Baker: Hitting not the problem
Reds manager Dusty Baker was asked Monday if there might a chance for some hot-hitting players at Triple-A Louisville to come up to help the offense. Players like Zack Cozart, Yonder Alonso, Devin Mesoraco and Todd Frazier have been playing very well.
Baker shot down any notion that moves would coming on the offensive side.
“Hitting ain’t been our problem,” Baker said. “We’re second in the league, or third, in almost every offensive category. Are we going to go from a five-run game to seven runs or eight? In a number of cases, it still hasn’t been enough. There haven’t been any discussions.
“There’s a bigger gap now between Triple-A and the big leagues than there ever used to be. If not, guys would come up here right away and do what they were doing down there. It hasn’t been the case. We chose this team for a reason. That’s a very good Triple-A team down there with guys that have been there for a while. Whatever you do, you have to do something with the guys that are here. You don’t just pull the plug on the guys that are here right now. It’s too early for that.”
The Reds enter the night in third place with a 30-30 record and are 5 1/2 games out of first place in the NL Central. But the manager has a point. The team ranks third in hitting, second in runs scored, hits, total bases and RBIs and third in home runs. On the pitching side, the Reds are 14th in ERA. They have allowed the most homers in the NL and the third most hits.
If there’s going to be a shakeup of any kind, it makes me wonder if GM Walt Jocketty will explore the trade market for an “ace” type of pitcher. He aggressively pursued LHP Cliff Lee but lost out when the Mariners dealt him to the Rangers. Cincinnati was very much in that battle for Lee. And before you ask me who is available, that’s harder to figure out. A total of 19 of the 30 MLB teams are within six games or better in their respective divisions. It’s not time for the white flag to be waved by those teams, yet.
In other news:
*Edinson Volquez is definitely making the start for the Reds on Tuesday.
*3B Scott Rolen has strep throat. The team hopes he can return Tuesday, but it’s not a guarantee.