The Reds have a few bright spots on their roster. Second baseman Jonathan India is having a solid season, hitting .290 with 5 home runs and 24 RBIs. Third baseman Spencer Steer leads the club with seven home runs and outfielder Jake Fraley leads Cincinnati with 34 RBI.
The Reds have a lot of young talent that they are hoping to develop. Outfielder Nick Senzel is a former top prospect who is finally starting to put it all together. He is hitting .264 with 5 home runs and 22 RBIs and catcher Tyler Stephenson and outfielder TJ Friedl are tied with 46 hits each.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 28, 2023
As of Tuesday, the Reds are playing .500 ball with a three-game winning streak over their past 10 contests. They are improving but they likely won’t reach the playoffs this season.
- Bullpen – the Reds bullpen ranks second in the National League in team ERA.
- Jonathan India – at 26 years of age, India is the Reds’ future and is under team control through the 2026 season.
- Nick Senzel – missed time due to injury but enters Tuesday hoping to continue a three-game hitting streak.
- Joey Votto – he would be a big help but he’s on the 60-day IL without a timetable for return.
- Poor starting pitching – the starting rotation has the worst team ERA in the National League allowing the second most home runs per nine innings pitched.
- Inconsistent offense – the Reds rank 10th in the National League in team batting average with very little power but are fourth in the National League in stolen bases.
Cincinnati’s starting rotation is quite young and unfortunately, a leg injury to Nick Londolo has only added to their struggles in maintaining a consistent, run-stopping lineup.
Despite having nine different pitchers make starts for the team, the overall outcome has remained consistent – too many walks followed by home runs have continued to put pressure on the inexperience of the pitching staff.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 26, 2023
However, one positive aspect to take away from their performance is that their team xFIP is lower than their ERA, which could suggest a potential for improvement in the future.
- Graham Ashcroft – leads the rotation with five quality starts but is 3-3 with an xFIP a full run lower than his ERA.
- Hunter Green – is striking out over a dozen per nine with an xFIP lower than his ERA.
- Luke Weaver – is allowing two bombs per nine but his xFIP is also lower than his ERA
- Luis Cessa – has struggled with an xFIP of 5.34.
The Cincinnati bullpen has performed well thus far, with only eight blown saves which ranks 17th in the MLB. However, they are currently ranked 26th in total holds. Despite having the second-best team ERA, their bullpen’s xFIP is almost a run higher than their ERA. This could be concerning as the season progresses and improvements may need to be made to maintain their success.
- Ben Lively – leads the bullpen in ERA but he’s allowed five earned runs over his last three appearances.
- Alexis Diaz – is becoming one of the most effective closers in the league, with 12 saves, one hold without a blown save.
- Buck Farmer – leads the club with six holds.
- Ian Gibaut – is 4-1 with five holds and three blown saves.
As previously mentioned, the Reds have been having trouble with their offense and currently rank 14th overall in the National League. Although they are ninth among their NL peers in runs scored, their .319 wOBA does indicate that things could improve.
- 2B Jonathan India – leads the Reds in batting average, OBP, and second in WAR.
- OF TJ Friedl – is batting .333 through 41 games and is third in stolen bases.
- 3B Spencer Steer – leads the team in home runs and third in strikeouts.
- C Tyler Stephenson – leads the Reds in strikeouts but has the third-most hits.
- LF Stuart Fairchild – is slugging just .398 through 108 at-bats.
- CF Nick Senzel – is second on the team in RBI through 41 games.
- OF Jake Fraley – has 34 RBI but is batting .252 through 147 at-bats.
- 1B Will Myers – is on the IL but is batting .189 with the second-most strikeouts.
Reds 2023 Outlook
Although the Reds may not be strong contenders for the playoffs, they currently sit in third place in the National League Central, trailing the Milwaukee Brewers by four games for the division lead.
However, their run differential is second-worst in the division, which could pose challenges moving forward.
Despite some injury concerns with the starting rotation, they may perform better than their numbers suggest. Additionally, while the bullpen has been decent, there is a possibility of some regression that could impact their standing.
The Reds offense has been inconsistent and is unlikely to improve their negative run differential. Although watching the Reds may be enjoyable at times, it could also be frustrating, but they are making progress and heading in the right direction.