The Month in Review (April): Even Here We Are
For the fifth–or maybe it’s the fourth, I don’t know–straight year, I’ve decided to rate the Cincinnati Reds using my patented, highly scientific and completely accurate method of Skyline cheese coneys. Some have tried to debunk my system of measurement by saying it’s “unfounded” and “moronic,” but few can debate the deliciousness of this monthly assessment.
Perhaps some of you are already familiar with my monthly reviews. Perhaps some of your aren’t. For those of you who aren’t, this is what you need to know:
Instead of stars, instead of letter-grades–I use cheese coneys. That’s it.
One Cheese Coney = This isn’t even a snack, let alone a meal. Try harder.
Two Cheese Coneys = You could do better, but you could also do worse.
Three Cheese Coneys = Now we’re getting somewhere. Not perfect, but pretty darn close.
Four Cheese Coneys = How can you complain about four cheese coneys? Simple–you can’t.
For the last couple of years the Reds had a solid catching platoon of Ryan Hanigan and Ramon Hernandez. Replace Hernandez with rookie Devin Mesoraco and the Reds, once again, have a solid catching platoon. Most teams would kill to have one good catcher on their roster. The Reds have two. We’ve heard a lot about Mesoraco’s arm, but so far I’ve only seen him throw out one runner (while allowing 9 stolen bases). I suspect that will get better with experience.
Joey Votto is striking out a lot. In fact, he’s second only to the Reds’ venerable strikeout leader, Drew Stubbs. Should we be concerned about Votto’s strikeouts when he’s leading the league in walks? Probably not. Why? Because he’s Joey Votto.
There’s no way to sugarcoat this one: Brandon Phillips is off to a slow start. You could blame his sore hamstring on the fact that he’s not hitting like the Phillips we’ve grown to know and love. Then again, that same sore hamstring isn’t preventing the Phillips we’ve grown to know and love from making spectacular plays in the field.
This is probably Scott Rolen’s final season in baseball. You’ll be hard-pressed to hear me say a bad word about the guy, which is why I’ll just say that he needs to start hitting. If he stays healthy he’ll be fine, but age (and injuries) have not been kind to this man, so when he is playing it would be nice if he contributed offensively. It appears that his bat is starting to come around, but he needs to do that on a consistent basis for it to matter. And all this talk about age and injuries saddens me, because Rolen is only 5 days older than me.
I think this Zack Cozart kid is going to be alright. He could learn a thing or two from this thing called “plate discipline,” but overall I’ve been pretty happy with what I’ve seen so far. He’s certainly an upgrade offensively over Paul Janish (sorry, Soft J).
As per usual, Jay Bruce made it through the month with ridiculous spurts of offensive awesomeness followed by prolonged streaks of inactivity. When all was said and done, Bruce finished the month with a .296 average, 7 HRs and 17 RBIs. Not too shabby for the man named National League Player of the Week for the final week of April.
After Reggie Sanders struck out 19 times in 29 at-bats during the 1995 playoffs, my youngest brother and I affectionately renamed him “K-Dog.” With Sanders long gone, I think it’s time to bestow that nickname upon another Reds outfielder: Drew Stubbs. For a long time we tolerated the strikeouts because Stubbs hit for power and stole a bunch of bases. Now he’s not doing much of either (except he’s still striking out). I’ve never had a problem with Stubbs in the past, but I think it’s time for K-Dog to put up or shut up.
What is there to say about Chris Heisey? No, I’m asking you–what is there to say? I mean, he’s not Dave Sappelt. There’s always that, I guess.
Ryan Ludwick may be excited to play for his favorite team growing up, but other than some decent power, he hasn’t demonstrated that enthusiasm on the field much.
NOTE: Willie Harris doesn’t make it into this conversation because he’s only hitting .100.
Believe it or not, the Reds do have bench. You just wouldn’t know it because those bench players are named Miguel Cairo, Willie Harris and Wilson Valdez. I would like to see Todd Frazier get more playing time, though.
Johnny Cueto/Bronson Arroyo/Homer Bailey:
- 5-2 record
- 84 innings pitched
- 23 ER
- 79 H
- 2.46 ERA
Mat Latos/Mike Leake:
- 1-5 record
- 50.3 innings pitched
- 35 ER
- 64 H
- 6.26 ERA
Can we just all agree that Alfredo Simon doesn’t belong within a 500-mile radius of the Reds’ bullpen? Good.
The 1-2-3 punch of Logan Ondrusek, Aroldis Chapman and Sean Marshall is–dare I say–nasty (with all due respect to Charlton, Dibble and Myers). I think the biggest surprise here is Ondrusek. The last guy I knew named Logan had adamantium claws and was quite the badass, so I expect nothing less from Ondrusek.
While Sean Marshall hasn’t been perfect (0-2), he has converted 5 of 6 save opportunities, which is exactly why the Reds traded Travis Wood to the Cubs to get him. Well, sort of (right, Ryan Madson?).
April Record: (11-11)
What else can I give a team that finished the month at .500?