Can you say “Impressive” for what the Reds were able to handle with their opponents in the month of April? The first homestand was against a very talented Los Angeles Angels lineup and the NL East Division champ Washington Nationals. Then, the drought of winning started on the road trip, against the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates. The drought hurt the Reds in the MLB rankings, going from 5 to 21 and then 23.
Injuries were plaguing the Reds from Opening Day, Ryan Ludwick out with a shoulder injury, Sean Marshall with fatigue in throwing arm, Johnny Cueto with a tricep injury, Ryan Hanigan with strained oblique and lets add Chris Heisey with a hamstring injury.
The injuries are short, except for Ryan Ludwick, who will be out till the All-Star break. The next response in handling injuries are the replacements and how good are they. Those replacements being: Derrick Robinson, Tony Cingrani, Corky Miller and Donald Lutz. Robinson is a switch hitter from Triple-A Louisville and has been used rarely except for the use of resting outfielders on a designated day off. Cingrani, no explanation needed, he is next in the line to be in the Starting Rotation next year. Cingrani can bounce out Leake when Cueto returns. Miller, he has been in this system for the past decade and will likely become a pitching coach once he retires, a great investment to have to develop catchers in the minor leagues. Lutz, he came just to replace Heisey, will be heading back to Double-A Pensacola once Heisey is back.
The Reds put in some good series this month, most of them were at home, going an MLB best 12-4 at home. The Reds only funk of the month was the road games, not finishing at the clutch moments, which are the 7-9 innings. The road might be their kryptonite to this 2013 season but they’re not getting the hang of finishing strong at the end. The kryptonite itself hurts the Reds claim a season series against the Nationals, now they must play ahead of the Nationals record to avoid possible tie-breakers. The road trip they’ll be taking in the month of May are the Chicago Cubs, Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets and the Cleveland Indians. The strength of schedule for those teams at home are at .383, while the Reds are at .272, it should be catch up time and good to claim at least 7 wins to make the road average better.
The next blog post will the MLB’s Strength of Schedule and how well a team performed in the month of April.