In what we expect to be a salary dump off to make a move for Bryce Harper, the Dodgers traded Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to the Reds. The ballpark shift is an upgrade for both, and this is an upgrade for the Reds outfield as well. Cincinnati’s offense has become incredibly deep. Joey Votto and Scooter Gennett are lefty power bats, and adding in some right-handers is going to help this lineup become more balanced. Kemp is an older bat now, but has held his own against left-handed pitching especially, which is something the Reds needed. Puig is an interesting add, given he has been a sporadic bat at times, but he can certainly thrive with the Reds. Puig offers speed and power, but also his ability to hit right-handed pitching seems to be extremely underrated. Overall this is an upgrade for the Reds, and gives them some more speed and power. Combining them with the names already in the lineup and playing half the games in Great American Ballpark, this is going to be a good offense.
Luis Castillo was a bit unlucky at times last season, and his second half was completely different from his first. He had a 2.44 ERA in the second half, compared to the 5.49 ERA in the first half, it was quite the improvement. Castillo made some changes, throwing his fastball less, which helped him out quite a bit. Castillo had major hype coming into last season, and in the second half he delivered on that for those who were patient. Castillo is expected to come into the season as the Reds ace, and this rotation looks a little steadier with Tanner Roark and Alex Wood now behind him. With a better offense and defense now behind him, Castillo could be in for a big year.
The Reds have a farm system to be excited with for the future, and Nick Senzel tops the list. He is a near big league ready infielder, who has an ETA of 2019. He had a .310/.378/.509 slashing line in Triple-A last season, but there are some names like Scooter Gennett and Eugenio Suarez ahead of him that would continue to start over him. Senzel might get the call up, but regular playing time might be a bit much to ask heading into 2019 barring a trade. Hunter Greene has a clearer shot of getting to the majors, but is younger. Health is the biggest key with young pitchers, and the elbow strain last season was a concern. He has a tremendous fastball, and his off-speed stuff is improving. Greene is likely a year away still, and still needs time moving through the levels of the minors. The Reds have some guys like Taylor Trammell and Tony Santillan, but are late 2020 guys. This is an exciting group.