My All-Star break starts early
I was not scheduled to go on the trip to Atlanta so my All-Star break begins a little early. The Reds will be facing a first-place Braves club that is the toughest in the NL at home (29-13 entering today). Splitting the next four games seem rather paramount with the way things are going.
The Reds definitely haven’t played their best baseball yet this season. Last year, they broke off a on 22-3 run from July 6-Aug. 4 to take off even without Joey Votto. With the myriad injuries the club has now, and the Pirates and Cardinals playing tough, it will be much harder to do something like that this year. But even though negativity reigns among many in social media, being 51-40 and within striking distance (4 1/2 games up for the 2nd wild card) isn’t a bad spot to be in. It could certainly be much worse.
And yes, it could certainly be much better. Clutch hitting has been missing as there are many places in the lineup that have come up short lately. Many players are banged up and will need the break to catch their breath.
Even without Marshall and Broxton, the bullpen has really stabilized. I don’t think adding a reliever is the answer. But even with Ryan Ludwick potentially coming back some time next month, getting a right-handed bat should be on the radar in the next two weeks before July 31. The who is the tougher part. The second wild card has kept more teams in the hunt and less willing to become sellers.
Be on the lookout for lots of Reds All-Star coverage from our reporters in New York (I won’t be there). I will update the blog and MLB.com accordingly if any news is made next week. Also watch for a second-half preview which roll out on the web site the day or two after the Midsummer Classic.