Barring some herculean performances from myriad unheralded players, the Reds and their fans know their place in 2016: Near and maybe at the bottom. Now seemingly forever ago, Cincinnati had won at least 90 games three times in a four-year span, topping out at 97 wins and a first-place finish in 2012, but the Reds have finally conceded their time has passed. Winning just 64 games in 2015, their lowest win total since the 61-101 1982 season, change in Cincinnati was inevitable. Trades of top-two starters Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake midseason last year were the first signs of concession, but new general manager Dick Williams stayed the course with a trade of all-star closer Aroldis Chapman (to the Yankees), a trade of HR-derby champ and All-Star third baseman Todd Frazier (to the White Sox) and an attempt to trade Brandon Phillips.
This has left Reds faithful searching for reasons to tune in, wondering ‘what the Reds are doing’ and ultimately disgusted with the organization. But once you cool down, snap back to reality and understand the state the Reds are in you will have plenty to look forward to in 2016. You just have to peek in the appropriate places.
Lucky for you, the purpose of this piece is to highlight the Reds’ five biggest questions in the 2016 season. Let’s take a look.