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Meet the Reds: My Insatiable Boner for the Cincinnati Reds

The Cincinnati Reds haven’t won a World Series since 1990, and haven’t won a playoff series in 24 years, but their time is finally coming. The Reds have a bright future ahead of them, and I couldn’t be happier. Reds fever took over for me when I watched a 2017 game and saw that these guys are a bunch of DUDES. The Reds play in a small market, so their players get almost no attention, except from me. They are a team with personality, and here are the reasons why.

Derek Dietrich, Amir Garrett, and Michael Lorenzen

These 3 are the headliners of the muscle crew for this team. Derek Dietrich is new to the Reds this year, and came out of the gates smoking hot. He was involved in an incident with the Pirates (foreshadowing future events) in which he watched a home run sail into the Allegheny River, much to the chagrin of the Pirates, who threw behind him, starting a brawl, and in his next at bat, he hit one farther and watched it just the same. Through June 1st, Dietrich had hit 17 home runs in just 126 at bats, including a 3-homer game against (guess who?) the Pirates. In addition to his exploits at the plate, Dietrich has been a funny guy to watch for other reasons. During a bee delay, he dressed up as a beekeeper to the delight of the crowd. He has also had fun with the throwback uniforms the team has been wearing, from painting on a mustache, to going two buttons down on the sleeveless throwbacks, and doing bicep curls with teammates in the dugout. The dude is yoked. And just hits bombs. And has fun. Garrett was at the center of the brawl last night with the Pirates, in which he ran from the mound to the Pirates dugout to start a brawl by throwing haymakers at Trevor Williams. This man is 6-6, 235 pounds of absolute dude. He has also been helpful on the mound, with a 2.21 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 40.2 innings out of the bullpen this year. Like Dietrich, Garrett loves to show off his arms, and loves to have fun on the field. Lorenzen has quietly had a significant impact, coming out of the bullpen the past 2 years with an ERA around 3.00, and that’s not even what makes him special. He was an outstanding 2-way player in college at Cal State Fullerton, posting a sub-2.00 ERA and a .900+ OPS in his freshman year. In 2018, the Reds used him as a reliever and a pinch hitter at times. He hit 4 home runs in 31 at bats, including a grand slam. All 3 of these guys are baseball players at heart, and clearly have a lot of fun on the field.

Scooter Gennett and Eugenio Suarez

I talked about both of these guys last year, and how they get no love. They still get no love. Gennett, best known for being the scrawniest dude to hit 4 home runs in a game, was kept off the field for the first part of the season with injury, but he’s back now, and gets to show people how nasty he is. In both 2017 and 2018, Gennett hit 20+ home runs and drove in 90+ runs, in addition to hitting over .300 across those years. Suarez is in the same boat as Gennett, as he is a power bat in the Reds lineup that is very under appreciated. Last year, Suarez hit 34 home runs and drove in 104 runs, and this year started off slow, but he has 28 home runs and 69 RBI (nice) already this season. Suarez and Gennett are a great combo of middle-of-the-lineup hitters for this team.

Joey Votto and Jesse Winker

These 2 are nearly identical players. Both love to draw walks, and talk (playful) shit to fans. Votto is in a decline, and the guy who used to hit 25 home runs with a slash line of .310/.450/.530 is turning into about 15 home runs with a slash line of .255/.390/.415. Winker is looking like a great replacement for Votto’s contributions, as in half a season in 2018, Winker hit .299 and had an OBP above .400. Votto’s antics will also be transferred to Winker, who has already shown that he is capable of talking it up with opposing fans, as after a game-ending, sliding catch in Citi Field, Winker waved sarcastically at the Mets fans, which was (mostly) received as a playful gesture.

Luis Castillo and Nick Senzel

The young core of Cincinnati consists of Luis Castillo and Senzel. Castillo has had a case for the NL Cy Young award this year, as he is 9-4 with a 2.71 ERA, a league-leading 6 hits per 9 innings, and the nastiest changeup in baseball. Senzel is producing as well, with an OPS above .800 as a rookie this year, and is only getting better. These 2 are going to be in the primes of their careers when the Reds start to be contenders in the near future.

So when are these guys going to be competitive? Well they just traded Yasiel Puig for Trevor Bauer, which will help their rotation, which needed help badly. I would say that they should be contenders within the next 2-3 years, maybe even as soon as 2020, when they will get full seasons from Gennett and Bauer. Stay tuned for this team, as they have tons of fun, and soon, it’s going to show up in the win column.


Photo: Cincinnati Inquirer

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