The MLB All-Star break is upon us, the informal midpoint of this baseball season. Providing a chance to reflect on where the Cincinnati Reds stand at the break.
Going into the All-Star break the Reds hold a lackluster 39-49 record. Standing in last place in the NL Central, a near familiar place for the Reds over the last three years. However, it’s an improvement compared to last year’s 32-57 record at the All-Star break. There’s been a sense of improvement with the Cincinnati Reds this season. One reason for it is part of the four main areas that stand out with the Reds at the break.
The Offense is pretty stable
If there’s one area where the Reds don’t have many problems it’s their offense. The Reds have two of the best hitters in the National League this year. Joey Votto and Zack Cozart, both will participate in tonight’s All-Star Game in Miami. Aside from the all-star’s the Reds have several consistent hitters in the lineup. With Scooter Gennett, whom along with Votto and Cozart is batting above .300.
Adam Duvall and Eugenio Suarez also stand out at the plate this year. Even though their performances have been more undernoted compared to Votto and Cozart. Meanwhile, Jose Peraza and Billy Hamilton have a combined 53 stolen bases at the break. With Hamilton holding the lions share with 38 stolen bases. Peraza’s the only other Reds player with double digits in that category.
The Pitching is bad but not as bad as last year
Last year’s Reds pitching staff was historically awful, that’s not fully the case this year. Yet, the pitching is still pretty bad compared to others in the Major Leagues. More than half of the Reds pitching staff has an ERA worse than 4.50 so far. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as some of the Reds recent acquisitions appear to be paying off. Scott Feldman leads the team with seven wins, while Luis Castillo is showing decent potential.
In the bullpen, Raisel Iglesias appears to be someone the Reds can increasingly rely on. Leading the team in saves at the moment with 16 at the All-Star break. With a 1.69 ERA, he’s behind just Ariel Hernandez for the best ERA on the team.
Bryan Price’s future
The second half of this season could determine whether Bryan Price stays as Manager. The Reds are still in bad shape record wise, but showing signs of progress. It will be interesting to see if the Reds decide to keep Price around if the Reds stand better in October. Or let him go if the Reds seem more improved at the end of the season. We’ll see where things stand in October on that front.
How to deal with the trade deadline
The last area of concern is one that faces every team at this time of the season. What moves should the team make towards the trade deadline? Zack Cozart seems like the Red that stands out the most. Given the all-star worthy season Cozart’s having after years mostly in the background. However, if anything the way Cozart’s played this season is the main reason to keep him.
It would be better to keep Cozart around while he’s playing well. If the Reds should aim for anything at the deadline it should be for for reliable pitchers. It’s uncertain the Reds would get that by trading away Cozart.
At the moment the Reds could be on pace to finish better than they did last year. Especially if they keep up the kind of performances they had over the weekend in Arizona. The Reds have the chance to give fans hope that they’re on the road back to being contenders. The second half of the season will show whether they’re getting close to that road or not.