive COVID-19 tests not banged a few games already. The trade deadline is just two weeks away, and while in normal seasons we’d be hesitant to have any definitive opinions about the future of this club for the rest of the season after just 20 games, the reality is that there is little room for patience in this modified 2020 season.
So, we thought it was status update time.
There have been some notable plusses so far this year. You glance at leaderboards and see Jesse Winker with the best OPS in the league, for instance. A quick look at FanGraphs shows that no starting rotation has been more valuable than Cincinnati’s, led by the brilliance of Sonny Gray, Trevor Bauer, Luis Castillo, and Tyler Mahle so far. Nick Castellanos has looked fantastic after his big-money signing last winter, while Freddy Galvis has shown himself to be a solid addition, too.
There have been ample negatives too, however. That’s how you hold a 9-11 record despite that many positives after all. The bullpen has repeatedly imploded, while also beset with injuries to Pedro Strop and Robert Stephenson. Eugenio Suarez has struggled mightily, Mike Moustakas simply can’t stay in the lineup, and Shogo Akiyama has yet to truly take off.
On top of all that, there has been the preponderance of COVID-19 throughout the game, and the Reds have not been off-limits. The first week of the season saw a scare impacting a trio of players, while last week’s positive test has postponed games and put the entire dugout on edge.
To break it all down, we dusted off the Red Reporter Podcast Machine 3000 and yapped about it in full. We even took a quick look forward to the trade deadline, wondering exactly what approach the Reds might take given the abnormalities of this odd new schedule and playoff format, and wondered if the Reds might actually be in a prime position to make a major move that wouldn’t necessarily make sense at the deadline in a normal season.
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