Let’s see: The Reds just lost a four-game series at home against the Pirates, Mike Leake was arrested for shoplifting $60 worth of T-shirts from a department store, Edinson Volquez (the supposed “ace” of the pitching staff) is a complete mess, and Mike Brown has decided running a football team into the ground isn’t enough and is the new owner of the Reds.
Alright, just seeing if you were paying attention on that last one, but overall, things aren’t looking good for the Redlegs to say the least. After starting the season 5-0 – their best start since the 1990 World Series championship team – they now stand at merely 9-7. They’re still in first place in the NL Central, but they’re not taking advantage of their weak early-season schedule.
Will that change starting tonight against the visiting Diamondbacks? We shall see, but the Reds seem to have more problems than solutions right now. Volquez’s pitching is worse than his hair, set-up man Nick Masset is like the bizarro Kosuke Fukudome (Masset sucks early in the season and is great late; Fuk-U is excellent early, then falls off the map late), and Jay Bruce and Drew Stubbs still have poor approaches at the plate with 18 and 19 strikeouts, respectively.
However, believe it or not, there is some good news as well (in addition to Joey Votto being one of the biggest weapons in MLB).
Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto each recently had impressive minor league rehab starts and should be available to join the Reds by the first of May at the latest. That’s if they don’t “forget” to pay their Macy’s tab. (Too soon?)
Also, relief pitcher Jose Arredondo is on the way back from his elbow injury and is another candidate to join the team next month if needed. Pitching for the AA Carolina Mudcats, Arredondo has, get this, fanned 7 batters in just 3.2 innings pitched (3 appearances). He’s given up two hits, walked one and has an ERA of 2.45. There is a lot to be excited about there if he can remain healthy.
It’s a long season and there will always be peaks and valleys during the 162-game stretch, so there is no need to panic. However, the Reds need to get back on the right track against the D-backs starting tonight.