Last Season’s Fantasy Highlights
After beginning the season on the disabled list, Aroldis Chapman showed no residual effect from the horrific spring training incident where he was struck above his left eye with a line drive, fanning over 100 for the third straight season. Todd Frazier’s power stroke matured as well as chipping in with double-digit steals. Devin Mesoraco took advantage the injury to Joey Votto and a slumping Jay Bruce to flourish in the clean-up spot. Johnny Cueto enjoyed an injury-free campaign and responded with a career best performance.
What Has Changed?
Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon were shipped out of town, ostensibly to be replaced by Tony Cingrani and Anthony Descalfini. Marlon Byrd was brought in to stabilize what has been a mish-mash in left field the past few seasons.
What to Expect:
So much of the Red’s fate revolves around two veterans: Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. Votto is returning from a strained left quad while Bruce will try to reverse five straight seasons of an increasing strikeout rate. Of the two, the cost to find out will be considerably lower for Votto, though the residual conundrum of his penchant for taking walks will again reduce his production. The potential for Bruce to rebound is there but it isn’t a guarantee. Cueto’s durability is a tough call as he’s started over 30 games three of the past five seasons, managing just a combined 35 starts in the other two.
This Year’s Surprise:
Let’s go out on a limb here and say after almost an entire year to reconsider his approach that Votto finally expands the strike zone a bit and looks to drive in some more teammates and not just move the line for the next guy.
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