What the Reds are looking at

And here we find the Cincinnati Reds at 39-47, past the halfway point of the year and 11 ½ games out of first. The season is not over as the Cubs continue to falter and in general the National League shows its inferiority to the American League.

The Reds pitching has been a quiet surprise at times, while disappointing also. Aaron Harang leads the charge as the most disappointing starter this side of Bronson Arroyo, who I wasn’t counting on as much anyway. Homer Bailey can be added to this list as well.

Edinson Volquez seems to be the find of a generation even though Josh Hamilton is equally impressive out West. Johnny Cueto seems to be coming around more and more and seems to be a lock in the rotation for the next 10 years.

Relief pitching has been OK. There seems to be more stability with a hammer in middle relief, Jared Burton. And with closer Francisco Cordero the Reds have a nice 1-2 punch. However David Weathers has struggled and aside from the 8 and 9 inning guys the Reds do not have good bullpen by any measure.

On offense, it has been interesting, to say the least. Consistency is something that can attach more to the policies of a Washington decision maker, than to the Reds offense.

Going down the lineup it screams inconsistency and just bad decision making by GMs. Corey Patterson should be gone and should not be on this team. Jeff Keppinger has been the most consistent offensive producer. Junior Griffey has been disappointing as a 3 hitter and seems destined to live in the 3 hole for as long as he is on this team. To me, he is a 7 hitter at this time in his career, on this team. No more, no less; if you can get less.

Dunn is always inconsistent and his lack of contact is hurting the team. He also seems like Pedro Cereno in Major League, as he is afraid to swing the bat for fear of “killing gnats.” Phillips has been ok but is not improving, as he has plenty of improvement room at the plate. He unlike Dunn does not take a pitch and often swings at the first pitch he sees, ruining rallies, killing spirits and slowly adding to a 8th straight losing season.

Encarnacion; more inconsistency from a player that has one of the highest ceilings on the entire roster. Seems lost and uninterested at the plate oftentimes but has the ability to hit game winning homeruns on command. Ross. . .I am getting sick to my stomach as I didn’t realize the poor structure of this roster.

Jerry Hairston Jr. has been times better than the other junior, and has been one of the nicest surprises of the season.

What to do now.

The lineup is full of inconsistent left-handed bats. Acquiring a right-handed hitter would be a goal of mine if I ran this team. Targeting someone like Alex Rios would be something the Reds might have looked into, but might get a better price tag on after a less than stellar season.
You have to wonder if Hairston Jr. can fit the bill as a leadoff hitter, as he has been good this year. His age plays a factor and the fact that he hasn’t been successful with any degree of consistency, hence the journeyman tag. I’d like to see Phillips draw more walks and be more patient, giving him the ability to be a leadoff hitter but it seems at this point in his development he is unable to look at more than 2 balls. But perhaps he can, look at the comparison of what Aramis Ramirez is doing this year.

No. 2
Keppinger is a lock for the two spot. Period.

No. 3

At this point Joey Votto has been the most consistent hitter and he deserves to be the no.3 hitter. However Jay Bruce is a natural born no. 3 hitter and with a bit more maturity, perhaps by this time next year, Bruce will fit this spot just as well as some of the best in the game.

No. 4

If not 3 for Votto, here is the perfect fit. Imagine Bruce then Votto for the next 15 years back to back, it gives me goosebumps.

No. 5

Ideally E. Encarnacion is the No. 5 hitter and has the potential to be the No. 3 as his ceiling has not been reached. I look for him to settle down the rest of the way and hit close to .280/.360/.530 with 28 HR and 75 RBI. He will break out. . . he will break out. . .

No. 6

Encarnacion can fit well here if the Reds do not address their right-handed bat dilemma. Like I said a trade even at the deadline for A. Rios, although the Reds won’t be buyers as much, or

No. 7, 8

Catcher needs to be addressed and I don’t mean signing Bako longterm. I mean by way of trade during the deadline or offseason as there isn’t much on the free agent market and to be honest there isn’t too many catchers out there that are that impressive. I still say the Reds make a move at Jeff Clement in Seattle, C. Iannetta in Colorado or even Gerald Laird in Texas.

I look for the

A lineup like this would be appealing, IF a lot of things happen however.

1. J. Hairston jr.
2. J. Keppinger
3. J. Bruce
4. J. Votto
5. A. Rios – This can happen.
6. B. Phillips
7. E. Encarnacion
8. Catcher
9. Pitcher


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