Reds Review: May 2013


May 26, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Votto fields a ball while Phillips looks on during the fourth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park. (Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports)
Producing a 19-8 record, the Cincinnati Reds had themselves, from a record standpoint, a fine month. It did have its bumps along the way.

The never-ending saga of beating good teams was followed almost immediately by beating good teams on the road. After stumbling miserably out the gate as far as road games were concerned, the Reds have partially righted that ship.

There are facts from both sides. Cincy spent more games on the road than at home in May, going 11-5 in those games. The loses were in St. Louis (first game of May), two in Philly, and the two most recently in Cleveland. GABP was friendly with the Reds sporting a May record of 8-3 there. A pair of losses to the Braves and the one loss to the Cubs, which was a debacle.

Three Up

Joey Votto

How could Votto not be on such a list? He currently leads all of baseball in runs scored (45), walks (46), on-base percentage (.465) and intentional passes (9). Well, that last one might not be viewed as a positive, that is, until you see what the guy behind him on the batting order has been doing.

For May, Votto triple-slashed a .388/.492/.631 with 6 HR and 16 RBI. He also scored 28 runs.

Brandon Phillips

Who would have even considered that BP leads the National League in RBI? His 44 tops the list and we are still treated those Gold Glove defensive gems on a practically a nightly basis.

In May, Phillips crafted a triple slash of .301/.350/.575 while hitting 5 home runs and driving in 20. And we did see on occasion where an opponent would put Votto on base in order to face BP. And it did bite ’em.

Mike Leake

Leake’s month of May was one you would like to see from a top of the rotation guy. Posting a record of 3-1, and ERA of 1.87 and a WHIP of 1.129 would be a fantastic month for any pitcher. Add the 26 strikeouts with only 4 walks and May of 2013 will go down as one of the best months in Leake’s young career.

And June is historically his bet month. Leake has also posted an excellent June in each of the past two seasons.

Three Down

Todd Frazier

The sophomore slump as hit the Jersey boy. In May, Frazier didn’t hit a home run while hitting only .220. Glad it hasn’t had an adverse effect on his defense as Frazier’s glove is a little better than most had thought.

Still, need to get his bat going as he was one of a few offensive heroes from last season.

Sean Marshall

His May numbers weren’t Marshall-like though (0-1, 4.15 ERA, 1.386 WHIP) and he’s back on the disabled list. That’s what really makes this a downer.

Marshall’s final month for 2012 was simply fantastic. He has yet to be able to think of producing a month like that.

– Soft schedule/beating winning teams

It’s the most talked about subject: the Reds can’t beat winning teams. When they took the two at GABP from the Indians, then dropped the pair at Progressive Field, the subject was then that the Reds can’t beat winning teams on the road. Well, they only played four teams with a winning record in May and two of those teams were only for one game because of how the series and calendar “conflicted”.: St. Louis (0-1), Atlanta (1-2), Cleveland (2-2) and Pittsburgh (1-0).

Only 9 of the 27 games were against tams with a winning percentage over .500. Business on that front will pick up in June as you will soon see. It will pick up a lot…

From April

One of my Three Things for May was watching the production from the #2 spot and left field. While Zack Cozart did have better numbers in May, the trio of Xavier Paul, Derrick Robinson and Donald Lutz combined to produce a triple slash of .296/.396/.409 with 3 HR and 18 RBI.

Three Things for June…

– The schedule

Will be a tough road in June. The Reds will not play a team below .500 until they re-visit Wrigley Field in their 9th game of the month. That is unless the Colorado Rockies stumble previous to their visit to GABP from June 3-5. The Rox are currently 28-27 and have a pair of games against the Los Angeles Dodgers before they come to Cincinnati.

After the Cubs series, the Milwaukee Brewers return to GABP for three and the Reds most likely will not face another sub-.500 team the rest of the month.

– The ‘pen

For the most part, it was a reversal for the bullpen in May as compared their April.

April: 6-7, 6 SV, 3.98 ERA, 1.205 WHIP, .228 BAA, 1.44 HR/9
May: 6-3, 10 SV, 2.61 ERA, 1.134 WHIP, .196 BAA, 0.75 HR/9

Once again, they are staking a claim as one of the best in the NL. Be interesting to see if the ‘pen can continue this trend and find consistency. Bullpens can be erratic as we well know.

I wonder when the campaign to get Sam LeCure to the All-Star Game will commence? Can’t do a write-in vote as pitchers don’t get voted in by the public.

Chris Heisey…and left field

I list Heisey because he should be coming off the DL soon. With how production has been from the position, it will be interesting to see who the Reds send back to the minors. At this pint, I don’t know if I’d send Lutz or Robinson down. We know it won’t be Paul, but we also know that Heisey has a spot on the 25-man one he returns.

Provided he does return in June.