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MLB Cincinnati Reds

5 Impediments Cincinnati Reds Face On Road to Playoffs

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5 Impediments for Cincinnati Reds on Road to Playoffs

bryan price
David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

First-year major-league manager Bryan Pryce will be too busy pulling pennant-race strings to have time worrying about these Reds weaknesses that should have already been hammered away by upper-management.

5. Who's in Left?

chris heisey
Getty Images

5. Who's in Left?

chris heisey
Getty Images

The Reds have started four players in left this season. Ryan Ludwick leads with 61 starts, Chris Heisey has 19, Skip Schumaker with 15 and former Reds outfielder Roger Bernadina grabbed two starts. Offensively, Ludwick is the best option and defensively it's Heisey. It would be nice to acquire a left-handed batting multi-position guy who can play left. Schumaker bats left-handed, but is a weak stick and a defensive liability.

4. Middle Relief Blues

04 manny parra
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

4. Middle Relief Blues

05 manny parra
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Middle relief has been a stickler all season. Logan Ondrusek, J.J. Hoover and Manny Parra are collectively scary. Sam LeCure has been up-and-down after a fine start. Cincinnati did dip down to the farm and called up Carlos Contreras and Jumbo Diaz, who have both proven better than the three duds. They desperately need a left-handed arm as Parra is the only middle relief option.

3. The Wearing Down Starting Rotation

johnny cueto
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

3. The Wearing Down Starting Rotation

07 johnny cueto
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Three starters are on pace to set to pitch career highs in innings -- and not just by a tad. Ace Johnny Cueto pitched 217 innings in 2012. This year he's in step to throw a whopping 245 innings. Mike Leake is on pace to throw 34 more innings than his career-high. Alfredo Simon has already surpassed his previous career mark and is on pace to throw 87 more innings more than his high-water mark. To think they can keep rolling is a pipe dream.

2. The Banged-Up Right Side

joey votto and brandon phillips
Getty Images

2. The Banged-Up Right Side

joey votto and brandon phillips
Getty Images

Both Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips are out for at least another four weeks. Votto will not come back anywhere close to 100 percent, and it's doubtful Phillips will either. The combo of Brayan Pena, Skip Schumaker and Ramon Santiago simply will not cut it. Pena is an inexperienced first baseman and an average hitter. Schumaker is a below-average hitter and a horrible second baseman. While Santiago's glove is solid, he has never been able to hit.

1. Has the Game Passed General Manager Walt Jocketty?

walt jocketty
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

1. Has the Game Passed General Manager Walt Jocketty?

walt jocketty
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

The new wave of MLB general managers are young Ivy League grads with a firm grasp of sabermetrics. Jocketty is old school and seems lost. His offseason inactivity was bothersome enough. But the in-season moves consisting of signing older free-agents or recently waived players in hopes they'll find their groove is totally out-of-touch. If he doesn't pull a trigger soon, Jocketty needs to meet the wood chipper immediately after the season.