Sunday, July 24, 2016

Reds Back to Winning Ways, Bruce on the Way Out?

by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

The Reds are 6-2 since the All-Star break! Before you get too excited we have to remember that the Reds have played the Milwaukee Brewers, the woeful Atlanta Braves and the last place Arizona Diamondbacks. But at least the Reds are winning the games they should be winning. The Reds close out July with a six game road trip to the Giants and Padres. Through Saturday the Reds are 9-8 in July.

Actually the Reds are fourth in the National League in hitting for the month of July. The Reds are tenth in ERA at 3.99 which is much better than their over 5.00 ERA for the season.

Joey Votto is hitting .412 in July with a .557 on base percentage and a 1.204 OPS! Last year after the All Star break Joey led the majors in Average, on base percentage and OPS. Sounds like he may be repeating 2015. We certainly hope so.

Who leads the Reds in RBI in July? Votto? Jay Bruce? Adam Duvall? No. It’s Tucker Barnhart with 12 to lead the Reds. He also has three home runs in July.

Adam Duvall has only one home run in July after double digit home runs in both May and June. Could it be the Home Run Derby slump? Maybe there is something to this?

As far as the starting pitching, only John Lamb at 15.88 ERA and Brandon Finnegan at 6.30 have ERA’s over 4.00 for the month of July. Dan Straily and Anthony Desclafani have been very solid in this month.

What about Chris Sale of the White Sox going nuts over wearing a throwback uniform? He cut the uniform in pieces as a protest. The White Sox didn’t see any humor in his actions and sent him home that night. Wow. Sensitive aren’t they? The joke is that it’s a shame that Chris didn’t pitch that night because he really had command of his cutter. For what it’s worth I am not a fan of the throwback uniforms. Why? I think they look awful and must be uncomfortable for the players and just the fact of “who cares?” what they wore forty years ago? I lived in that era. If I paid good money for a ticket and the Reds wore those terrible looking throwbacks I would be disappointed. They looked awful then and still look awful today. Why the expense of these throw backs? Maybe Chris Sale will bring attention to this issue and bring an end to this waste of time and money. Or more likely the White Sox will trade him. Remember when Sale blew up on the White Sox in spring training over an issue with Adam LaRoche’s son being barred from the clubhouse?

Speaking of trades, the Reds still have Jay Bruce. Saturday he hit his 20th home run for the eighth time in his career. Only in 2014, when he hurt his knee and missed 25 games, has he failed to hit 20 home runs in a season. He hit 18 that year. Only Johnny Bench with 11 and Frank Robinson with 10 have more seasons for the Reds with 20 or more home runs. As a matter of fact, Frank Robinson did it eight more times in his career after he was traded from the Reds for a total of 18 years with 20 or more homers!

The Reds are coming down to crunch time with Bruce. I would love to see the Reds keep him so we will see what happens.

Until next time,

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