Cincinnati Reds Week-in-Review May 1.0


Can we talk serious for a second? Good. I don’t know how to break this to you, but the Reds somehow managed to turn this week from a 6-1 week into a 3-4 week. This should be dubbed the “Week of the Big Inning” with the bullpen surrendering five- and seven-run innings this week. In fact, Walt Jocketty’s bullpen set a MAJOR LEAGUE RECORD by allowing a run in 23 consecutive games. At some point, I need to be able to stop complaining about the bullpen. Don’t hold your breath.

  • What is going right:

Mike Leake turned Adam Duvall put together his best professional week as a Red! Since basically being turned into the everyday left fielder during the third week of April, in which we first highlighted him breaking out, Duvall has made great strides getting everyday at-bats. This week, Sluggin’ Duvall  hit .364/.391/.955 while SLAMMING four home runs and nabbing six RBI. He is now tied for the team lead in home runs with six and actually leads the Reds with 14 extra-base hits. At some point, they’ll have no other choice but to move him up in the order.

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Dat Dude BP  is literally having a Dat Dude Renaissance, slashing .321/.310/.893 with five home runs and nine RBI this week. Teams walked Joey Votto six times this week, choosing to face Phillips instead, but boy oh boy did he make them pay. I’m 77% sure that BP read last week’s review of “What is going wrong” because he had more HR (5) and RBI (9) in the last week than he put up in April (1 HR and 7 RBI total). I can’t back up the part where Brandon Phillips actually read last week’s review, but something sure lit into him.

Scooby Doo, I mean Shaggy John Lamb, has been nothing but a blessing since coming off the disabled list. In his two starts this week, Lamb has given up just two runs in 10 innings of work while holding opponents to a .216 average. He put up an 1.80 ERA and 1.20 WHIP while flashing the amazing change up that made him a top prospect in all of baseball before Tommy John surgery. Today, Lamb was pulled after four innings of work with a sprained left thumb and is now listed as day-to-day. Hopefully he will make his next start and not join Cincinnati’s other entire rotation of starters (Homer Bailey, Anthony DeSclafani, Raisel Iglesias, Michael Lorenzen, and Jon Moscot) on the DL.

  • What is going wrong:

THE BULLPEN. It is so awful that since last week’s review, the accumulated DEAD LAST in the MAJORS ERA has risen from 6.16 to 6.57, almost half a run worse in a week. The bullpen has been so bad that the Reds finally demoted struggling reliever/closer J.J. Hoover to Triple-A after 10 2/3 innings of a 14.34 ERA. Hoover was so ineffective that hitters had a .373 batting average against him.

RELIEVERS. There is no easy way to put this, but J.C. Ramirez and Caleb Cotham had ERAs of 19.29 and 21.00 this week. Yup, hitters swung away with .417 (Ramirez) and .529 (Cotham) averages against them, all in all surrendering 12 earned runs in 5 1/3 innings between them. You really can’t even make this up.

Just when I think Billy Primetime  is breaking out of his season long slump, hitting .333 last week, Billy went from “Speed Kills”  Billy Hamilton to slashing .167/.211/.278 this week. Ay Caramba, this is one crazy roller coaster ride that Blazin’ Billy has us on. The odd or maybe encouraging thing is that with Billy Balls’ three hits and one walk during the week, he was able to score all four times.

  • Overall assessment:

Like the first paragraph explains, if the FRONT OFFICE would actually address the bullpen, the team that should’ve been 6-1 this week went 3-4. That is frustrating and exciting at the same time. I think with Tony Cingrani (3.14 ERA) sliding into the closer’s role a little more and the addition of 2013 All-Star right-hander Steve Delabar, the bullpen could be closer to being figured out sooner than later.

This season has been one for the ages so far. I have to laugh when I leave you this Jayson Stark-ish tidbit that pretty much sums up this season’s insanity in a nutshell. The Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher with the most wins (2) as of May 8th, 2016 is No. 2 overall prospect Robert Stephenson.

He has two major league spot starts.