As it as been written over the first half of 2014, the Cincinnati Reds are only going to go as far as their offense will allow them. With Joey Votto out of the lineup, the Reds as a team have been hitting under .220 as things were going from bad to worse.
However, over the course of the last week, the Reds’ offense has seen a brief ray of hope for the team — and they might just have Bronson Arroyo and company to thank for that.
As he has all season long, Devin Mesoraco led with way as he accounted for seven of the Reds’ 20 RBIs from three home runs over the week. With a lot of the offensive pressure falling onto the shoulders of Mesoraco with Votto out and Jay Bruce mightily struggling, Mesoraco has “cooled off” a little but still boasts a .351 average with eight home runs and 25 RBIs.
The real shock for the week would be Roger Bernadina, who has been anything but impressive in 2014. For the week, Bernadina was 3-for-6 with two RBIs and a double. On the season, Bernadina is hitting just .176 with 14 strikeouts in just 51 at-bats.
Continuing to be one of the best offseason acquisitions on the NL Central, Brayan Pena found hit hot bat again as he hit .467 on the week with three doubles, a run batted in and a .467 OBP. Finding himself on the field more since the loss of Votto, Pena has been a key player for the Reds in 2014. Batting .290 with three home runs and 12 RBIs, Pena has provided the Reds with much-needed support on and off the field.
One player who is quietly having a very strong season continued that success over the past week as well: Todd Frazier. Leading the team in at-bats for the week (23), Frazier hit .304 with a home run and five runs scored. On the season, Frazier continues to lead the Reds offensively with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs to go along with a .269 average and .339 OBP.
For the Reds, it was a week that brought cautious optimism as fans wait to see if this success is something that will be sustained by the club or just momentary luck. At the same time, it is reassuring to manager Bryan Price to see other players step up and produce while his major stars struggle or await a return from the DL.