The Cincinnati Reds are 17 games over the .500 mark for the first time since 1999 and to their credit they are making moves that make sense rather than making snap judgements that may blow up in their face.

Last week when the Reds traded for Jim Edmonds many of us, including myself, were miffed at why Cincy would send Travis Wood down to make room. Wood was on fire and making waves at becoming the second Reds rookie pitcher to make a splash this season. Though we now see what the Reds had in store, or at least, figured out what they can do.

Cincinnati has officially put Mike Leake into the bullpen in order to cut back on his innings and ease the work load on his outstanding, but young, arm. As a result, Travis Wood will be called up on Thursday and will enter the rotation as the fifth starter. A great move to keep both pitchers in the mix as they have made a world of difference for the Reds this year.

Leake was quoted in the Reds Team Report on Wednesday saying, “Obviously, I’d rather go every fifth day, but it will be fun to throw out of the ‘pen—as long as I can do something to help the team.”

The baseball maturity of Leake grows every minute. The 22-year-old righthander has already thrown 135 innings this season and has posted an 8-4 record with a 3.78 ERA in 22 starts.

Wood is 3-1 with a 2.65 ERA in eight starts. He has issued just 13 walks in 51 innings and has a WHIP under 1.00.

And another thing. I’m glad to see Micah Owings go somewhere other than taking up space on the Reds roster. He was decent as a a starter, but never really had the stuff to be full time in the rotation. Though he is a great a pinch hitter, maybe he can remake himself as a DH or an outfielder (I’m joking).

For those of you who say the Reds lost in the trade of Adam Dunn to Arizona for Owings and two others in 1998, give me a break. I am an Adam Dunn fan, but he only hit home runs when the bases were empty.

He was the king of the meaningless dinger and seemed to continually go in reverse in his efforts to just get a base hit. You can hit 40 homers, but when you struggled to get 100 RBI, something is obviously not right.

Don’t get me wrong. Deep down I hated to see him go, but the Reds benefited from getting rid of him to find players that were much more versatile in fielding and hitting. They may not have received that from the initial trade, but they created the room to make the team better.

And they have done just that, gotten better.

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