3 Things to Watch as Cincinnati Reds Finish Spring Training


Opening Day is just a Zack Cozart throw to second base away now, and the Cincinnati Reds are putting the final touches on their 2015 roster.   That doesn’t necessarily mean, though, that there are no uncertainties remaining as the team prepares to return to the Riverfront, so here are three situations to watch as the Reds finish up Spring Training.  

More from Cincinnati Reds

Johnny Cueto’s Status

Ace Johnny Cueto returned to camp on Thursday after spending a week back home in the Dominican Republic to be with his mother as she underwent open-heart surgery.  In the process, he missed at least one start and will probably make his next with the minor league squad. Can he still round into form soon enough to make his scheduled Opening Day start?  The answer may help determine whether the Reds begin the season with a bang or a whimper.

Joey Votto’s Health

So far, so good for Joey Votto, the Reds’ all-world first baseman who is battling back from a quad injury that robbed him of most his season and basically all of his productivity in 2014.  His .261/.400/.391 slash line with one home run in 10 games during Spring Training is nothing special, but just the fact that he has recorded 30 plate appearances and played in the field is.  Will the Reds play him more frequently as Spring Training wanes, or rest him in preparation for the season?  The Votto tea leaves over the next week will tell the story about how the Reds really feel about their MVP’s health.

The Bullpen

Aside from a putrid offensive attack, the Reds’ biggest weakness in 2014 was their feeble bullpen, with the exception of closer Aroldis Chapman. With just days left in Spring Training, the relief corps is still mostly an unknown for 2015, with a motley crew vying for roster spots.  Among them are Sam LeCure, Paul Maholm, Manny Parra, Burke Badenhop, J.J. Hoover, Tony Cingrani, Jumbo Diaz, Kevin Gregg, Michael Lorenzen, Sean Marshal and Tom Hume (no? well, why not?).  That’s a lot of bodies and a lot of so-so arms that manager Bryan Price needs to cobble into a solid bullpen if the Reds are to compete in 2015.  Can he get a handle on his firemen by Opening Day?

The Cincinnati Reds are just about fully baked into the team they will be in 2015, but there are still a few outstanding questions as Spring Training wanes.  The next week will help determine how well they start the season and whether they can compete in the National League Central division.

Next: Anthony DeSclafani Could Win Rookie of the Year for Cincinnati Reds


More from Riverfront Ball