It's time to look back at every team from around the MLB and what they showed us during the 60 game sprint!
Pop a bottle for the Dodgers! The Dodgers won last night after a night full of "regrets." Kevin Cash pulled Blake Snell after 5.1IP and only throwing 70 pitches, he gave up his second hit of the game in the 6th, and Cash "Regrets is because it didn't work.". Kevin Kiermaier "That was Blake's game." A very disappointed Blake Snell said, "I wanted to keep going. ... I believe a lot in myself and what I did." 7 Pitchers won this game for the Dodgers. They won Game 6 the same way they won Game 7 of the NLCS on the back of Julio Urias finishing off the last 3 innings. The Dodgers only gave up 5H to the Rays, and the Rays as a team could not capitalize with RISP going 0-4 and 6 LOB. Kershaw and the Dodgers broke the 34-year title drought. Proved that Mookie made the difference. The well deserved World Series MVP went to Corey Seager. The championship is the first time since 2002 there has been one city to win the NBA/MLB Championship when the Angels and Lakers did it.
We are going to explore a few things for each team: Review in-season transactions, what we learned, what we loved, what we didn't love, the most significant need(s), and lastly, the biggest takeaways.
Let's jump over the NL with the Cincinnati Reds today. We talked about the Padres, A's, Marlins, Yankee's, Cardinals, Whitesox, Cubs, and Twins so far; you can find all posts on the homepage https://www.theballboyblog.com/.
What moves got the 2020 Reds to the Playoffs?
After a flurry of offseason moves, I had the Reds projected to go 36-24 and finish third in the NL Central. They finished 31-29 and in third in the NL Central.
Arizona Diamondbacks traded RHP Archie Bradley and cash to Cincinnati Reds for LF Josh VanMeter and OF Stuart Fairchild. The D-Backs knew they weren't a competitive team this season, so getting some depth pieces with decent upside in the OF where they are thin was a no brainer. Getting a good pen piece was a fair return for the Reds—overall, a good trade.
Los Angeles Angels traded LF Brian Goodwin to Cincinnati Reds for Player To Be Named Later and Packy Naughton. I did like this trade for the Reds. I watched Goodwin in LAA up until the trade as he was having a solid year, and he can play both OF positions well. With the arrival of OF Joe Adell, the OF crowed, and Goodwin was the logical piece to move.
What did we love about the 2020 Reds?
I mean, the swag of Trevor Bauer and the energy he brings to the table is like no other pitcher in the MLB. This guy is a CY Young twitter star and a face of whatever franchise he lands on during free agency. We loved to see the HR this team hit; Castellanos, Suarez, Votto, Winkler each hit over 11HRs. Outside of Trevor Bauer, the rotation was decent- Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Tyler Mahle, and TeJay Antone, each pitched to a 3.70ERA or lower. Overall the pitching staff was reliable as a unit, throwing to a 3.84ERA and 1.22WHIP. Other than that, this team was able to win just enough to make the playoffs.
What did we not love about the 2020 Reds? I don't know how this team made the playoffs off any stats offensively. Joey Votto was the Batting Average leader with a .226BA. The team as a whole was a miserable .212BA for the season. The offense had 534K-239BB this season. That many strikeouts beg the question to me, is this a hitting coach problem? More to the offensive woes in 2020 as the Reds hit .312OBP and .403SLG, and .715OPS. These numbers show an offense that could not get on base, stay on base, or score when there were runners on base. Could it be a problem in philosophy with their all or nothing approach at the plate we saw in Wild Card round scoring 0 runs against Atlanta?
What was the biggest takeaway from the 2020 Reds?
It was all or nothing for the season for the Reds, and it came up short of nothing. Yeah, a playoff appearance but that was only because of the expanded playoffs. If that weren't the case, they wouldn't have been in it. I expect the team to stick to its strength of pitching next season in 2021 and build on that, and hopefully add a new weapon or two to the lineup.
Where do the 2020 Reds go this winter?
The look to fill the shoes of Trevor Bauer, this will be tough as Bauer just had a sub-2ERA and 100K in a 60 game season. There will be plenty of lower-tier options for the Red's to go after, but they have the right mix of talent that showed well in 60 games. Hopefully, a 2-3 type SP should help this rotation. Joey Votto may officially be past his prime, still hitting 11HR but struggling as a whole at the plate with a slash of .226BA/.354OBP/.446SLG. They should fill the void he will be leaving soon with a new face of the franchise.