Cincinnati’s struggles over the past two weeks had convinced some fans that the hope for a successful season was already over. However, the team rebounded and went 5-1 this week (Monday – Saturday). The rally pushed the Reds back above .500, and it put them in a tie with the Chicago Cubs for the NL Central lead. Baseball Prospectus still has Cincinnati’s playoff odds at just 11.1%, but for now, it’s fun to know that there will be meaningful baseball in May for the Reds.
Let’s get to this week’s Reds Report.
The Offense is On Fire
The Reds offense continues to be a major surprise this season. From Monday through Saturday the team scored 45 runs (27 on Friday and Saturday). A look at where the Reds stack up compared to the rest of baseball shows how well they’re playing. The team has scored the third most runs (159), hit the seventh most home runs (41), and is tied for the league lead in steals (36). Cincinnati’s batting average and slugging percentage are also both in the top five in baseball.
Joey Votto is Raking
More often than not, this is a statement you could make about Joey Votto. However, over the past week teams have really struggled to get the Reds first baseman out. He’s hitting .429/.654/.857 since Monday. Over that stretch, he’s also walked 11 times. (which is ridiculous).
Not only is Votto hitting for a high average, but he’s also hitting for more power than he has the past few seasons. Votto connected on his ninth home run earlier this week. That homer went 449 feet, and it was the longest blast of Votto’s career since MLB starting tracking data with Statcast.
Homer No. 9 for Joey Votto puts the @Reds on top 3-0 in the first.
– FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) May 2, 2017
Wick Terrell of Red Reporter recently looked at Votto’s start to the season. It appears that he’s trying to avoid another slow start by focusing on hitting for more power. This recent run has him on pace to hit just under 50 HR this season.
Billy Hamilton Steals His 200th Base
Billy Hamilton reached a personal milestone this past week when he stole his 200th career base. Mark Sheldon of MLB.com provided a review of Hamilton’s big night. He reached the accomplishment in the fourth fewest games since 1900. Only Vince Coleman, Tim Raines, and Ricky Henderson did it in fewer games.
– Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 4, 2017
Who Is the Fastest Man in Cincinnati?
Speaking of Hamilton, he’s been a part of a conversation in Cincinnati since the night of the first round of the NFL Draft. The Bengals took John Ross with their first round pick. Ross set an NFL Combine record in the 40-yard dash, and this fact led to an interesting question. “Who is the fastest man in Cincinnati?” C. Trent Rosecrans discussed the topic with Hamilton who thinks it would be a close race.
Joe Danneman offered his assessment of the potential showdown.
If you’re curious who’s faster, here’s our unscientific comparison of the two fastest men in Cincinnati:
John Ross vs. Billy Hamilton pic.twitter.com/2R7c8Yand9
– Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) May 3, 2017
Amir Garrett Optioned to Louisville
Reds fans were surprised to learn on Sunday afternoon that Amir Garrett had been optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Garrett was coming off of a six-inning start on Saturday in which he allowed just two runs and five hits. For the season, Garrett was 3-2 with a 4.25 ERA in six starts.
Zach Buchanan noted that Cincinnati has two off days between now and May 15. That will allow them to go with a four-man rotation, and the Reds can limit Garrett’s workload in Louisville. There’s no reason to overwork him this season when the team has their sights set on 2018-2019.
With two off days upcoming, reds need only 4 starters for a stretch. Gives them a chance to manage Garrett’s innings
– Zach Buchanan (@ZachENQ) May 7, 2017
The Reds will welcome the Yankees to Great American Ball Park on Monday for a two-game series. On Thursday, they’ll head to San Francisco to play four more games against the Giants.