Amazingly, we're almost a full month past August 1st and there are still fans throughout Reds Country who are bemoaning the fact that Cincinnati failed to pick up a starting pitcher before the MLB trade deadline.
There were rumors flying the Reds had an outside chance to get Justin Verlander. After the deadline, it was revealed that Cincinnati had interest in Brady Singer. There were fans advocating for Dylan Cease, Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, and several others.
The narrative before the trade deadline was - the Cincinnati Reds need pitching (preferably a starter). Well, while the sentiment was there, and it probably wouldn't have hurt per se, the fact of the matter is that the pitching hasn't been the problem of late.
Since the All-Star break, the Reds pitching has not been the problem.
Could the Cincinnati Reds have added a starting pitcher at this year's trade deadline? Of course. There were whispers before the deadline passed that Cincinnati was looking to add a starter with multiple years of team control. But it didn't happen.
Since the trade deadline, and even going all the way to right after the All-Star break, the Reds pitching staff has been pretty good. Since the All-Star break, the Reds pitching staff has a collective ERA of 4.33. That's 12th-best in the majors and lower than the likes of the Tampa Bay Rays, Chicago Cubs, and Houston Astros.
During that same stretch, the Reds hurlers have allowed the ninth-fewest number of hits and the sixth-lowest batting average against. The Cincinnati staff has also recorded 326 strikeouts which is good enough to remain in the to-half of Major League Baseball.
Now, walks, those have been an issue. The Reds have allowed 134 free passes since the Midsummer Classic, which places them among the Top 10 in all of baseball. Home runs have been a problem with Reds pitchers watching 61 balls leave the yard. That's third-most since the break, but don't neglect the fact that Great American Ball Park is a launching pad.
For all those Reds fans who wanted the team to add pitching at the trade deadline, I hate to break it to you, but it's been the bats that have let Cincinnati down since the All-Star break. The Reds team-OPS of .701 ranks 25th and the 309 punch outs are the third-most in the big leagues.
There have been some bright spots, which the Cincinnati Reds swiping 38 bags which is just behind the Kansas City Royals and Chicago Cubs since the All-Star break. But with a batting average and on-base percentage both in the bottom-third of baseball, it's hard not to point the finger at the Reds hitters.
The Cincinnati Reds have been without the likes of Jonathan India and Jake Fraley of late, and now Joey Votto hit just hit the IL. There's also an expected adjustment period for the young players like Noelvi Marte and Christian Encarnacion-Strand to get accustomed to life in the big leagues.
The Reds are still in pursuit of a spot in the playoffs, but more and more it's looking as if the Wild Card will be route the club has to take. The next three series (Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants, and Chicago Cubs) will give fans a good idea of where their favorite team stands with about a month to go.