Here are some intemperate thoughts regarding the Cincinnati Reds at this point in the season.
-What has happened to the defense? Seriously! The Cincinnati Reds, for much of the season, were the best defensive team in the league. They had the fewest errors of any team. It was not unusual for them to go 5 games without an error. That is remarkable. Well, not anymore. The Reds are falling apart in that area. They have had 10 errors in the last 10 games. Needs to be fixed.
-Along the lines of needs to be fixed is playing small ball. The Reds are a powerful team. They can hit homeruns. Not just one player – all. However, they have fallen in love with the long ball. As the playoffs approach it will be much more difficult to hit a homerun. Let’s face it, they won’t be facing the Houston Astros or Chicago Cubs in the playoffs. They simply must learn to play small ball and win. Moving runners over and in, bunting successfully, are lost arts on them.
-Is there a more beautiful sight than Cincinnati Reds’ Rookie of the Year candidate, Todd Frazier, diving at an outside pitch and serving it into rightfield over the first baseman’s head? Ugly swing – beautiful result.
-Updates on the DL – Joey Votto is slowly making progress in his overdue return from having his second knee surgery. He is still feeling pain, but is progressing. Nick Masset is getting closer, too. He will start throwing back to back games in Louisville and see where he stands this week. Both will hopefully be available by the end of August.
-What has become of the pitching? I’ve come to expect Mike Leake and Homer Bailey to be Jekyll and Hyde, but the relief pitching was a rock all year. They are still the best in MLB, but the last week has been rough on the bullpen. With the exception of Aroldis Chapman, the Cincinnati Reds have not been what you would call shut down lately.