2011 is in the books and the Reds made some noise in the first half only to drop out in the second. The Reds had their stars and they also had their duds. Of course leading the way was Joey Votto. On the heels of his MVP season, Votto actually put together an under appreciated 2011. He didn’t drive in as many runs or hit as many home runs but because of his improved defense, he actually had a better WAR in 2011 then he did in 2010. He also drew 100 walks for the first time in his career.
Jay Bruce was his number two and while he hit more home runs then he did in 2010, his OPS was down because he hit closer to .250. He drew thirteen more walks though and while he struck out more, I like the trend. Bruce won’t turn 25 until after opening day and then Votto just turned 28 last month. They should have these guys in the lineup for some time.
For those you who don’t know, I live in the Detroit area. We had our Edgar Renteria episode and while he got it done for the Giants in 2010, he turned around and stunk it up for us just like he did for Detroit. Oh well, overall, the Reds finished second in runs scored in the NL and they were second with 183 home runs. Not too shabby. Now we just need to come up with a new winning combination to get it all done in 2012.
The Reds are out of it but that doesn’t mean the last couple of weeks can’t be exciting. Bronson Arroyo had his best start of the season with his first complete game of the season and it was a six hit shutout. He needed just 91 pitches to get through all nine innings and he struck out two while not allowing a walk. 64 of his 91 pitches were for strikes.
Brandon Phillips went three for four with a run. Miguel Cairo belted a solo home run in the 2-0 win.
That gave the Reds their 76th win of the season. They still have an outside chance of a winning record but they’d have to win out. Even .500 is going to be tough.
Bleh, the Reds were in the mix for a while but with their pitching struggles (that was supposed to be a strength, the Reds sit a near insurmountable ten games back of the first place Brewers. In fact if the Cardinals don’t get their stuff together, they could be out of it too because they’re five back. Even this latest four game winning streak hasn’t helped the Reds out too much.
The Reds are 12 out of 16 in ERA. That by itself isn’t horrible, but it’s not the pitching staff of a contender. Johnny Cueto has been good, Mike Leake has been solid and everyone else needs some big time improvement. Homer Bailey is our third best starter. Not that it’s bad, but it kind of puts things into perspective because he’s been the sixth man of sorts. The pen has been good, but not lights out.
You have the one-two punch of Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, but Brandon Phillips power seems to have escaped him and that makes for a lackluster lineup. They do have the third best OPS, but that’s due in part to the two studs at top. In fact things are kind of backwards. The Reds have scored more runs then any other team in the National League but one, yet their pitching let them down.
So while 10 games isn’t an impossible deficit to make up, it’s highly improbable. Time to start thinking about next year if it’s the end of the month and we’re still ten games back.
Alright, we always like the good news. The Reds are just three games out of first despite playing .500 ball. The bad news is, they’re in fourth place with the Brewers and Cardinals tied atop the NL Central and then the Reds sit just a percentage point behind the Pittsburgh Pirates….WTF, the Pirates. Yes, Pittsburgh is playing .500 ball as well.
The Reds have lost five of their last seven games with series losses to the Yankees and Blue Jays and now they’re one down against the Orioles. This was after a sweep over the Dodgers. Yesterday was a twelve inning affair with Edinson Volquez having another rough start. Five walks in 4 1/3 innings isn’t going to cut it and while he hasn’t been horrible in June, he’s finishing the month off with a whimper.
We’re about to the half way point of the season and Joey Votto is once again getting it done. He hasn’t quite found his home run stroke yet, but his OBP is better then it was last year (.436) and he already has 50 runs. He’s also right at his career .314 batting average. He probably won’t win the MVP, but it’s another solid first half of the season.
The Reds still have an ERA north of four and they’re fourth worst in the National League. Four of the bottom five teams in ERA are in the division and it’s the Pirates who have the best ERA in the division. You wonder if they’re going to be able to keep this up.
Bronson Arroyo tries to keep his ERA south of five tonight and Brian Matusz throws for the Orioles. Matusz is a future stud but he’s having a tough time this year and hopefully we can get it done against him.
After a five game winning streak, the Reds have now lost five in a row. Unfortunately things aren’t looking up because next up is a series against the Philadelphia Phillies. The good news is, the Reds still sit in second place and they’re just two losses back of the Cardinals. The Brewers have picked things up though and they’re only a game back of the Reds. Heck, even the Pirates are in the mix right now.
The pitching has taken a turn for the worst. Their ERA is now 4.32 and that’s third from the bottom in the NL. Only the Cubs and Astros have worse ERAs. And while he’s not THE problem, Aroldis Chapman fell off of a cliff and he’s now on the disabled listed after a few rough outings where he couldn’t find the plate. Let’s hope he comes back ready to blow that fastball by some hitters.
The good news is, the Reds offense is still humming. Joey Votto continues to rake and then Jay Bruce is finally looking like he’s coming into his own. Throw in an effective Brandon Phillips and you have quite an impressive trio of hitters in the middle of the lineup.
Game one against the Phillies is tonight. It’s Bronson Arroyo against Cole Hamels in the opener.
Despite a team ERA close to five, the Reds sit atop the NL Central with a 6-3 record. They’re the only team with a winning record, at least for today, and they’re getting it done with their bats. Their .315 batting average is second best in baseball and their .381 OPB is the best amongst all teams. Pretty good for a team that was supposed to live and die with their pitching.
It’s a small sample size, but Joey Votto looks like he’s back in MVP form. He’s hitting .455 with eight walks and three strikeouts and five of his fifteen hits were for extra bases. Brandon Phillips is hitting .389 and the only guy who I thought would break out a little and hasn’t is Jay Bruce. He has yet to hit a home run and he’s hitting .235.
On the pitching side, Edinson Volquez is the lone standout. He’s won both of his starts and he’s the only start with an ERA south of five. Travis Wood has the high ERA but I like his WHIP and strikeout to walk ratio so hopefully he’s the first guy who gets back on track.
Next up are the Padres and Volquez gets the nod. It’s a west coast game so you’re going to have to pull a red eye if you want to watch this one.
The Reds improved to 8-4 on the spring with a dominating win over the Padres yesterday. Fifteen runs and eighteen hits and while the Padres nicked up the Reds pen, it was nice to see the Reds take former ace Aaron Harang to task. Ryan Hanigan belted a three run home run and Chris Heisey and Juan Fransisco also went yard in the win.
Chad Reineke threw two shutout innings in his start. Jared Burton pitched two scoreless frames as well while Jordan Smith was touched up for three runs.
Next up are the champs as the Reds take on the Giants this afternoon. Game time is 3:05 if you’re where I’m at.
Oh yeah, the Reds are back and while they needed six runs in the final two frames, they pulled out the 7-6 win over their spring training complex sharing rival, the Cleveland Indians. Dave Sappelt and Chris Valaika both homered in the big eighth inning while Zach Cozart went two for two with a run and an RBI.
Matt Maloney and Sam LeCure got the Reds off to a good start with two shutout frames each but then things got a little crazy. Donnie Joseph was pummeled and he gave up most of the damage with five earned runs. Carlos Fisher also had a tough time and he gave up a run on three hits in his one inning of work.
It’s the Indians again today. Bronson Arroyo and Aroldis Chapman will see some time on the mound as will Dontrelle Willis. Gametime is 3:05. Also, single game Reds tickets are on sale now. Get them while they’re still around.
The Reds avoided going to arbitration Monday after signing 2010 MVP First Baseman Joey Votto to a new contract. The contract is a three-year deal for $38 Million. This is a substantial increase over the $525,000 that Votto made in 2010. Votto shouldn’t have any problem spending that money on US poker sites accepting echeck. Votto stood to do quite well in arbitration after a season where he finished 2nd in the League in batting average, 3rd in RBI’s, and 3rd in home runs.
In a conference call, Votto told the media that “I think it gives me the opportunity to avoid arbitration and to also just concentrate on playing in the next three years. It has absolutely nothing to do with getting to free agency or that, although a lot of people would interpret it that way. I can’t imagine playing for another team right now.”
Votto received a signing bonus of $6 Million that will be payable over the next three years. He will receive $2.5 Million of the bonus upfront. The signing bonus would give Votto a healthy bankroll should he choose to play poker online. He will then receive $5.5 Million in salary for this season, $9.5 Million for the 2012 season, and $17 Million for the final year of the deal. Votto told the media that he wasn’t interested in a long-term deal like the six-year deal given to Jay Bruce last month. He stated that “I wanted three and I think the team wanted three. It worked out well for me.”
Votto had the best season of his three year Major League career in 2010 on the way to winning the National League MVP award. He hit .324 with 37 homers and 113 RBI and slugged 177 hits over 150 games played. He also was walked 90 times. He ranked first in the NL in Slugging Percentage, OBP, and OPS. He also was 4th in runs scored with 106. Votto led the Reds to the post season for the first time in 15 years, was elected to the All-Star team, and also received the 2010 NL Hank Aaron Award.
For those of you who don’t remember, I live in the Detroit area. Edgar Renteria’s time in Detroit didn’t go all that well so I’m taking this signing with a grain of salt. They inked him to a one year deal worth $3 million and I guess I can live with that. It’s low risk (one year only) and the money isn’t significant.
For Renteria, it looks like we were one of the few places to commit to Renteria full time at shortstop. My concern is he’s been at or near the bottom of the league in a lot of fielding metrics there. Going to left he was always good but even that’s gone away the past couple of years. Going to his right he’s pretty bad. Still, hopefully he can hit for us.