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Can the Cincinnati Reds Recover From the Beating?

The St. Louis Cardinals came in to Cincinnati to claim back first place in the division from the Reds. They may have done much more than that.

It wasn’t even close. In the three game series, the Cardinals outscored the Reds 21-8.  Forget about the infamous basebrawl of game two—the Cards hit the Reds hard and often.

This could be the single most pivotal point in the season for the Reds. How they react, bounce back, or fade away between now and September 3rd will determine the whole season. 

Why September 3rd? 

That’s the next and last time these two teams will meet during the regular season. If the Reds can stay within three games either way, the September 3rd three-game series will replace this series as THE series of the year.

If they pull away between now and then, all the better. If they fade back by three to six games…that would be their last chance to get back in it.

The Reds can do it. They have an exciting team and an offense to be proud of. On top of that, for the most part, their pitching has been pretty good overall. 

And, as I’m sure most of you are aware of, the Reds have the “easiest” schedule during the second half of the season. But lest you forget, (or just didn’t know), the Cardinals have the second “easiest” schedule…

Regardless, it’s going to be either really fun or really painful to watch what happens the next several weeks.



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Jim Edmonds: Reds Trade Chris Dickerson For Edmonds

Walt Jocketty, once again, has reached back into his past and grabbed a veteran to bring into the Cincinnati Reds organization.  This time, he has traded away Chris Dickerson to the Milwaukee Brewers for Jim Edmonds. 

Edmonds, now playing for his seventh Major League ballclub in his 16th year as a major leaguer, was hitting .286 with eight home runs and 20 RBI in 73 games for the Brewers.

Dickerson only played in 20 games for the Reds before going on the disabled list, but in his rehab assignment, he killed the ball in his 13 games at AAA Louisville, batting .442 (19-for-43).

In losing Dickerson, the Reds gave up a promising prospect who had some pretty good numbers while playing in 128 games over the last two seasons. He batted .283 during that span.

In return, the Reds get another proven veteran to help in the outfield, but one who has definitely seen his best years go past him. 

This move suggests that the Reds are content to keep Stubbs and Bruce in the lineup, and keep Heisey and Edmonds waiting in the wings to spell them when they falter again…or if they continue to falter, depending on how you look at it.

While I appreciate the experience Edmonds will bring to the team as the Reds make a push to the playoffs, I have to wonder if the price was too steep and how much gas is left in Edmonds’ 40 year old gas tank to make the difference when he’s called on to make that difference.

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Cincinnati Reds: Improving The Lineup Without an Addition

The trade deadline has come and gone and the Reds stood still, opting to go forward with what they have. 

I’d like to take a look at the lineup and batting order, using what they have, and examine how it might be better in the second half than it was in the first half.

We know this team has some pretty good offense, they rank among the top in the league in most of the major offensive categories.

But they also have some not-so-good offensive peculiarities: They lead the league in shutouts, that is, they’ve been shut out 12 times already.

Though they have so far been able to come from behind and win a lot of close games, it’s also a little alarming that they HAVE to come from behind so often and have had so many close games.

So, what do they need to do to improve with what they have now? Some would argue that they should continue on like they have been all year. If it’s working, don’t mess with it.

But I think there are a few things they could and should do to make their offense a little better.

Cabrera is not a top-of-the-order hitter. Well, maybe he was at one time, but he’s not this year. He should be moved down in the order…way down.

His backup, Janish, is known for his strong glove and weak bat, but in limited use this year, he’s actually doing well at the plate.

I wouldn’t say he should replace Cabrera on the depth chart, but I’d definitely give him more playing time than he’s been getting.

The Reds also aren’t really getting the offensive production they need from the centerfield position.

Stubbs is getting most of the playing time, and though he has speed and a bit more power, his .230-ish average and .300-ish OBP really hurts.

I’d like to see Heisey get more playing time. He’s unproven at the MLB level, but after almost 85 at-bats so far he’s hitting .286 with an OBP of .365.

I say switch the depth chart and put him as the starting centerfielder and use Stubbs as the backup and stop-gap for those defensive substitutions and pinch-hit double switches when you’re bringing in the relief pitchers.

Here’s the batting order & lineup I’d use:

CF – Chris Heisey
2B – Brandon Phillips
1B – Joey Votto
3B – Scott Rolen
LF – Jonny Gomes
RF – Jay Bruce
  C – Ryan Hanigan/Ramon Hernandez
SS – Orlando Cabrera
  P – Pitcher

Gomes’ spot in the batting order is fairly interchangeable with Hanigan/Hernandez depending on who’s catching for the Reds at the time and who the opposing pitcher is, but I think I’d leave the rest of it alone for the most part.

It gives our No. 3 through No. 6 hitters protection on both sides, and our leadoff spot has protection behind him.

I’d use Stubbs and Janish for as many pinch hit and spot start opportunities as I could.

There’s also Cairo and Nix on the bench and in the September call-ups, the Reds have some talented guys in the minors who might help.

Then again, maybe the Reds will pick up someone from the waiver wire…

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