By Illya Harrell on August 4, 2014
Entering Sunday's game vs. the Marlins, the Cincinnati Reds have a 4-11 record since the All-Star Break. In those 15 games, the Reds have mustered more than two runs in only six of them. Finding players who need to heat up is a chore on par with blinking or breathing. Here are the five Reds who need to step it up the most.
All-Star third baseman Todd Frazier's numbers since the break are far from All-Star worthy. His miserable slash reads .190/.226/.487 with one home run and four RBIs. There's no reason to think Frazier's post-break blues are going to continue through August and September, but he'd best get the ball rolling soon.
Another All-Star, power-hitting catcher Devin Mesoraco, has been shut down since the break as well. His pre-break average stood at .304, and it has dipped by 15 points during the Reds' 4-11 streak since. Like Frazier, there is no reason to sound the alarm yet. It's just unfortunate that the top two hitters in the Reds' lineup are slumping at the same time.
It's never a good sign when a player's batting average is higher than his OBP. But somehow Billy Hamilton has accomplished just that going into Sunday's game. Since the break, his line reads .190/.186/.462. That is horrible enough, but when the guy is suppose to be the team's leadoff bat, it is flat-out gut-wrenching. There's a bit of concern here as the rookie has yet to endure the dog days of the full MLB season.
Cincinnati's starting pitching has kept the post-break games close with the exception of another All-Star, Alfredo Simon. This should not surprise anyone as Simon had exceeded his previous career high in innings pitched before the break. With no other viable SP options, Reds fans can only hope that the big fella can reach back and find some extra juice down the stretch. Since the break, Simon has lost all three games he's pitched in.
Jay Bruce's 2014 season has been a total failure, and that is probably downplaying total failures. In his 40 post-break at-bats, Bruce has struck out 17 times. In that span, he's hitting .100/.234/.359 with no home runs and just one RBI. If he does not step it up soon, he could (and should) lose his starting spot in the order next season.
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