Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Reds Up


Somehow it all just fell into place. The Reds were struggling throughout May, and circling last for a lot of the month. Then all of the Cubs, Pirates and Cardinals started tanking, and the second June started, the Reds took off, and have only lost 2 games since the month began. And guess who's looking at 2nd place all of the sudden?

It's not like the Reds were waiting for everything to fall into place. There was a lot about this team that was working before- Elly stealing all those bases, the golden trio of Greene-Abbott-Lodolo, a surprising amount of strong innings from Frankie Montas, and another fun bench campaign from Stuart Fairchild. But it just seemed like they weren't matching up well against other teams, especially surging teams like the Dodgers, Padres and Orioles, and teams in the midst of hot streaks like the Cardinals and D-Backs. Sometimes the schedule can screw you like that. And as has been documented, even genuinely good teams have trouble with the Dodgers. 

And yet in several games against the Cubs, the Reds have prevailed, and grown even stronger, thanks to Tyler Stephenson finally putting together a complete campaign, Jonathan India finally getting hot, and Nick Lodolo staying firm after his IL stint and looking better than he's looked in years. Lodolo is still a really nice asset, and so far he's 6-2 with a 2.92 ERA in 9 starts. Not the overall crowdpleaser that Hunter Greene is but a really solid, honestly underrated starter. The only upside of Ashcraft getting hurt again is that the Reds are giving innings to people like Nick Martinez and Brent Suter, swing men who can work a ton of innings without really giving out, rather than the carousel of inexperienced chumps that they went through last year. Hell, one of last year's failed starters, Carson Spiers, has become an excellent long-man, and could be given another opportunity to start after he's comfortable enough being opened for.

It's also helped just having people like T.J. Friedl and Sam Moll back, those were two very important pieces from last year. And you're at least seeing positive offensive production from people like Jeimer Candelario, Jonathan India and Spencer Steer, who've had slower starts than preferred. The team does come down to Elly de la Cruz right now, and he's still phenomenal, already with 34 steals and 11 homers. I don't know if he'll go 40, but he could definitely chase some of the numbers Acuna hit last year.

It's a lot more satisfying when this Reds team is doing well, and they could use this month to hold second for a while. I think a lot of people would enjoy them as a major factor heading into the more pivotal months of the year.

Coming Tonight: The Yankees traded him for a guy who's ironically now on the Reds. He's got a tall order upon him, and he's doing better than one might expect. 

No comments:

Post a Comment