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Cincinnati Reds: 5 Things We’ve Learned Halfway Through 2014

Cincinnati Reds: 5 Things We've Learned Midway Through 2014

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Reds fans, and all of baseball, learned Billy Hamilton is not only fast, but he can get on base. They've learned Aroldis Chapman did not psychologically suffer after breaking his face. Also, Jonathan Broxton is one of the best eighth-inning pitchers in the league. All this, and the team has seemingly gelled after a rough start. Right or wrong, let's toss those nuggets into the "Honorable Mention" category.

5. Johnny Cueto: Putting Up Video Game Stats

johnny cueto best nl pitcher
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5. Johnny Cueto: Putting Up Video Game Stats

johnny cueto best nl pitcher
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Cueto currently lead these stat categories with his numbers: 1.86 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 14 quality starts, .173 BAA, .234 OBPA, .276 SLGA, .510 OPSA, 5.5 H/9, 3.3 WAR. On the downside, he's thrown 116 IP, with 448 batters faced and a whopping 1743 pitches delivered — 82 more than second place. The Reds need a healthy Cueto for a stretch run. Hopefully he'll pitch less in the second half.

4. Bryan Price is a Better Manager Than Dusty Baker

bryan price is better than dusty baker
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4. Bryan Price is a Better Manager Than Dusty Baker

bryan price is better than dusty baker
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Bryan Price's Reds managed to keep the team afloat throughout an injury-riddled first half. Now totally healthy, his Reds are clicking. Dusty Baker was stubborn. Price practices humility, and tinkers with the lineup if it's unproductive. Adaptation was a word totally foreign to Baker.

3. Guys Not Named Joey Votto or Jay Bruce Leading Reds in Power Numbers

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3. Guys Not Named Joey Votto or Jay Bruce Leading Reds in Power Numbers

devin mesoraco and todd frazier power
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In 146 at-bats, Devin Mesoraco has 13 home runs. In 282 at-bats, Todd Frazier has gone long 17 times. In 391 at-bats, the combination of Jay Bruce and Joey Votto equal Mesoraco's 13 homers. Todd Frazier's 45 RBIs are two less than the Votto/Bruce combo.

2. Alfredo Simon: No. 2 Starter Behind Cueto

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2. Alfredo Simon: No. 2 Starter Behind Cueto

alfredo simon biggest reds surprise
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Mat Latos missed the first two months with a gimpy elbow. In a move of absolute brilliance, Bryan Price turned to Alfredo Simon. As of June 24, Simon leads the NL in wins (10), and is second behind Cueto in quality starts (13). Unfortunately, like Cueto, Simon is working harder than a roadside chain gang. His 95.1 innings pitched are just 20 shy of his career-high.

1. Middle Relief Will Cost Reds NL Playoff Berth Without Immediate Upgrades

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1. Middle Relief Will Cost Reds NL Playoff Berth Without Immediate Upgrades

reds middle relievers terrible
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For Reds fans, middle relief is causing pandemic nail-biting. This is the most shocking point the Reds have learned through the midway point. The primary culprits are J.J. Hoover and Manny Parra. Two requirements are asked of Reds pitchers: don't walk guys and keep the ball in the yard. Hoover and Parra have a combined 4.98 BB/9 and 10 home runs in 56 innings. Replace those two, and the Reds are a serious threat in the NL Central.

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