The Cincinnati Reds have scored 12 runs in the past six games, which not surprisingly have all been losses. This emphasizes that the Reds are going to be a much lesser team without the services of Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips. The six-game losing streak was compounded by successive substandard starts from the Reds’ normally dominant rotation, but even then, the Reds’ offense is so bad without Votto and Phillips that not too much blame can be hung on the starters for the about-face the Reds have experienced since the All-Star break.
The Reds were seven games over .500 and 1.5 games out of first place prior to the All-Star break, but now they find themselves just one game above .500 and 5.5 games out in the NL Central. Votto and Phillips are still at least a month away from returning, so the expectation is that the offense is going to stay as bad for the Reds as it has been this past week.
Trades that solve all the Reds’ problems on offense are improbable, and there are no hitting prodigies in the Reds’ minor league system ready to come up to the big club and cure all ills. The Reds do have one viable bat available to them in left-handed hitting slugger Donald Lutz, who has been underused, but even the 6-foot-3, 250-pound Lutz is no savior.
Nothing short of returning their three-hole and cleanup hitters in Votto and Phillips is going to be enough to get the Reds back on track offensively. And even with that duo in the lineup and healthy, the Reds’ offense still wasn’t the strength of this team.