The Cincinnati Reds enjoyed their usual run of fantastic defense in 2012 with a group of guys that any team would kill for around the horn. Entering the winter, not much is expected to change with the exception of Scott Rolen at the hot corner. To be honest, that does not feel like much of a change because he was hurt so often. As a huge Cincinnati Reds fan, this infield has me excited. Here is a position by position look at the infield and the depth at each.
Barring some horrific event that I won't even consider, Joey Votto will be sitting at first base when the 2013 season gets started. The franchise also has Neftali Soto who many feel might actually be traded. Joey Votto is among the best players in all of baseball and he is perrenially an MVP candidate. Expect more of the same from this position in 2013.
This is one of the more intriguing positions simply because there are two youngsters that are basically ready to be there and they are very similar in their abilities. Zack Cozart has the inside track simply because he manned the position in 2012. He also did not hurt himself by playing great defense and hitting well enough to lead most rookies in some key offensive categories. DiDi Gregorius is another gifted fielder that brings a similar set of skills to the table. He was called up in September 2012 and did pretty fair himself. Spring Training should be fun but expect Zack to take the position heading into the season.
Brandon Phillips is clearly the man at second base and just signed a hefty contract to prove it. While Phillips is locked up, we do have some talent down on the farm as well. Youngster Henry Rodriguez will be used in a utility fashion on the big club I am guessing and will provide great depth.
Scott Rolen is not likely to return, be it by retirement or by moving on. That has got to be music to Todd Frazier's ears from a playing time standpoint. The guy played his heart out both in Rolen's absence as well as at other positions when he was called upon. No matter where he lined up defensively, he got noticed offensively. This guy simply makes plays and hits the baseball hard. If he does not have a position on opening day I might just cry for him.
*Southern is a life-long Cincinnati Reds fan that grew up watching Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and the boys dominate the Major Leagues. He longs for those days once again in Cincinnati.
More from this contributor:Five Reasons the Cincinnati Reds Look like Champions in 2012: Fan's Take
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