The Cincinnati Reds in April 2013


A new month creates an opportunity for all of us to look back on the previous month and wonder, shake out heads at certain decisions made by Dusty, Walt or both or, in maybe a rare case, neither. Using a similar approach as Jordan does for his “Three Up, Three Down” posts he compiles prior to the onset of every series, here’s what sticks in my mind from the Reds April.

Three Up

First, these are in no particular order…

Apr 29, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Choo is congratulated by teammates after scoring on a single by first baseman

Joey Votto

(not pictured) during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. (Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)

Shin-Soo Choo

I posed a question on BRM’s Facebook page as to who Reds fans felt was the Reds best player for the month of April. It wasn’t even close as those that responded tipped their caps in the way of Choo. Hard to argue with a guy that ranks 6th in the NL in batting (.337), tops in on-base percentage (.477) and getting plunked 10 times.

Tony Cingrani

When Johnny Cueto hit the DL, the question wasn’t who would get the call from Louisville as we pretty much tabbed Cingrani as being that guy. The question was more aimed at if he could produce. If we can bottle Cingrani’s first three MLB starts and mark it down as a given each and every time he hits the hill, I think the Reds have something extremely special in Mr. Cingrani.

Mat Latos

So much for being a slow starter. I think the absence of Cueto created the need for Latos to find an April gear that many thought he didn’t have. How’s 2-0, 1.83 ERA and 1.093 WHIP grab you? Did a piece on Mat about a week ago showing his 2013 April success. Despite leaving his last outing after six innings, the Latos of April 2013 is a far different one than those of April past.

Three Down

Again, no particular order

Apr 29, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Broxton hasn’t been the Brox of 2012. (Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)

The Bullpen

One of many bright spots for the Reds last season has transformed into the opposite thus far in 2013. Leading the NL in most losses (7) and an ERA ever-so-slightly below 4 (3.98) are a bit off at what this group did last season. After serving up 33 home runs all of 2012, the ‘pen already has 13 after this season’s first month.

The Disabled List

Can’t just put one player here as the DL has as strong a hold on this team as we’ve seen in a while. Current residents include Cueto, Ryan Hanigan, Chris Heisey and Manny Parra on the 15-day and Ryan Ludwick and Nick Masset on the 60-day. Sean Marshall has already spent time on this dubious list, too. There is a little concern over the hip issue which led to Latos leaving his last outing after six innings.

Jay Bruce

His struggles for this April have created quite the chatter and conversation, especially on Twitter. He addressed this last night as I’m sure you may know of this by now. If not, Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk can catch you up to speed. Some were even opining they’d prefer Drew Stubbs and all his strikeouts. Seriously?

And even if Stubbs was still on this team and carrying his current numbers, you would still be lambasting him for his 30.7% strikeout rate.

Three Things for May…

Some things to keep in the back of our minds as we hit May…

Feb 16, 2013; Goodyear, AZ, USA; Cueto poses for a photo during photo day at the Reds Spring Training Facility. (Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports)

Starting rotation

Cueto’s last bullpen session was a success and a rehab assignment in the minors will be next for the Reds ace. According to a Lance McAlister’s tweet, Cueto will head to Pensacola for a start, then to Dayton 5 days after for another start. The hpoe is that 5 days after his start for the Dragons, Cincy is his next destination.

Upon Cueto’s return, I’m sure many will state that the Reds should keep Cingrani in the starting rotation and send Mike Leake either to the bullpen or Louisville.

Offensive production from the #2 spot and LF

I’ll combine these because they have been issues in the past that were semmingly settled, but have cropped up again due to Ludwick being out of the lineup. Zack Cozart has been the primary guy at the #2 spot and for a while he was getting the job done. Since he took a pitch off his hand while attempting a bunt, thins haven’t quite been the same. In those eight games since then, he’s batting .167 with 3 GDP.

Left field might as well come equipped with a revolving door now.

Jay Bruce

May is Bruce’s best offensive month. He also likes the late summer, too. I’m crossing my fingers for ya, Jay.