As the 2019 baseball season comes closing in, Reds fans can’t help but wonder, will this be just another losing year, under .500, or will the Reds make a mark in the NL Central? That is still unknown, but what we do know at this point – is that the Reds have made considerable efforts to improve the team over the off-season. With a new manager, coaching staff, and players the Reds are beginning to look like a new team.
— Joey Votto (@EvilJoeyVotto) February 18, 2019
Joey Votto looking to improve in 2019
In 2018, Votto had a rough year as he played in 145 games, batted .284 and hit 12 home runs to go with 67 RBIs. When I say he had a “rough” year, I mean in comparison to what he’s done over his career, not to mention still leading the National league in OBP (.417).
Votto has led the National League seven out of his last nine years in the majors, which has been overlooked by the vast majority of baseball fans. In an interview with the Dayton Daily News Votto is quoted saying,
“I think that I was embarrassed … I don’t like to use the word embarrassed because I was really proud of the effort last year. I just wasn’t satisfied with my performance and I feel I came into camp a little bit behind and the one thing I’ve found as I’ve gotten older is you just have to put in more reps and the reps have to be more technically sound. I felt last year I was a little sloppy with that. I say the word proud though because despite the slow start I ended up being an All-Star and I felt like I was ready to play nearly every day. It was an eye-opening experience for me last season and I can’t just roll in and get what I’m used to”
Votto’s thoughts on 2019
As Joey Votto said in an earlier interview, he wants not one ring but two, and now Votto’s getting even more serious. He’s talked a lot about what he expects from the Reds this season and it mimics what Reds fans have wanted for years….
“I’m excited about all of the guys. There are so many new faces. I was telling some guys I’m excited to hit and learn and compete with guys on my team. I’m excited about playing behind some of the new pitching staff … I think this feels like a completely different camp because I think we have a legitimate shot at winning the division this year”
Wood, DeSclafani, Gray confident
Votto isn’t the only one with high hopes this year, as Alex Wood Anthony DeSclafani, and Sonny Gray are confident the Reds will make a 2019 playoff push.
“I think we’re going to play postseason baseball this year and I think we’ll surprise a lot of teams.” – Disco
”I am excited for the opportunity. One of the biggest things that I’m excited about is the Cincinnati Reds are trying to win. That’s more than you can say for a lot of teams across the leagues. I feel really proud to go into this season with the Reds. I think we can do some damage and make some noise.” – Wood
”That group of position players in there can rival any group that we will play this season. Watching guys compete, that’s what I’m excited about.” – Gray
Alex Wood and Sonny Gray are new editions this year. Last year, Alex Wood’s season totals came to a 9-7 record and a 3.68 ERA. He lost his first four starts but managed to win his next eight of ten before being transitioned into a bullpen pitcher.
Sonny Gray had a more inadequate season going 11-9 with a 4.90 ERA. Sure, that isn’t great, but there’s one variable you can give him a break on…. pitching in the Bronx. Yankees fans can be the rudest, most belligerent fans out there. If you mess up just the slightest, you’ll find yourself booed off the mound. I wouldn’t exactly call that a stable pitching environment.
Sonny Gray definitely wasn’t in a stable pitching environment and Cincinnati might serve as a more enjoyable place to play. If anything, we can hope it’ll be a winning environment.