The Cincinnati Reds made it to the post-season in 2013, but after losing again in the first round, Manager Dusty Baker was sent packing. Just making it past the regular season is no longer good enough for Reds fans or management and Bryan Price was brought on board to replace Baker with hopefully better results. So far, things aren’t going well. The Reds are barely hanging on to third place in the National League Central and are 7.5 games out of first. What’s the problem? The pitching has been good and the Reds lead all other teams in fielding percentage. The Cincinnati Reds greatest weakness is quite clearly their offense.
Reds Hitting Doesn’t Stack Up
Regardless of how well your pitchers throw the ball or the extent of stellar plays a team makes defensively, you can’t win games without generating hits and putting runs on the scoreboard. Out of the 30 teams in Major League Baseball, the Cincinnati Reds currently rank 27th in team batting average with a dismal .237. Look at this in comparison to the Colorado Rockies who come in first with a team average of .284 and it is no wonder the Reds are struggling.
Right fielder Jay Bruce is supposed to be a power hitter for the Reds. He bats clean-up and is the guy with the task of knocking the ball into the seats and bringing in the runners to score. Jay Bruce is batting .211 and has just four home runs this year. Granted Bruce was out a couple of weeks with a knee injury, but catcher Devin Mesoraco has played in 11 fewer games than Bruce and has hit nine home runs. The Reds can’t afford to have players that aren’t producing taking up space in the line-up, especially when it someone they count on like Jay Bruce.
Joey Votto is a confusing baseball player. Reds fans love the All-Star first baseman, but often find themselves scratching their head as well. In 2009 Votto was put on the disabled list due to depression from his father’s death the previous year – at the time, nobody knew what was wrong with Votto. This seemed to be in the past, but after a weak start this year (hitting just .257) Joey Votto is again on the disabled list with a murky injury. Votto has a “strain” in his quadricep which suddenly seemed to appear out of nowhere, yet has kept him out of the line-up since May 16th. It appears that when the going gets tough, Joey Votto backs down from the challenge rather than rising to it, which the Reds can ill afford.