Chicago Cubs: Assessing state of the National League Central

Oct 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Fans gather outside of Wrigley Field before game three of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Fans gather outside of Wrigley Field before game three of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /
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. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Cincinnati Reds

30-40

Pitching wise, the Cincinnati Reds are one of the worst teams in the majors. With a 5.03 team ERA, the Reds rank 29th in the majors, while their 1.41 WHIP ranks 25th in the majors. Much of the reason for these bad numbers has been the play of the starting rotation.

The Reds have seen ten different pitchers make starts this season. Those pitchers have recorded an ERA north of 6.00, and own a 17-28 record. The lone bright spot for the Reds’ rotation has been Scott Feldman. Feldman has a 4.20 ERA in 15 starts, and has struck out 68 batters in 83 2/3 innings pitched.

The bullpen has picked up the rotation

The Reds’ bullpen has logged 280 innings this season. In that time, they are 13-12 with a 3.66 ERA.

Leading the charge in the bullpen is Raisel Iglesias. Iglesias has appeared in 29 games, and recorded a 1.59 ERA. In addition to that, Iglesias has notched 12 saves, and struck out 42 batters in 34 innings pitched.

With the starting rotation struggling, the Reds’ bullpen has been able to keep the team afloat. This could prove valuable come July if the Reds look to trade some of their top performing arms.

Cincinnati’s offense has been solid

Amidst the shortcomings of the rotation, the Reds’ offense has been good thus far. They have scored 346 runs which ranks tenth in the majors, and recorded a .455 slugging percentage which ranks in the top five in baseball.

The Reds’ offense has been led by two men for the majority of the season. Those two men are Zack Cozart, and Joey Votto. Cozart is slashing .320/.404/.562 with nine home runs and 33 RBI. For his efforts, Cozart could earn his first All-Star Game appearance. The 31-year-old is currently in the lead at the shortstop position, ahead of Los Angeles Dodgers’ Corey Seager.

Votto has been equally impressive as the 33-year-old is slashing .307/.414/.603 with 20 home runs and 53 RBI. Votto, in fact, leads the team in home runs, RBI, OBP, and hits.

Playing a supporting role to Votto and Cozart has been Scooter Gennett. The 27-year-old Gennett is slashing .287/.331/.553 with nine home runs and 37 RBI. In fact, four of Gennett’s nine home runs came in one game against the Cardinals on June 6.

It’s all downhill from here

Despite the Reds’ offense firepower, they don’t have enough pitching to make the postseason. With Bronson Arroyo, and now Zack Cozart on the DL, things well only continue to worsen for Cincinnati.

Already 6.5 games back in the division, the Reds look to be sellers at the trade deadline. With Cozart, and some other attractive trade chips available, the Reds would be foolish not to start stocking up for the future.