The Cincinnati Reds expressed a popular sentiment Sunday night. Two minutes after the end of Super Bowl LIV, the Reds’ official Twitter account shared a photo of the team’s spring training stadium in Goodyear, Ariz., with the caption, “Bring on baseball!”
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The end of the NFL season means the start of baseball season is right around the corner.
Here are 10 things to know about spring training and the season ahead:
1. Reporting dates: Reds pitchers and catchers report for spring training on Feb. 15. Position players follow on Feb. 18.
2. Spring opener: The Reds play the Cleveland Indians at 3:05 p.m. (ET) on Feb. 22 in their first Cactus League game of the season.
3. Season opener: Opening Day comes earlier than ever this season. The Reds play the St. Louis Cardinals at 4:10 p.m. March 26 at Great American Ball Park.
4. Rotation upgrade: The Reds added free agent Wade Miley to the starting rotation. He signed a two-year, $15 million contract in December.
6. Outfield overhaul: Spring training will give the Reds time to figure out how to handle their crowded outfield. In January, they signed Shogo Akiyama and then Nicholas Castellanos. They join returning players Nick Senzel, Jesse Winker, Aristides Aquino and Phillip Ervin in a deep group.
7. Bullpen help: According to a report Thursday, the Reds will sign free agent relief pitcher Pedro Strop to a one-year deal worth $1.825 million. The deal was pending a physical and had not been officially announced as of Monday morning.
8. Spending spree: All the signings bring the Reds’ payroll to a franchise-record $145 million. They spent $164 million on Moustakas, Akiyama, Miley and Castellanos, though that money will be spread over four seasons.
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9. Injury news: The Reds will enter spring training with third baseman Eugenio Suarez on the mend. He had surgery last week to remove loose cartilage in his right shoulder. The Reds anticipate him being ready to play near the start of the season.
10. Season storyline: The offseason acquisitions raise hope the Reds can end a streak of six straight losing seasons and return to the postseason for the first time since 2013. Since their last playoff series victory in 1995, the Reds have finished .500 or worse 19 times in 24 seasons. Sixteen different franchises have won the World Series since the Reds last won in 1990.
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