The Cincinnati Reds finished the 2015 season with a 64-98 record. According to many baseball pundits, the team will be hard-pressed to win the same number of games this year.
As longtime Reds reporter Hal McCoy wrote for the Dayton Daily News: “Don’t make plans to purchase World Series tickets or playoff tickets for the Cincinnati Reds. And add the Milwaukee Brewers to that assessment. …”
Ready or not, the Reds will get the 2016 season rolling today when they host the Philadelphia Phillies in the first game of a 3-game series at Great American Ball Park. The game begins at 4:10 p.m.
Cincinnati will have somewhat of a new look this year. Gone are pitchers Johnny Cueto, Aroldis Chapman and Mike Leake, as well as third baseman Todd Frazier and his 35 home runs. If management gets its way, outfielder Jay Bruce will soon be playing in a different city.
The Reds still have first baseman Joey Votto, who finished third in last year’s MVP race, second baseman Brandon Phillips, right hand pitcher Homer Bailey, catcher Devin Mesoraco and shortstop Zack Cozart as the team tries to catch up to the Cardinals, Pirates and Cubs. Bailey is still recovering from Tommy John surgery and reportedly will be placed on the 60-day Disabled List today.
Despite the Reds’ returning players, McCoy isn’t thrilled with Cincinnati’s chances. “It will be fun to watch Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips, but how much fun will it be to watch 95 or more defeats accumulated with a pitching staff of Who, What and Why?” he wrote.
“With the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs in the National League Central, the Reds and Brewers have no chance.”
“We haven’t had a lot of great reviews in the off season,” admitted Reds manager Bryan Price. “We understand that, we understand where we are as an organization.”
Cincinnati placed four starting pitchers on the disabled list Sunday to get to the 25-man roster limit. They include: right handers Anthony DeSclafani, Michael Lorenzen and Jon Moscot, and left hander John Lamb.
Former Reds’ manager Lou Pinella is grand marshal of the annual opening day parade. Pinella also will throw the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game.
Great American Ball Park will have a few new features this season, with one of the more anticipated being an All-You-Can-Eat concession stand.
The stand is located on the View Level, behind section 530 near first base. For $20, you’ll be able to enjoy an unlimited amount of hot dogs, soft drinks, peanuts and chips. Fans can purchase passes in advance or at GABP.
The Fioptics District in left field has a rooftop patio with a view of downtown Cincinnati, lounge furniture and a 15-foot video board. The bar features domestic, imported and craft beers, a variety of wines and mixed drinks.
A dozen arcade games have been added to the Machine Room Grille in the Scene75 Entertainment Center, and different carnival-themed games can be enjoyed in the popular Kroger Fan Zone.
The Reds will have a special Kids Opening Day on Sunday, April 10 at 1:10 p.m. when they host the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Follow these links to learn more about this year’s Reds team — and more.
Statistics via MLB.com.
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