Ben Verlander and Matt McAdow talk Cincinnati Reds


In the Queen City and throughout the baseball community, the excitement is continuing to grow for this young Cincinnati Reds ball club. While last year was a huge improvement from the year prior, 2024 is a year where fans are expecting success. Anything short of making the playoffs is a fail for this organization in 2024 and multiple players on the roster have reiterated this statement. This is the most anticipated Reds season that I can recall in roughly 12 years or so, and I am certainly crossing my fingers for good health for this team.

Throughout the baseball community, one of the most knowledgeable analysts in the game is certainly Ben Verlander. He is a Fox Sports MLB analyst, host of the Flippin’ Bats Podcast, former professional baseball player, and is the brother of Justin Verlander. Ben recently has made some bold predictions regarding the Reds in the National League Central and I was lucky enough to talk baseball and pick the brain of Ben regarding Cincinnati. Our Q&A is below:

Q: You’ve recently been stating that you believe Cincinnati could win the NL Central. What is it that you believe separates them in this tough division?

A: “What separates the Reds from everyone else in the NL Central is their rotation. They have by far the best rotation in the division with the potential to have one of the top rotations in baseball. I’m a big fan of their starting pitchers.”

Q: Who have you been most impressed with off this Reds squad early into spring training?

A: “I love what I saw from Frankie Montas in his debut. Let’s not forget he was one of the more dominant pitchers in the game. Then he got traded to the Yankees and was injury-plagued and now he doesn’t seem to be regarded as highly. He should be.”

Q: What is your most memorable moment in your career?

A: “The most memorable moment of my career had to be my first professional walk-off HR. It was in my first year of pro ball and it was on a fireworks night. The game went into extras so it was getting late and there was a noise ordinance in the city. So the second I touched home they set off the fireworks. What a moment.”

Q: If you had to say one weakness you believe this Reds roster has, what would it be?

A: “Experience. This team is very young and unproven. I do worry about the departure of Joey Votto and the leadership he brought to the team.”

Q: Do you believe Cincinnati made the right decision with not bringing back Joey Votto?

A: “I do. But it does worry me at the same time. It’s easy to forget sometimes that baseball is a business. What Joey Votto means to that team and city will never be forgotten. He’s a legend in every sense of the word. But specifically with the Reds they already have too many infielders. It just doesn’t seem like it’s a fit. But his leadership will be missed.”

Q: If you could sit and watch a game with anyone past or present, who would you choose and why?

A: “I wish I could sit and watch a game with Al Kaline. I had the pleasure of becoming pretty close with Mr. Kaline when I played in the Tigers organization. We would eat lunch together and he would share stories that I could listen to forever. Would love to hear just one more of those stories. A legend on and off the field and I wish he was still here with us.”

Matthew McAdow is a Peebles resident. He works in human resources in the nuclear industry and has been an avid Cincinnati fan his entire life. He is an Ohio Christian University graduate and has always enjoyed giving an honest opinion on multiple topics regarding Cincinnati sports.

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