If the season ended today, the Cincinnati Reds would make the playoffs via the second wildcard spot; however, they haven’t really looked great all season. This could be, in large part, because the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals are doing so well, but it could also be that the team is missing a piece to the puzzle.
That missing piece could be speed. On Sept. 1, the September call-ups will occur. This is where MLB teams expand their 25-man roster to a 40-man roster. The Reds will likely call up the best base-stealer in professional baseball, Billy Hamilton. This season, Hamilton is hitting .256, has six home runs and 39 RBIs. Oh yeah, he also has 69 stolen bases — that’s 35 more steals than the Reds have as a team.
You may not think stolen bases are that important to the game, but the Reds tend to leave a lot of runners stranded on the base pads. If a guy like Billy Hamilton can get on, he can steal second, get in scoring position and hopefully score. That’s how it works in Triple-A Louisville. Hamilton has scored more runs than anyone else on the team.
Once Hamilton is called up, the Reds will become a very dangerous team. They will have: good pure-hitters like Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips, good power hitters in Jay Bruce and Ryan Ludwick, good pitching and defense as they have had all season, and a good source of speed — something they have lacked all season.
Reds fans should be very excited for the month of September, as they should be winning a lot of games; hopefully they will be winning a lot of games in the month of October, as well.
Coop Ledford is a Cincinnati Reds writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @CoopLed.