Revisited: The Cincinnati Reds are the best team that nobody’s talking about

My love for the Cincinnati Reds is well-documented by this point. I have written not one, but TWO blogs on the Reds, which is probably two blogs too many. When I first jumped on the Reds bandwagon back in September of 2018, I was probably a little bit premature. The team still stunk but I was blindly optimistic.The second time I talked about the Reds was when things were starting to fall into place. They weren’t there just yet, but they were laying the foundations of a successful team. They had acquired Tanner Roark, Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood, and Sonny Gray all before January.  I thought, “Oh boy, the Reds might fuck around and win 90 games!”. They then proceeded to lose 87 games and traded everybody I previously mentioned with the exception of Sonny Gray. Talk about a gut check. 

But hear me out, now they finally mean business. The other two times I went all in were just jokes, I was just messing around. Hahaha, Good one Owen. But this time I mean it, MY Cincinnati Reds are done messing around and have decided that it is their time to win. 

It started with the signing of slugger Mike Moustakas to play second base on a four year deal worth $64 million. Moose is fresh off a 35 home run campaign with the Brewers where he posted a .845 OPS. In the hitters paradise that is Great American Ballpark, Moustakas will be planting home runs into the right field bleachers for years to come. Next came the signing of the Japanese monster Shogo Akiyama. Akiyama, while on the older side when it comes to Japanese imports, has exclusively raked in the land of the rising sun. Over his last 5 seasons with the Saitama Seibu Lions, Akiyama is sporting a .320 batting average, has hit double digit home runs in each season, and has a tidy .900 OPS. He also has a really fun last name. Say it out loud right now and tell me it doesn’t bring a smile to your face. You can’t, it’s impossible.The dude can flat out hit, and the craziest part is that he’ll likely be a bench player.  Why is that you ask? Because the Reds weren’t done adding to their loaded lineup and went out and signed Nick Castellanos. Castellanos has quietly built himself into one of the most steady hitters in all of baseball. Over his last four seasons, Castellanos is hitting .286 while slugging over .500 and has hit 20 or more home runs in three straight seasons. Castellanos LOVES to hit doubles, and he’ll run into more than a few with the spacious outfield gaps in Cincy. 

Now you might look at those names and say, “Sure Owen, they can all hit, but what about the pitching?? What are they doing about the PITCHINGGGGGG?????”. Well, our beloved GM Nick Krall (What an unfortunate name. “Hey are you the guy who created ‘Big Mouth?” “No, that’s Nick Kroll”) saw that the rotation was a little top-heavy with Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray being absolute studs and added inning eater, swamp monster Wade Miley. Miley has reinvented himself over the last two years, splitting time with the Brewers and Astros, and established himself as the crafty lefty he once was with the Diamondbacks. Miley, along with the aforementioned Castillo and Gray, make up one of the best starter groups in the game. But then you remember that they have the maniac, twitter troll Trevor Bauer chilling in their back pockets. If Bauer can return to the 2018 version of himself, the Reds may be damn near unbeatable. Raisel Iglesias, noted- fighter Amir Garrett, home run pimping Michael Lorenzen, and newly acquired Nate Jones are at the back end of the bullpen ready to clean things up. 

Oh, by the way, Aristedes Aquino who hit 19 home runs in 56 games is going to get a full season under his belt, Eugenio Suarez who led the NL in home runs last year might fuck around and hit 60 bombs, Joey Votto had a down year and is ripe for a return to form. I didn’t even mention guys like Jesse Winker, Nick Senzel, Tucker Barnhart, or Freddy Galvis. This team is going to absolutely rake this coming season and pitch lights out on top of it. 

Holy SHIT, the Reds are going to do it this year. I have talked myself into it. Watch out Cubs and Cardinals, there’s a pain train coming down the tracks. The big red machine is back.  


Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images



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