The 2014 Cincinnati Reds have been a flop, reaching .500 just twice on the year and too often looking so helpless at the plate that it’s a wonder the team is not in last place in the NL Central. The approaching return of former NL MVP Joey Votto from a minor league rehab assignment won’t help the Reds enough to overcome titanic offensive woes.
The Reds are next to last in the NL in runs scored (215) and on-base percentage (.299). They rank 12th in the league in batting average (.237) and 13th in OPS with a measly .670 despite playing their home games in hitter friendly Great American Ball Park.
Votto never quite got on track this year before a strained quad forced him to the disabled list, but he at least he was close to the same Votto when it came to OBP (.410) and OPS (.859). The second coming of Votto in 2014 had better be more like the 2010 NL MVP who hit .324 while blasting 37 home runs and driving in 119 runs if the Reds have any chance of turning their season around enough to retain any shred of hope for postseason life.
Even with Votto performing at the MVP form that earned him a $225 million contract extension, that alone won’t be enough to push the Reds over the hump that has stifled their 2014 season.
The Reds need help from somewhere else, and they need it fast. The return of a healthy Mat Latos to the rotation will help on the pitching side, but the Reds are so offensively bad at this point that they will have to deal a quality starting pitcher or a top pitching prospect in order to acquire a bat capable of making a difference.
The longer the Reds wait to work a deal, the worse their 2014 season will turn out.