One week from now the Cincinnati Reds will be in the middle of their All-Star break. With that break approaching, now is a good time to look at ways the Reds have improved and struggled.
Overall, the Reds have improved in several ways since April. Moving out of last place in the National League Central is relatively in sight. The team is set to go into the All-Star break in a better state than many would’ve previously predicted. In many categories the Reds look better than they have previously. Starting with the Reds performance batting-wise this season.
The Reds have many league leaders at the plate this season. Including the Reds three All-Star Game participants. Despite a rough patch here and there throughout the season, Joey Votto leads the National League in on base percentage. Coming through in the clutch at times; as he did on Tuesday night in Cleveland. Meanwhile, Scooter Gennett is vying to be the first Red since Pete Rose to lead the National League in batting.
Even Reds not participating in the All-Star Game this year are doing well at the plate. Billy Hamilton and Jose Peraza have more runs this season than All-Star Eugenio Suarez. Currently Peraza has more hits than Votto and Suarez. Peraza has 97 hits going into the Reds last series before the All-Star break. Even Reds pitchers have made big contributions at the plate; through grand slams from Michael Lorenzen and Anthony DeSclafani.
Elsewhere pitching-wise the Reds still have their problems. Homer Bailey’s health remains a concern for Reds fans. Bailey is currently in the midst of a rehab assignment in Louisville. Tanner Rainey never seems to be able to enter or leave a game with the Reds in good shape. Nonetheless, compared to the last couple of seasons the Reds pitching staff seems increasingly reliable.
Last but not least, there’s the improvements the Reds have made collectively under Jim Riggleman’s management. The Reds were 15 games under .500 when Riggleman became the interim manager. Going into the All-Star break, the Reds could end up at best eight games under a .500 record. Since late May the Reds have been a re-energized team. Improving Riggleman’s chances of being the Reds manager in 2019.
The first half of the season could be best described as the Reds hitting the reset button. Raising expectations for next season and the rest of this season.