Sputtering Reds offense seeks divine intervention in series vs. Friars

Cincinnati Reds v San Diego Padres
Cincinnati Reds v San Diego Padres / Denis Poroy/GettyImages
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Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto. / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

Hitting woes have crippled the Reds to start the season.

As play began yesterday, the Cincinnati Reds offense ranked last in the senior circuit in OBP (.256), while placing second to last in both average (.185), and slugging (.294). Needless to say, little changed in Sunday's performance, as the Redlegs collected one run on four hits.

The horrendous offensive attack is hardly limited to a couple of players not producing. For players who have more than 20 at-bats, Jake Fraley, Mike Moustakas, and Joey Votto are all hitting .150 or worse. Amazingly, outfielders Aristides Aquino and Tommy Pham are both sporting an average under .100 as they've combined to go 3-for-46 with 19 strikeouts entering play on Sunday.

Whether their facing left or right-handed pitching, the numbers are nearly identical. Cincinnati is slashing .181/.257/.290 versus right-handers and .194./255/.301 against southpaws. Obviously, the Reds offense will improve, however, there's no guarantee it will be even a league-average unit by the end of the season.

For starters, third baseman Mike Moustakas has been underwhelming since donning the wishbone "C." In 350 at-bats as a Red, Moose is slashing a paltry .211/.291/.391 with just 14 homers.

At age 33 and a dozen years in the majors, there's little reason to believe he's going to rebound to his previous All-Star status. Additionally, with each passing day, his four-year/ $64M contract signed before the 2020 campaign, appears to be one of the worst deals in club history.

Next, the lack of production from the outfield is of grave concern. Tyler Naquin is the only outfielder on the squad to hit above. 260 last season. Aquino, Fraley, Pham, and Nick Senzel combined to hit .221 in 974 at-bats during the 2021 campaign. Unfortunately, All-Stars Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker aren't walking through the door at GABP to rescue this club.

Prediction: Reds will sadly win just 1-of-3 vs. the Padres

Let's be honest, this past weekend had to shake the confidence of even the most optimistic fans in Reds Country. Granted, Cincinnati may not see another team as talented as the Dodgers all year, but there were moments when the Reds didn't even look like they should be sharing the same diamond with LA.

Next. How long must Reds fans settle down and celebrate losing?. dark

However, things will get better. They can't get any worse, right? But it will be small steps. Look for the Reds to drop two of three in San Diego before a much-needed off-day on Thursday as they prepare to welcome the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals to the Queen City for the weekend.