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Second-half storylines for the first-place Cincinnati Reds

Walks Will Haunt discussed that, and more, on their latest episode.

MLB: JUL 08 Reds at Brewers Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The second ‘half’ of the season begins for the Cincinnati Reds, and they’ll be dropped right back into the thick of it. Three more games against the Milwaukee Brewers await, with former National League Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes first up on their plate. They then welcome the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks to town - both current occupants of NL Wild Card spots - before heading out on the road for six games split between the Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers.

That gets them to the morning of July 31st, the day before the trade deadline. Sixteen games between now and their last true chance to decide whether this, the 2023 season, is one that deserves more investment. I think we can safely say the Brewers, Dodgers, and Giants will all be actively looking to add to their ranks between now and then, doing everything they can to augment rosters with eyes towards October. The Reds, therefore, need not only maintain their place in the standings over the next two and a half weeks, but also win over a front office and ownership group with their play to get as much better as their peers intend to get, too.

We spoke at length about that on last night’s episode of Walks Will Haunt. The one and only ARF also broke down Rhett Lowder, Ty Floyd, and the recent Reds draft class for us, and that led us into a discussion about the one big elephant goat in the Reds room for the season’s second half - Joey Votto. How many more homers does the future Hall of Famer need to sock before it becomes clear that he’s not just willing, but able to help this iteration of the Reds beyond the 2023 season? How many times must he don the Viking helmet alongside his peers before they find a way to make him a part of next year, too?

We went a bit longer than usual, but that was by design. There’s a lot on the line for the Reds beginning tonight, and we let it all hang out. You can listen by pressing the play button on the embedded player below, or you can follow this link to listen, too.