The Reds as Playoffs in 2020? Maybe it’s time to believe

Over the last two years, soft-spoken Wade Miley has made a 3.52 ERA in 49 starts for the Brewers and Astros. Miley, as you’ve probably heard, was reportedly signed as a free agent with the Reds on Monday, a two-year, $ 15 million deal.

As a comparison, here are the 2018-19 ERAs for some other well-known startups that recently signed free agent agreements:

– Stephen Strasburg, 3.48 ERA, Eight Years, $ 245 Million Deal With Citizens
– Zack Wheeler, 3.65 ERA, Five Year, $ 118 Million Deal With the Phillies
– Madison Bumgarner, 3.66 ERA, Five Year, $ 85 Million Deal With Diamondbacks

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The point, of course, is not to say that Wade Miley is equal to Stephen Strasburg, no matter what the ERA tells us (a nice but wrong situation). It’s neither Wheeler nor Bumgarner. ERA is like Wikipedia: It’s a great place to start, but you have to dig a little deeper if you want to get to the real truth.

If you’re a team that shows itself as a playoff contender and Wade Miley is your 2nd starter, you’re probably not really a playoff contender. But Miley is not the second starter for the Reds. Not the 3rd guy either. The top three belong to Luis Castillo, Trevor Bauer and Sonny Gray, and that’s an amazing top three.

But throw Miley to the back of the rotation with Anthony DeSclafani – the right-hander who had a 3.91 ERA and 167 strikeouts in 166 2/3 innings for Cincinnati in 2019 – and, folks, this is a rotation for a team that will surely imagine itself is a playoff contender.

So here’s the question: Is it okay to believe the Reds as legitimate playoff contenders?

First, a quick overview of the long winter winter of the playoffs. The Reds parted ways with manager Dusty Baker when the team struggled in October after reaching the post three times in four years with 90 or more winning teams. This was 2013, and the Reds didn’t even kill the playoffs in five years under Bryan Price, with victories totaling 76, 64, 68, 68 and 67.

Last year, David Bell for the first time as a commander, the Reds won 75 games. Most surprised in baseball with Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer before the trade deadline, he was just 4.5 from a wild card slot in mid-August. However, they fell under the stretch, and passed in September after the dispute, but look forward to 2020.

“There is a ton of positive momentum for good reason, I think,” Bell told reporters at yesterday’s San Diego meetings last week. “Living in the city, living in the park everyday and seeing all the work and commitment we have to earn, to really build what I believe to be a great foundation. It didn’t produce the results we know will be there last year, but a lot of progress behind from the scenes. “

Since we started with Miley, let’s start with whether or not we believe in rotation. Castillo took advantage of his enormous potential and made the All-Star team in 2019, posting a 3.20 ERA, 10.7 K / 9 and allowing six fewer cabins than in 2018, despite 21 other home runs. is running. It’s legal No. 1.

Gray was great in his first season in Cincinnati. posted a 2.87 ERA in 31 starts and recorded a career-best 10.5 K / 9. Bauer struggled in his 10 wins at Cincy (6.39 ERA), but the Reds expect to make more of his 2018 names – 2.21 ERA / 2.44 FIP for Cleveland – from the 2019 Games.

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In the bullpen, Raisel Iglesias has three seasons closer under his belt, and although his ERA jumped in 2019, K / 9 was his best career, BB / 9 was his low career (as a reliever) he was best As of 2018. Its BABIP of 2019 was .318, a significant jump from .234 last season. His bad luck can’t continue in 2020, right? With Amir Garrett, Michael Lorenzen and Robert Stephenson in the mix of big-outs, this is a solid crew.

And to apologize to Miley, the biggest addition the Reds have made so far this offseason was the four-year, $ 64 million contract they gave Mike Moustakas. The third king of his career will move to second base – played a little in Milwaukee – and gives the Reds a power boat from that position. He has averaged 34 homers, 89 RBIs and .817 OPS over the last three seasons.

“To add a guy like Moose to a group of people I met very well last year, believing that we are close to winning and knowing that we are one step away from that, add to him and his personality and expectations and trying to win in that mix, I mean, it’s hard not to think about it every day and to think about the dynamics of how it’s all going to come together, “Bell said in San Diego.

Moustakas will play second base because the hot corner is occupied by Eugenio Suarez, the slugger who dropped 49 homers in 2019, after 34 and an All-Star nod in 2018. He takes over for Jose Peraza, who has not been offered since from three years as a starting point of defense. Freddie Galvis is upgrading power shortly, replacing Jose Iglesias, who had a .631 OPS in his time with the Reds. Galvis hit 23 boats last year between Toronto and Cincinnati, with a .734 OPS.

And then Joey Votto. Much of what you think about the Reds’ prospects of transfer probably depends on whether you think Votto, a future Hall of Famer, has just passed a temporary slump or if his time as an All-Star is over. He has managed just 27 home runs in the last two years – a smaller one than Baltimore’s Chris Davis – and his .357 on-base percentage in 2019 was 70 points below his career-high average.

“I believe in this guy in every way you can imagine,” Bell said. “I mean, he’s human. I mean, by the standards of most people, he still had a solid year last year. I think he’ll continue to improve. As I said, I believe in him in every way possible – his work ethic, commitment, movement. It will be better. “

The outfield is young and talented, but not yet proven.

Aristides Aquino hit the stage last year, putting up 11 home runs in his first 16 games and finishing with 19 homers and 47 RBIs – with 122 OPS + – in 56 games. Navigating a second run through the big companies can be a challenge, though. Nick Senzel, the second overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, had ups and downs in his ancient year. finished with 0.742 OPS and 0.6 bWAR in 104 games.

Jesse Winkler enters his fourth year in the bigs. in 249 career games, has .845 OPS and 30 home runs. Winkler and Aquino enter their 26th season, while Senzel will not convert until 25 June. Very talented, but not too sure. The offseason, however, is still young.

But, yes. You can see why people are starting to believe in reds. And not just the people who are paid by the Reds.

“It’s really exciting to be involved,” Bell said. “So, of course, it’s nice to hear this from people overseas, but it doesn’t surprise me because I know that I am in it and I am grateful to be in this position to be able to contribute.”

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