2006 record: 80-82 (3rd in NL Central)
Manager: Jerry Narron, 3rd year as manager (180-208)
Stadium: Great American Ball Park ( 42,059; grass)LINEUP
No. Player Comment
1. R. Freel, RF Three straight years in the vicinity of .273 and 36 steals
2. A. Dunn, LF Working hard to avoid .234 avg. and 194 strikeouts of '06
3. B. Phillips, 2B We'll find out if he's ready to bat third in the order
4. K. Griffey Jr., CF At 37, a new position and 37 HRs short of 600
5. E. Encarnacion, 3B Now that he's the starter, can he take it to the next level?
6. S. Hatteberg, 1B Jeff Conine should see time against LHPs
7. D. Ross, C Third among NL catchers with 21 HRs in '06
8. A. Gonzalez, SS Disappointing year in Boston but still has the glovePITCHING
1. A. Harang (R) First Reds hurler to start consecutive season openers since Pete Harnisch (2000-01)
2. B. Arroyo (R) Led the major leagues with 240 2/3 innings pitched last season
3. K. Lohse (R) 23-36 with 5.34 ERA the past three years
4. M. Belisle (R) Fantastic spring but two DL stints last season
5. E. Milton (L) Homer-prone and rough spring
D. Hermanson (R) Allows Weathers and Stanton to perform more comfortable setup rolesTOP PROSPECTS
1. Homer Bailey, RHP
Top pitching prospect was sent to the minors but that was always the plan
2. Joey Votto, 1B
Huge bat blocked by just Hatteberg
3. Jay Bruce, OF
Potential star and strong defensively
4. Drew Stubbs, OF
'06 first-rounder could start moving up the ranks
5. Josh Hamilton, CF
Reds gambled on troubled former No. 1 overall pick; could help in the outfield if he keeps his drug addiction under controlScott Miller's Take
Telltale indicator as to how things are going in Cincinnati this summer: If acquisition-a-minute general manager Wayne Krivsky is wheeling and dealing like he was last year, then you know things aren't going as smoothly as planned. Krivsky has remade practically his entire roster, and not a moment too soon, either. His box score line from 2006 reads: 36 players acquired. Whew.
Krivsky is attempting to turn the emphasis back to pitching and defense, and he has partly succeeded. Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo, in this city, are a significant 1-2 in the rotation. Arroyo led the majors with 240 2/3 innings pitched last season, most by a Reds pitcher since Jose Rijo's 257 1/3 in 1993. Arroyo and Harang, meanwhile, became the first pair of Reds pitchers to work 230 or more innings since 1998, when Danny Jackson and Tom Browning did it. That's a big reason why the Reds stayed in contention so long last summer -- and it's what must happen again in '07 if the Reds are going to stick around into September.
To address the poor defense from '06 -- the Reds ranked 15th in the NL with a .979 fielding percentage -- Krivsky signed shortstop Alex Gonzalez. The significance? Gonzalez committed only seven errors in 475 total chances last season for the Red Sox. The thinking was to keep Brandon Phillips entrenched at second base and let him develop; the Reds think he can be a Gold Glover there someday.
Eric Milton and Kyle Lohse. A couple of old Minnesota Twins will be under the gun to back up Arroyo and Harang in the rotation. If they do, it could be a fun summer in Cincinnati. If they don't, even Ryan Freel and Ken Griffey Jr. swapping positions -- Griffey in right field! -- won't have much of an impact.
Josh Hamilton, CF
The Reds are taking a chance on him. If he keeps his drug addiction under control and stays clean, he can help in the outfield.What's New
The Reds named Dick Pole as their new pitching coach to lead the staff of talented and young pitchers. This will be Pole's 19th year as a major league coach.