Connor Overton will turn 30 this summer, and he’s thrown a grand total of 48.1 IP at the big league level in his entire career.
Nicks Senzel and Solak combined for 8 homers and nary a triple during the 2022 MLB season.
Tejay Antone and Lucas Sims combined for 6.2 total IP at the big league level during the 2022 season, a number far smaller than the combined amount of sutures they’ve had removed in the last 12 months.
Despite that, despite all of that, it appears the Cincinnati Reds roster is mostly “set.” Speaking publicly yesterday, GM Nick Krall pretty well confirmed as much to Bobby Nightengale of The Enquirer while on the team’s first caravan in three years, a positively wonderful time and place to reveal to fans that the club that lost 100 games a season ago is as complete as it’s going to be.
That Austin Hendricks and Jose Barrero were the two players who were on the stop where Krall made the declaration is a somewhat intriguing parallel, too. The former is a 1st round pick who has struggled tremendously as the club doubles-down on simply waiting for homegrown players to turn around the fortunes of the franchise, while the latter is a player who has struggled mightily at the big league level twice already yet will be given a clear-cut chance to figure it out once again in 2023. While both concepts are admirable in a way - building from within instead of through free agency and letting young guys get plenty of chances to try to work it out - they’re also both methods not used by the teams who are out there winning games in September and October, either. Intertwined are those two concepts, too.
Anyway, it would appear that Overton and Justin Dunn and converted reliever Luis Cessa are going to be given the task of rounding out the team’s rotation behind Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Graham Ashcraft, and starter-turned-reliever-turned-maybe-starter-again Luke Weaver. The bullpen looks to be a hopeful reset of what could have been in 2022. The outfield, meanwhile, seems to be throwing CF to the wind while hoping Wil Myers and Jake Fraley post the best full seasons of their careers.
Senzel, it should be noted, might not be ready for Opening Day. His status, as well as that of 1B Joey Votto, is still very much in the air as both recover from respective surgeries, as The Athletic relayed in their coverage of the first day of the Reds caravan.
In other news, MLB Pipeline has been ranking the Top 10 prospects by position over the last week or so, and they finally got to the position where the Reds appear to be stacked: shortstop. Of course, they still contend that prospects from the Yankees and Red Sox (yawn) are better than Elly De La Cruz, the type of typographical pandering to a particularly inclined audience that I’m certainly never guilty of at this particular site. Anyway, there are links within that link to the lists for the other positions they’ve reached already, and while it’s a pretty universal contention that the Reds overall farm system is in a much better state than it has been in for quite some time, it’s pretty alarming to see just how few of their guys have made the Top 10 lists elsewhere - or, for that matter, how only two of their plethora of shortstop prospects actually rank highly, too.
David Adler has a cool breakdown of Reds starter Hunter Greene at MLB.com as Greene heads into his sophomore season at the big league level. Frankly, there are a whole lot of signs that suggest he might well be poised to break the hell out in 2023. At least he’ll have the chance to do it in front of about nine total fans each time he toes the rubber in GABP while banking on his offense to score a single run behind him.
Over at FanGraphs, Ben Clemens took a look at which batters might well be poised for a breakout in 2023 based on their exit velocity profiles. Basically, he’s looking at which hitters had the occasional proclivity to knock the snot out of the ball but who didn’t do so as often as they may well should have, an interesting way to estimate peak potential vs. average production. No Reds hitters are listed, of course - you’ll recall that of the 30 MLB clubs, no team in the game had a worse average exit velocity than the Reds in 2022. If sorting the table in the previous link induces too much pain, I’ll simply add in words here that the Reds ranked 29th out of 30 in barrel rate, 28th in hard-hit percentage, subtracted Aristides Aquino’s bat from that equation while only adding back Wil Myers, and then had their GM say WE GOOD, FAM!
Finally, we’ll find out which former players the BBWAA got around to electing to the Hall of Fame later this evening. While the Hall has dumbed itself down in hilarious fashion over the last few years by simply refusing to acknowledge that the game was played on steroids for an entire generation, it’s still something that’s of note to many. My own personal Hall has become Baseball Reference dot com where you can look at numbers and context and draw your own conclusions, it’s still got a bit of reverence to it, I suppose. Former Red Scott Rolen is likely to get his due and be inducted, which will be cool until he dons a Cardinals cap to go in, while former Rockies legend Todd Helton might well hear his name called, too. If you’re into such a thing, keep your eyes and ears open later this evening for the results.