At the All-Star break the Reds were 42-45. Thought I’d revisit statements I made at the start of the season. At that time I mentioned the many “ifs” present on the 2009 edition of my team.
If Votto and Bruce continue to improve. No question, Joey Votto has been the Reds best hitter. Unfortunately his trip to the DL was about a month. Jay Bruce on the other hand has been a major disappointment. According to local sports reporter Mo Egger, Bruce’s month-by-month show his decline: .258, .212, .187, .148.
If Harang returns to form. 5-9 with an ERA over 4 isn’t close
If Volquez and Cuetto win a combined 30. Although Cuetto has been the most consistent starting pitcher, Volquez has spent much of the season on the DL; thus 11 wins at the break.
If the RH bats of Encarnacion and Hernandez hit 55-60 HRs with 150 RBIs. No way again! Encarnacion spent most of the first half on the DL and Hernandez didn’t display power. Although Encarnacion has returned, Hernandez is on the DL for a while.
If SS Gonzalez stays healthy and has an average year. He’s currently on the DL for the second time this season and is batting 33 points below his career average
If Willy Taveras improves his on-base percentage by 100 points. Didn’t happen … not even close
If the team batting average with RISP improves at least 50 points. Actually worse
The Initial Prediction
I concluded the April post with this statement: For a team with that many ifs, third place is a reasonable expectation, but I say it will be lower. So far, it seems I’ve hit it right.
The Approaching Trade Deadline
Will the Reds be buyers, sellers, and observers? I can’t see buyers because the Reds are simply not that good, and this role would require them to trade some potential future players. Being watchers implies the team will seek to improve through off-season trades and free agency, but they have several holes to fill to become competitive.
Sellers are the most likely scenario with pitchers Harang, Arroyo, Weathers, Rhodes, and Cordero leading the way to gain prospects and shed payroll. The primary needs are a RH bat, shortstop, and pitching. Meanwhile, here’s the list of this year’s free agent pool.
Reds logo is property of the Cincinnati Reds