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Cincinnati Reds: What Is the Solution to the Reds’ Offensive Woes?

At .237, the Cincinnati Reds rank 25th in baseball (11th in the NL) in hitting. This has come as a bit of a shock through 38 games, as everyone seemed to think Joey Votto would head an offensive juggernaut.

As it turns out, Votto has been one of the very few bright spots on the team. He’s hitting .308 and has a ridiculous 1.032 OPS. Besides that, Ryan Hanigan and Todd Frazier are hitting well, but both of them haven’t been everyday players, and therefore have fewer at-bats. Jay Bruce seems to have found a bit of consistency, which has been great.

Once you get past these four, though, there’s not much to gawk at.

Chris Heisey is behind those four with a batting average of .262 (84 AB), followed by Brandon Phillips at .252. Past that, everyone is at .240 or worse. 

What is to be done here? Ryan Ludwick has not panned out as a veteran presence and I’d love to see him moved from the active roster. Problem is, there really aren’t viable replacements, as the Triple-A team in Louisville hasn’t been hitting much better.

Drew Stubbs is struggling again, Zack Cozart has been in a bit of a slump lately and everyone else mainly consists of situational hitters who aren’t getting the job done either. 

My first potential solution, and it seems easy, is to shake up the lineup. Perhaps we move Brandon Phillips to the leadoff slot, and let Ryan Hanigan bat second. I know Hanigan isn’t good for speed at the top of the lineup, but he’s got a hot bat right now and we need to have guys on in front of Votto.

Naturally, that leaves Votto hitting third, and we can place Bruce in the cleanup spot. He leads the team in home runs, so it makes sense to have him in the power position. You can follow that up with Heisey in left, Frazier at third, Stubbs in Center and Cozart to play shortstop. 

It seems like a weird and simple solution, but you never know what you could accomplish.

Looking to the minors won’t help much—the Louisville Bats aren’t getting much in the way of offense either, and I doubt there are many guys who are ready anyway. Paul Janish is their leading hitter, but he’s been battling injury for the last month or so.

What is the answer in Cincinnati? Pitching hasn’t been great, but it’s been pretty good—certainly good enough to have more wins than the Reds do. Of course, no run support has been supplied (for example, Bronson Arroyo’s stellar performance in the Bronx—zero runs in support).

Chime in folks—what needs to happen in Cincinnati?

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MLB: 2012 Postseason Predictions Before the First Pitch

**Now, for the record, this slideshow is being made under the assumption that nothing changes about the baseball postseason.  However, I will give two slides to what I call “the last team out,” thus naming two additional teams (one from each league) who would be in if more slots should become available.**

That being said, the 2012 MLB season is right around the corner and I, for one, cannot wait.  Baseball season is my favorite time of the year and with all of the blockbuster moves we’ve seen this offseason, the playoff picture has become quite crowded. 

Amidst all the movement, who are the favorites for a spot in the postseason?  This slideshow breaks down my predictions.

Begin Slideshow

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