Bruce’s Month of May and Wood’s Improvement

Bruce on track for NL Player of the Month

Jay Bruce could not have been hotter during the horrendous road trip that the Reds just finished. He was just about the only bright spot. He returned home to Great American Smallpark and hit another three run bomb into the right field seats.

This month, Jay Bruce now has 12 HR, 32 RBI, and is batting over .320 for the month with a +.390 on base percentage.

Tonight as the Reds continued their dominance this season of the Brewers, Jay Bruce finished just shy of the cycle after tripling and homering in his first two at bats.

Bruce started off slowly in April, but May has been his best month as a pro, and he should be en route to the NL Player of the Month award. It should be a close race in the American League between Jose Bautista and Curtis Granderson.

Bruce now leads the National League in home runs with 16 home runs. He is batting .294 on the season with 43 home runs. His on base percentage is also .358 which is a vast improvement over last season for the left hander.

In ESPN leagues, Jay Bruce was drafted at pick 74 on average, and fantasy owners are reaping the benefits of Bruce’s hot month. Dusty Baker is sharing the same sentiment as teams have pitched around Joey Votto, and Bruce has had to carry the offense.

Fortunately for the Reds, Jonny Gomes has looked like the Jonny Gomes from early 2010. He has started to drive the ball, and has shown a new willingness to hit a breaking ball.

Travis Wood has a strong month of May

After pitching 6 innings of 3 run ball for the second straight game, Travis Wood gave the Reds his 5th quality start in May alone. Wood started out inconsistently at the beginning of the season, but he has shown signs of improvement over the last month.

Wood has improved his control of his fastball and kept the ball in the ball park. His record now stands at 4-3. Wood has allowed 8 home runs now on the year which is a high number, but until giving up two home runs tonight, Wood had improved that number throughout May.

The Reds pitching staff as a whole has suffered a high whip this season. They rank 24th in the Majors with a whip (walks/hits per inning pitched) of 1.37. A whip of 1.25 is the goal for most major league clubs. The Braves lead the majors with a whip of 1.14.

The Reds pitchers have gotten into trouble by walking batters and allowing those runs to score via a base hit. Reds pitchers have already walked 202 batters this season which is tied for second most in the Major Leagues. The Reds will win more when the pitching staff cuts down the walks.

Joey Votto

In other notes, Joey Votto leads the Major Leagues in walks. He walked twice tonight vs. the Brewers.His on-base percentage is tied for second in the Major Leagues with an OBP of .463

You can follow Alex Apple on Twitter @AlexAppleDFW