LOS ANGELES, March 25, 2013 — The Cincinnati Reds won the National League Central division with a 97-65 record. Their performance in the playoffs, however, was not so good as they exited after the NLDS.
The Reds shipped Drew Stubbs to Cleveland and received Shin-Soo Choo in return. Joey Votto looks healthy this spring. If he has no injury troubles or lasting effects from last year’s knee injury, he is capable of putting up MVP numbers. If any of the outfielders go down, speedster Billy Hamilton will be waiting in AAA for the call.
The Reds announced that they will no longer be thinking about moving their lights-out closer, Aroldis Chapman, into the starting rotation. He will again be the closer in 2013 and Jonathan Broxton will set up. Mat Latos could be a 20 game winner and make a run at the Cy Young this year.
The Reds have little competition in the National League Central. A repeat of last year’s record is not only possible but is expected. If they don’t improve on that record and break through the 100 wins level, some may see it as a disappointment.
Projected payroll: $98,800,000
Notable Players Out: CF Drew Stubbs, 3B Scott Rolen, C Dioner Navarro
Notable Players In: CF Shin-Soo Choo, LHP Manny Parra
Prospect Watch: OF Billy Hamilton and LHP Tony Cingrani
Highlight Hitter: 1B Joey Votto (ZiPS 2013 Projections: .300/.423/.542 26 HR/80 R/87 RBI/9 SB)
Highlight Pitcher: Mat Latos (ZiPS 2013 Projections: 13-8, 3.47 ERA, 8.48 K/9, 197.3 IP)
Projected Lineup: C Ryan Hanigan, 1B Joey Votto, 2B Brandon Phillips, 3B Todd Frazier, SS Zack Cozart, LF Ryan Ludwick, CF Shin-Soo Choo, RF Jay Bruce
Projected Rotation: RHP Johnny Cueto, RHP Mat Latos, RHP Bronson Arroyo, RHP Homer Bailey, RHP Mike Leake
Projected Closer: LHP Aroldis Chapman
Manager: Dusty Baker
Projected 2013 Finish in NL Central: 1. Cincinnati Reds 2. St. Louis Cardinals 3. Pittsburgh Pirates 4. Milwaukee Brewers 5. Chicago Cubs
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