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The Month in Review (May): The Great Pretender

June 2, 2015

I see what you’re doing, Cincinnati Reds. You finish strong in the month of May by sweeping the much-better-than-you-are Washington Nationals, hoping to sway the results of my monthly report card. But you don’t fool me. Not one bit.

CATCHER

Devin Mesoraco was finally placed on the DL. Maybe one of these days he’ll decide whether or not to have surgery on his hip.

Brayan Pena and Tucker Barnhart will be the catching platoon for the remainder of the season. While neither of them is particularly exciting, I am glad that Barnhart is going to get a lot of ABs.

FIRST BASE

As expected, Joey Votto’s scorching April was followed by a luke-warm May. Fortunately, Votto found his wallet, so hopefully that means we’re in for a scorching June.

SECOND BASE

Brandon Phillips quietly had a solid month. Slowed somewhat by turf toe, he’s been hitting for average — and not much else.

THIRD BASE

Your National League Player of the Week for the final week of May, Mr. Todd Frazier, is a beast. This team is bad now, but think how bad they’d be without Frazier’s punishing bat. He currently sits in second place among MLB home run leaders. That’s just silly.

SHORTSTOP

Zack Cozart is still hitting. Not as well as he was in April, but he’s still hitting. Therefore, none of us should complain.

OUTFIELD

Most of May was a miserable month (that’s a lot of “M’s”) for Jay Bruce. He’s slowly digging himself out of a very deep hole, but he’s still miles away from the player he was before the 2014 season. Call me crazy, but I see Bruce as one of the first players traded before the deadline. Someone will see the upside he has to offer, convince themselves that they can fix his problems (because he’s finally
going to figure it out after 7.5 seasons, right?), and take him off the Reds’ hands. Best of luck to whomever that team is.

The rest of the outfield? The fastest guy in baseball can’t get on base, and Marlon Byrd is just kind of… there.

STARTING PITCHING

The Reds’ biggest trade chip has a strained elbow. I’m sure that’s nothing a pitcher should be concerned about. We’ll find out how much of a problem it is after tonight’s start. The only thing Reds fans can hope for is that he stays healthy and pitches well until the All-Star Break, otherwise the Reds will be lucky to swing any deal, let alone a good one.

Jason Marquis was finally relegated to the bullpen. Meanwhile, the young guys — DeSclafani, Lorenzen, Iglesias, and probably someone else whose name I have to look up every time to spell it correctly — have shown glimpses of good stuff. Considering these guys will most likely make up the bulk of the rotation for the foreseeable future, showing any kind of promise is encouraging.

BULLPEN

Thankfully, the bullpen has improved. It’s amazing what happens when you release Kevin Gregg. Hoover and Cingrani have been really dependable. Unfortunately, they’re rarely pitching when the Reds have the lead.

CLOSER

Chapman had a whopping 4 saves out of 4 opportunities in May. Let’s just say that wasn’t because the Reds had huge leads every game. He also went through his annual weird stretch where he ended up with 3 losses. It happens. Fortunately (or unfortunately), when you’re an all-around below average team, the closer is the least of your worries.

OVERALL

May record: 11-16

GO REDS! (?)

© Chris Sabo’s Goggles 2015. This Month in Review is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Skyline Chili (or the inferior Gold Star Chili). What do I look like, some kind of sell-out?

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