While we are waiting out an unfortunate baseball delay due to the COVID-19 outbreak, I’ve found that the best way to cope so far has been to watch old Reds clips and to try and remember the best times of previous seasons. It still isn’t the same as knowing that a new season is coming soon, but so far, it’s helped.
While watching replays is a good way to pass time during this self-isolation period, it’s not quite the same as knowing that the real thing isn’t far away. Tucker Barnhart reminded us of where we should be at this point.
The first sign of spring in Cincinnati is pitchers and catchers reporting to camp. The second and last sign is Opening Day. But because of this once-in-a-lifetime international pandemic, we won’t see that second sign any time soon.
There is room for hope. South Korea and Japan both restarted their preseason training for their professional baseball leagues over the weekend, and if we all come together and do our part to fight this virus, we might get baseball sooner than expected. So while we wait for more Reds baseball, we’ll answer some Reds questions.
“Think Suarez will be ready by Opening Day?David, Facebook
The biggest positive from all of this from a baseball standpoint is that most of the players that were expected to miss time at the start of the season will be fully healthy before the season starts. That means Eugenio Suarez, Nick Senzel, Freddy Galvis and others should be fully ready by Opening Day’s eventual arrival. The Reds went into camp pretty healthy, and while there may be some injuries to be expected from ramping up quickly in the summer, expect the Reds to be mostly healthy before we see another live game.
What do you guys think bell should do with votto? I would think it makes sense to keep him at 2 or 3 at the beginning of the season, but given his propensity to start seasons slow when would be the right time to maybe move him towards the bottom of the lineup? 30 games in? 60? All star break?Declan, e-mail
Well, we may not have an all-star break this year, so we may have to remove that benchmark from this season. I’m going to give a spin zone here and say that Joey is taking this extra time to perfect his swing and approach. And with the strong possibility of a shortened season in play this year, David Bell is going to have to give Votto the benefit of the doubt. If Shogo Akiyama hits leadoff, Votto will hit either second or third and set the table for the cleanup crew of Castellanos, Suarez and Moustakas early and often. If Joey Votto hits in the bottom of the lineup, he’s either the DH in the World Series or something has gone horribly wrong.
In place of a third question, I’m going to give my solution for a possible start date.
If MLB starts the season on June 4th and just play as it lies, we still have 102 games left in the season. That is a Thursday night, and the Reds host the Cubs in a four-game series before hosting the Dodgers and then going on a nine-game road trip to Milwaukee, San Diego and St. Louis. That is a tough start, but if the Reds come out hot, we know we can believe in them as a real contender. If they start poorly, they have more than enough time to make up a deficit. Plus, their September is incredibly easy. They play games against Baltimore, San Francisco, Miami and Pittsburgh, which can offer them enough “easy” wins to either clinch or get back into a race. It’s looking as if a June start is a wish, but however many games they play, the Reds have a better road in the second half of their schedule.
While it sucks, it’s good to get thoughts out about the potential of a baseball season in order to not think about the damages that this outbreak has done across the world. One day, the Reds will be back on the field, and we’ll be back out on the Banks to toast their return. Until then, we wait.