Cincinnati Reds' Bats Have Now Become a Cause for Concern

Cliff Eastham@RedsToTheBoneSenior Writer IIApril 15, 2012

Drew Stubbs batting .147 thus far in 2012
Drew Stubbs batting .147 thus far in 2012Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Reds are off to one of the poorest starts in the National League. Only the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Diego Padres have a lower batting average after the Reds first nine games.

The team has already had a pair of two-hitters thrown at them thus far, with a three-hitter thrown in for good measure.

Their anemic .191 batting average and failure to provide run support has made it very hard for the pitching staff to work. It is plenty of pressure for a starter to go out and know his team isn’t going to give him three runs to work with.

Their OBP of .255 is only better than the Pirates in the NL.

Is it time for concern?

I would say so. They are already three games behind the division-leading St. Louis Cardinals with a 3-6 record and currently on the crest of a three-game skid.

Either the Reds batters have lost their touch or they have faced the best pitchers in baseball. I know the latter is not true. Of the beatings they have taken so far, only Gio Gonzalez is a top-of-the-line starter.

Of course, when you have an OBP of only .255, you are not getting on base. The long ball has suddenly disappeared.

With a team total of five round-trippers, Jay Bruce has delivered 60 percent of them. He also hit the last one the team has in the third game of the season.

A six-game home run drought may not seem so bad, but the longest the Reds went in the 2011 season without a homer was eight games.

Take a look at it, individually, for a moment. Only four of the starting players have an average over .200. Zack Cozart is leading the way with a .313 average—the lone .300 hitter on the squad.

Joey Votto is hitting .290, followed by Brandon Phillips at .250 and Bruce at .235.

The only two players who have a decent OBP are Votto (.410) and Cozart (.371).

If the total average isn’t depressing enough, look at what happens when you only analyze the losses. The average descends to a miserable .126. That boils down to only 25 hits in the six games (25-199).

Cliff, why don’t you say something good about the team? Everybody knows the bright spots on the squad are a very few pitchers who have really stepped up. This article is only touching on the offensive woes we are, as fans, forced to agonize through.

The first few games could be urinated away as cold weather follies, but the trip to DC hasn’t been anywhere close to freezing.

The current three game losing streak is second only to the Pirates (Pirates fans I promise you I am not trying to beat up on you).

Mike Leake (0-1) will take the ball for the Reds today against southpaw Ross Detwiler (1-0), who will attempt to extend the Washington Nationals winning streak to six games.