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  • Writer's pictureBen Hicks

2024 Cincinnati Reds Preview

Following an unexpectedly successful 2023, the Cincinnati Reds enter the 2024 campaign with great anticipation as they hope to compete for their first National League Central Division crown since 2012.

Led by 5th-year manager David Bell, the rookie Reds captured the hearts and minds of Cincinnati last summer, as their energetic style of play drew record crowds to Great American Ball Park during a summer run that saw the club shoot up to 1st-place. Although the 82-80 season ended in disappointment, falling just two games short of the final playoff spot, the young core showed signs of promise and potential leading into 2024.

Behind the consistent play of rookies 2B Matt McLain, LF Spencer Steer, and P Andrew Abbott, Cincinnati was competitive throughout the year for the first time in over a decade and even landed a feature on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Other young faces who had their share of exciting moments include the flashy SS Elly De La Cruz and home-run hitting outfielders Will Benson and Jake Fraley.

The franchise acquired many of these talented youngsters in the last three seasons, through an accelerated rebuild led by highly respected general manager Nick Krall. Krall’s unique approach targeted highly versatile, athletic prospects who can play a variety of positions while still on cheap contracts. This roster makeup allows the Reds to run wild on the basepaths, as well as post above average defensive metrics.

While the explosive offense was certainly captivating a year ago, the starting pitching raised question marks as the Reds headed into an important offseason. Krall attempted to answer those questions with veterans. The Reds rotation will include experienced newcomers Frankie Montas and Nick Martinez to complement the likes of impressive returners Nick Lodolo, Hunter Greene, and the aforementioned Abbott. Although underappreciated, the bullpen held their own last year, and lockdown closer Alexis Diaz returns for year three in Cincinnati.

While the talent is there, to be a contending squad, the Reds need leadership. With franchise icon and surefire Hall-of-Famer Joey Votto remaining a free agent, Jonathan India will have to step up and fill that void. India is just 27 years old and in his 4th season in the show, but has proven himself to be a consistent glue guy in the locker room and the lineup.

With Spring Training already underway in Goodyear, Arizona, India and his teammates have expressed supreme confidence in their team’s abilities. In an interview with USA Today, India boldly proclaimed, “We’ve got more energy. We’re more confident. We’re going to win the division this year.”

With high expectations comes high pressure, and the noise around this edition of the Cincinnati Reds is quite foreign. The talented roster and experienced front office have all the pieces to win now, but the question still remains: Are the Reds true contenders? We will have to watch and see.

Opening Day in Cincinnati is scheduled for 4:10pm on Thursday, March 28th, when the Washington Nationals come to town. Spirits should be high all year, so get on down to GABP for some Reds baseball this summer.

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