The 2020 season is now a 60-game dash, starting on July 23 and ending, hopefully, with a full-size postseason in October. Between now and the start of the season, we’ll be giving quick capsule previews of each team, reminding you of where things stood back in Spring Training and where they stand now as we embark on what is sure to be the strangest season in baseball history. First up: The Cincinnati Reds roster and schedule:
REDS ROSTER (projected)
When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.
In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the Reds roster to begin the season:
The Reds haven’t been to the postseason since 2013, when they lost the Wild Card game to the Pirates. After a long rebuilding period, the club has finally assembled a roster that very well may make them favorites in the NL Central. In fact, the recently released PECOTA projections see the Reds edging out the Cubs to take the division title.
In the offseason, the Reds bolstered the offense by signing Nick Castellanos, Mike Moustakas, and Shogo Akiyama. It’s not known yet how Akiyama’s numbers will translate in Major League Baseball, but he hit at least 20 homers in each of the last three seasons in Japan, slugging well over .500 in two of those seasons. Castellanos cranked out 27 long balls last year while Moustakas was responsible for 35 of his own. Meanwhile, a reinvigorated Joey Votto is hoping to turn the page after a disappointing 2019 in which he posted a career-worst .768 OPS. Along with mainstay Eugenio Suárez at the hot corner, who hit 49 homers last season, the Reds offense should rank among the NL’s best.
Meanwhile, the starting rotation is quite solid as well. Sonny Gray benefited from a change of scenery out of New York, as he quietly posted a 2.87 ERA over 175 1/3 innings for the Reds. Luis Castillo, out of the No. 2 slot, won 15 games with a 3.40 ERA across 32 starts last year behind Gray. Trevor Bauer has perhaps the highest upside of any No. 3 starter in the game, though his 2019 was a disappointment on the heels of 2018’s 2.21 ERA. He registered a 4.48 ERA, seeing marked increases in walks and home runs allowed. Wade Miley and Anthony DeSclafani round out the back of the rotation, ranking among the strongest back ends of a starting rotation around.
The bullpen has the potential to push the Reds into top-seed territory. Closer Raisel Iglesias followed up three straight seasons with a sub 2.55 ERA with a 4.16 ERA. There’s reason to believe that had to do with bad BABIP luck given that his strikeout and walk rates both improved. The bridge between the starters and Iglesias, with the likes of Michael Lorenzen, Robert Stephenson, and Amir Garrett, is quite good. Middle relief is iffy, but if the Reds can get to the seventh inning with a lead, they will have to feel confident about their chances.
Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.
- July 24-26: vs. Tigers
- July 27-30: vs. Cubs
- July 31-August 2: @ Tigers
- August 3-4: vs. Indians
- August 5-6: @ Indians
- August 7-9: @ Brewers
- August 11-12: vs. Royals
- August 13-16: vs. Pirates
- August 18-19: @ Royals
- August 20-23: @ Cardinals
- August 24-27: @ Brewers
- August 28-30: vs. Cubs
- August 31-September 2: vs. Cardinals
- September 4-6: @ Pirates
- September 8-10: @ Cubs
- September 11-13: @ Cardinals
- September 14-16: vs. Pirates
- September 18-20: vs. White Sox
- September 21-23: vs. Brewers
- September 25-27: @ Twins