A major part of this was their underrated lineup.
Though there wasn’t much buzz surrounding this group during the season, they actually have some of the most well-rounded talent of any other roster.
Reds and Braves make history in first playoff game to go scoreless through 11 innings pic.twitter.com/gC1lijws2W
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 30, 2020
However, he left the team in free agency after signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Now, the organization will have an uphill battle as they hope to return to the playoffs in 2021.
Here is an early look at their projected lineup.
Reds Projected 2021 Lineup
If the season started today, here is how the Reds’ lineup would shake out.
- Shogo Akiyama, OF
- Nick Castellanos, OF
- Joey Votto, 1B
- Eugenio Suarez, 3B
- Mike Moustakas, 2B
- Jesse Winker, OF
- Kyle Farmer, SS
- Tucker Barnhart, C
This is a solid lineup.
They are bolstered by a strong core of proven, veteran talent that you can expect to produce over a 162-game season.
Castellanos has put together a solid stretch over the last few seasons, being a yearly 20-plus home run threat.
He has the potential to have a breakout, MVP caliber season soon.
Votto has consistently been one of the league’s best first baseman over the past 14 seasons.
(Grounds) Crew runs deep for Joey Votto. pic.twitter.com/fHHPkjPO3d
— Cut4 (@Cut4) August 4, 2020
Though he has taken a couple steps back offensively over the last few years, he may still be able to bounce back.
He will also still be able to get on base at a high rate, setting up the massive home run threat of Suarez.
Moustakas also provides the team with a solid option from the left side of the plate.
Altogether, this offense could turn out to be one of the best in the National League, especially if they all perform at their peaks.
The biggest hole in the Reds pitching rotation will be the lack of Bauer.
They will greatly miss the reigning Cy Young’s production, as it won’t easily be replaced.
However, right hander Luis Castillo is a proven ace at the big-league level.
All nine of #Reds Luis Castillo's strikeouts today against the Giants.
8 of 9 punchouts came via the changeup.
— Nick Pollack (@PitcherList) August 19, 2018
He could emerge as a Cy Young contender this year.
The Reds also have the resurging Sonny Gray, who has returned to form over his first two seasons with the franchise.
This would be a great sign for the team, as he also has Cy Young potential.
Beyond those two, there are more question marks for the Reds’ rotation.
They will need to either have players step up or make a signing before the season.
One potential move could be a pitcher like James Paxton, who may be available on a cost-friendly short-term deal.
If they hope to make a run at the NL Central, the Reds will need to address this lack of depth.
Reds 2021 Outlook
With the Chicago Cubs taking a step back and shedding salary, the door has opened for the Reds to compete for a divisional title.
However, the St. Louis Cardinals have taken steps to have the most talented roster.
The acquisition of third baseman Nolan Arenado solidified their position as the division’s favorites.
Nolan Arenado is a Cardinal. pic.twitter.com/Rclge3Rq0b
— MLB (@MLB) February 2, 2021
This doesn’t mean that there is no hope for the Reds, though.
They could be a sleeper team that flies under many people’s radars for 2021.
Look for them to put together a solid year and possibly make it back to the playoffs.