If I had one word to describe the Cincinnati Reds’ season so far in a nutshell, it would be disappointment. The only players who have really lived up to their potential are the starting pitchers, who have done their best to keep the Reds in almost every game this season. Defense has also not been a problem, as the Reds are the top defensive team in the MLB and have committed a league-low 26 errors. The offense, however, has been the problem child of this 2014 season for the Reds.
The Reds’ bats have not been able to really get any kind of momentum going. Individual players have had their hot streaks, like third baseman Todd Frazier and catcher Devin Mesoraco, who have exceeded their expectations offensively in 2014. The same cannot be said for the rest of the team, as they have collectively only scored 203 runs this season while batting .238, good for 29th best in the majors. For a team that has as much talent as the Reds, there is no reason why they can’t be scoring more runs. The Cincinnati teams that have made the playoffs three times in the last four season found ways to win, and this team just doesn’t seem to have that same ability. It’s puzzling to see how to Reds are failing so miserably on offense, since this team is made up mainly of players from the previous teams that found ways to win. Their best hitter, Joey Votto, has been out for almost a month with a leg injury. But even when Votto was in the line-up the Reds still could not get it together offensively. This team needs to wake up their bats if they want to make a run at the division these next few summer months.
Like I said, the starting pitching has not been a problem, but the bullpen has not impressed so much this season, when in past seasons it has been one of the best bullpens in baseball. The Reds started their season without three key components of the bullpen: Jonathan Broxton, Sean Marshall, and Aroldis Chapman. Broxton has pitched very well since his return, but the same can’t be said about Marshall. Marshall has pitched in 13 games and has allowed 14 runs in those 13 games, giving him and ERA of 9.00 in 2014. When you are pitching for a team that is already struggling to score runs, it makes it harder for them to win when you have a relief pitcher come in and give up multiple runs and dig their team into an even bigger hole.
Overall this season has not been what the Reds were expecting. You can’t blame it on new manager Bryan Price, for he has done everything he can do while dealing with the abundance of injuries on the Reds squad this season. This team needs a serious pick me up right about now to get them through the dog days of summer that are just around the corner. Cincinnati deserves a C- grade, and need to start playing at at least a B level to get back in the race.