Thursday, March 27, 2014

CBS Sports baseball writers don't think too highly of Reds

One would be a fool to not admit that there are some question marks surrounding this Reds club entering the 2014 regular season.

The manager who previously led Cincinnati to postseason appearances in three of the last four years is gone. The best leadoff hitter in the game last season is gone. And one of the anchors of the pitching staff has made his home elsewhere as well.

Now, that's not to say the Reds haven't made strides to replace those missing parts. New skipper Bryan Price figures to be more than capable of doing the job. If Tony Cingrani can pitch anywhere near the level he did in his rookie campaign, the Reds will be just fine in the area. And if Billy Hamilton can reach base better than 4 out of every 10 times atop the batting order, look out.

Above all, if the Reds can manage to stay collectively healthy this year they have all the makings of a team who can punch its ticket to another postseason berth. Again, there are many questions still to be answered with this team, but the general consensus among outsiders is that Price's club will notch a winning record.

With that being said, the baseball staff at CBS Sports published their predictions for how the MLB regular season will shake out. This staff included writers Jon Heyman, Mike Axisa, Dayn Perry, and Matt Snyder. Of the four, only one (Perry) believes Cincinnati has what it takes to earn a slot in October. The other three each picked the Reds to finish third behind the Cardinals and Pirates.

Could the Reds miss out on the playoffs altogether this season? Absolutely. Anything is possible. But I just don't see the Pirates repeating the level of success they deservedly experienced in 2013. Especially when you consider the Brewers and Cubs will be much improved too.

On a side note, Axisa and Perry did peg Johnny Cueto as their "Comeback Player of the Year" for the National League. And Snyder tapped Billy Hamilton as his choice for National League Rookie of the Year. So, let's hope their crystal ball is correct.

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