The long wait is finally over. Tomorrow afternoon at 4:10, the Cincinnati Reds will kick off the 2017 season. Scott Feldman will get the Opening Day start for Cincinnati as they take on the Philadelphia Phillies at Great American Ball Park.
We’re less than 24 hours from meaningful baseball.
Sounds like it’s time to get to this week’s Reds Report.
Opening Day Lineup
Here is what the lineup will look like when Cincinnati takes the field tomorrow.
– Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 2, 2017
Few teams in baseball (if any) can match the speed the Reds bring to the table at the top of the order (Hamilton and Peraza). Other than Peraza at second, the lineup largely looks how it did at the end of last season.
The Starting Rotation is Set
On the other hand, the starting rotation has experienced some significant changes. Brandon Finnegan will be joined by newcomers Scott Feldman, Rookie Davis, and Amir Garrett. The final spot in the rotation looks like it will go to…Bronson Arroyo.
Mark Sheldon offered a helpful recap of the changes and got Bryan Price’s thoughts on the rotation. The article also highlights the names that will make up Cincinnati’s (hopefully improved) bullpen.
This is a YOUNG Team
As of now, the Reds have the youngest average age of any 25-man roster in the league. The team placed a priority on getting younger, and they’ve definitely done that.
From Elias via #Reds: Reds’ average age for 25-man roster (26 years, 355 days) is the youngest in MLB. , Padres next (27 years, 6 days).
– C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) April 2, 2017
Can Adam Duvall Silence His Critics?
Adam Duvall was one of the few bright spots for Cincinnati last season. However, a number of analysts point to Duvall’s poor second-half numbers as a reason to doubt he can match his production from 2016.
If spring training is any indication, Duvall seems to be up to the challenge. He was one of the Reds best hitters this spring (.302/.373/.679 with 6 HR), and home runs like the one below remind you just how much power he brings to the plate.
– CinCity (@CinCitySports) March 29, 2017
The State of the Rebuild
What exactly is the state of Cincinnati’s rebuild heading into 2017? C. Trent Rosecrans took some time this week to assess how successful Dick Williams has been implementing his four-point “blueprint.”
The team wanted to trade valuable assets to acquire young talent, invest aggressively in the amateur market, create payroll flexibility, and invest in areas outside of the payroll. How have they done so far? Click the link to get Rosecrans’ thoughts.
Joey Votto vs. Father Time
A number of players from the last competitive Reds team are gone. However, Joey Votto will still be at first when the team takes the field tomorrow. Votto is now thirty-three, and it’s fair to wonder what his production will look like over the next few seasons.
Zach Buchanan recently asked whether Votto will “grow old before the Reds grow up?” Up to this point, Votto has been worth every dollar of the 10-year, $225 million extension he signed back in 2012. However, he’s at an age when fans should expect some decline in his performance.
If the rebuild takes longer than expected, then it’s possible the next competitive Reds team will include a diminished Joey Votto.
Three Words: Ball Park Food
If you make the trip to Great American Ball Park this season, you will be rewarded with some new food options. Polly Campbell and Shauna Steigerwlad broke down the latest offerings.
If you’re not into the whole “reading” thing, here is a video summary.
– Enquirer (@Enquirer) March 22, 2017
On Sunday, the Reds made several moves to finalize their roster prior to the start of the season. These moves included Devin Mesoraco and Anthony DeSclafani being placed on the 10-day DL. Wick Terrell has a helpful breakdown of what these moves mean and when you might expect to see a few prominent players back on the field.
Cincinnati will open the season with three games at home against the Phillies. On Friday, they’ll head to St. Louis for a three-game set over the weekend.