MLB Cincinnati Reds

5 Cincinnati Reds Observations From Season’s First Half

5 Cincinnati Reds Observations From Season's First Half

Cincinnati Reds
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For the Cincinnati Reds, the second half of the season has officially begun. At four games over .500, the first half of the season featured many struggles until the month of June arrived when the Reds put together a very impressive record. Let's take a look at five glaring observations from the first half of the Cincinnati Reds' 2014 season.

5. The Team Needs Fresh Bullpen Arms

5 Cincinnati Reds Observations From Season's First Half
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5. The Team Needs Fresh Bullpen Arms

5 Cincinnati Reds Observations From Season's First Half
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While the Reds' starters rank second in all of baseball, their relievers rank 24th with a 4.13 ERA and an 8-12 overall record. While Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman have been successful, the same cannot be said for arms such as Logan Ondrusek, Trevor Bell, JJ Hoover, Sean Marshall, etc. It is likely that GM Walt Jocketty will address this group by the July 31 trade deadline.

4. Devin Mesoraco Will Be Around A Long Time

5 Cincinnati Reds Observations From Season's First Half
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4. Devin Mesoraco Will Be Around A Long Time

5 Cincinnati Reds Observations From Season's First Half
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Remember the days when Dusty Baker chose Ryan Hanigan over Mesoraco? Well they have benefited the young catcher as he has exploded onto the scene in 2014 with a .310 average, 14 home runs and 40 RBIs in just 168 at bats. Well-deserving of a 2014 All-Star selection, Mesoraco is giving the Reds optimism behind the plate for many years to come.

3. Bryan Price Was Serious About The Run Game

5 Cincinnati Reds Observations From Season's First Half
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3. Bryan Price Was Serious About The Run Game

5 Cincinnati Reds Observations From Season's First Half
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In 2013, the Reds ranked 22nd in baseball with 67 stolen bases. As of July 1, 2014 (halfway through the season), the Reds have amassed 72 stolen bases to rank second in MLB for steals. Manager Bryan Price stated before the season that he wanted to put more of a focus on the running game, and he has made good on that promise. The running game has provided the Reds with a jumpstart in ways that were missing in past years.

2. The Reds' Starters Are Arguably The Best In Baseball

5 Cincinnati Reds Observations From Season's First Half
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2. The Reds' Starters Are Arguably The Best In Baseball

5 Cincinnati Reds Observations From Season's First Half
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To say the Reds' starters have been very good in 2014 would be a gross understatement. Ranking second in all of MLB with a 3.24 rotation ERA, the Reds have been superb. While Johnny Cueto and Alfredo Simon have been leading the way, Mat Latos and Mike Leake have had moments of stardom as well. Even despite struggles by Homer Bailey and Tony Cingrani, the Reds still manage to have arguably the deepest rotation in all of baseball.

1. The Youth Is The Heart Of The Team

5 Cincinnati Reds Observations From Season's First Half
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1. The Youth Is The Heart Of The Team

5 Cincinnati Reds Observations From Season's First Half
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The Reds are paying big money to Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips and Homer Bailey -- players who combine to make over 50 percent of the entire team payroll. However, the backbone of the 2014 Reds -- emotionally and productively -- has come from the young players. Todd Frazier, Devin Mesoraco and Billy Hamilton have led the Reds all season long while providing the offense, defense and emotion through the first three and a half months.

Grant Doepel is a Cincinnati Reds writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GrantDoepel, like him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.