Because they sure as hell don’t have any offense.
The Reds’ pitching staff, especially Johnny Cueto, Aaron Harang, and the front end of the bullpen, has somehow kept Cincinnati in the thick of it, just 1.5 games off the pace in the NL Central, despite the fact that pretty much the entire team is hitting .200 or below.
Indeed, an incredible five starters are below the Mendoza Line – C Ramon Hernandez (.175), 2B Brandon Phillips (.174), 3B Edwin Encarnacion (.159), SS Alex Gonzalez (.111), and LF Jerry Hairston Jr. (.179). Hairston’s platoon partner Chris Dickerson is barely any better, at .214, and even team star Jay Bruce had to go 2-4 last night to raise his average to .238.
Outside of Joey Votto this team is pretty much praying for errors or hit-by-pitches when they are at bat, because their team OBP is a lowly .317. It’s not even like they can get some runs back with the long-ball, having hit only 9 dingers so far.
It’s still early, but the Reds’ offense is looking pretty toothless, at 28th in the majors in runs scored. And even though some of these guys are bound to improve, its not as if any of these guys are really all that good to begin with, and this is basically the same team that was 23rd in runs last year. So just waiting for these guys to revert to career norms is not going to cut it.
With their pitching the Reds have a legitimate chance to stay in contention this year, but they have to find some way to get some more big bats in there, and soon. This is a team that could have really benefitted from signing a guy like Adam Dunn to a short-term deal. If only he actually liked to play baseball, am I right?