Playing in the central division of National League can be extremely stressful for most teams as competition is tremendous and making the playoffs is an accomplishment itself. Cincinnati Reds are slowly but surely losing their patience as their bid of playing the World Series was crushed and they didn’t come a step closer to their objective.
The season break brought several changes and perhaps the most notable one was the sacking of manager Dusty Baker who failed to produce be results that the owners were waiting for. Cincinnati has ambitious plans for 2014 and some of them can be found at http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1780542-billy-hamilton-proves-reds-must-include-him-on-postseason-roster. Basically, they are chasing any opportunity and are willing to take a leap of faith with a young and inexperienced player.
The Reds are not the best team in MLB but they have one of the best farming systems and many of their young prospects rise to stardom. Billy Hamilton could be such a player but many think that it is way too early for him to be given a place in the main rotation. They are trusting him to hit most of the balls thrown at him by starting pitchers and then steal bases at the same rate he does in the minor leagues, but this could be a tall order.
This is not the first time that Cincinnati tries to strengthen its lineup, as they paid $7.3 million to Choo, only to see him departing for Texas Rangers. General manager Walt Jocketty had his sights locked on Grady Sizemore and Brett Gardner but none of these players signed with Cincinnati. Instead they chose to play for the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, which means that the Reds have to pursue different avenues. With so many promising young players, it makes perfect sense to give them a chance, yet many think that it is a hasty decision that could backfire.
The truth is that despite their best efforts, the Reds failed to sign many gifted players in the season break and now they have to play everything on the Hamilton card. They will need him to put aside any emotions and make his debut season memorable by stealing triple digit bases and scoring just as many runs. Obviously, these are high expectations that could only amplify the pressure on the players shoulders, but the rest are hungry for a trophy and there is no other way.