Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Turning point

The Reds have reached a turning point in the season. They have managed to stay at .500 while Votto, Edwin, and Volquez have been on the DL. Now it seems that Votto will return tonight, Edwin is rehabbing in Louisville and Volquez should be ready in 2 weeks. Now is the time for the Reds to make a run. They have a series at Toronto, at Cleveland and home to Arizona. 6-3 is the goal for those 9 games because the final 10 before the All-Star game will be tough. The Reds host 3 against St. Louis, then travel for 4 at Philly and 3 at the Mets. A 5-5 split would be great but very difficult. This makes the next 9 a necessity. Let's review what has happened the past few weeks:


Ryan Hanigan. Since Joey began to have his issues in May, Ryan has started 30 games and has put up a .312/.397/.385/.782 with only 9 K's in 109 PA's. He seems to be improving and is at the top of the NL in almost all rookie categories. This should ensure him more playing time once Votto returns and Hernandez is available. Not so fast. Dusty seems to think Hernandez will go back behind the plate and Hanigan will be on the bench. Awesome. Dusty does it again.

Bullpen. The bullpen has been amazing. Weathers, Rhodes, and Cordero have been unhittable. Masset showed he is human by allowing a few runs but he has still been well above average. These 4 guys have allowed the Reds to win some close games that, in years past, the Reds would have blown. It is nice to not be nervous in the 7th-9th innings.


So many let me just run through them quick. The big 3 of Taveras (44 OPS+), Gonzalez (45 OPS+), and Rosales (51 OPS+). That is 3 terrible bats in the lineup almsot every day. 38% of the lineup is pitiful. How did they win any games? Cueto has given up 5 runs in the past 2 games including blowing a 5-0 lead against the White Sox Saturday night. Matt Maloney was a nice story but in his 3 starts he is 0-2 with a 6.11 ERA and 73 ERA+.

Outlook: The Reds have reached the turning point. They are 34-34, 17-17 at home and 17-17 on the road. They either turn it on and get 4 or 5 games above .500 and in place to make a run at the postseason or they falter, lose 4 or 5 in a row and become sellers after the All-Star break. I hope getting healthy will lead to a run.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Treading Water

A sweep in Milwaukee, DL trips for our 2 best players in 2008, could it get any worse? I sure hope not. Right now the Reds need to tread water and stay above .500 until they get healthy. Votto is gone for at least 2 weeks, maybe longer. No one is saying what the stress-related, personal issue is but it sounds bad if they won't say what it is. The Reds have said it is related to his dizziness from earlier in the month. Volquez pitched one inning in his return before going back on the DL with tingling in his fingers, probably related to the back spasms that put him on the DL originally. That would mean a month without last years best position player and best pitcher. Thank goodness for Phillips' tear in May, going .352/.392/.682/ with 7 HR and 29 RBI. Another player that has been coming up big is Ramon Hernandez. He is currently at .282/.346/.380 for an 88 OPS+, but hit .313/.383/. 419 with 19 RBI in May as well. As I write this the Reds are leading the Cards 3-0 in the 3rd. If they can win tonight, they are assured a split in St. Louis before returning home for 3 against he Cubs. They should be 28-24 after tonight, thus assuring at least .500 after the next 4 games. Let's hope they can stay in the 3-5 games above for the next 2 weeks until Votto and Edinson return. Then they can really turn it on.