The Cincinnati Reds entered the All-Star break just 1.5 games back of the lead in the National League Central. But now, after losing all six games back after the break, they are slowly getting buried in the back of the division sitting 5.5 games from first. While they have had strong pitching performances, the Reds’ lineup after the break has been atrocious. Without Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips for the foreseeable future, the club needs to trade for a bat if they have any hope of competing for a playoff spot in the jumbled National League.
After being swept by the New York Yankees, the Reds’ offense continued to sputter while being swept in Milwaukee. Instead of having an imposing batter in the cleanup spot during the three game series against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Reds batted Devin Mesoraco, Jay Bruce and Ryan Ludwick fourth in the lineup. Lineups like this, that feature many players who are having down years, do not strike fear in opposing pitchers and managers.
Offensively, the Reds currently rank 10th in the NL in both batting average and runs scored. Without their two biggest run producers those numbers are sure to plummet even lower. The race for both the division and a playoff spot is wide open, but the Reds are not going anywhere with their current offense.
With a starting pitching staff that is third in the NL in ERA and one of the best in the league, an upgrade at the plate is a must. Even if it takes giving up players like top prospect Robert Stephenson, they need to make a move. If they make a deal, they could jump right back to the middle of the race. If they don’t, it will not be long until they are buried in the cellar.