32-27, T-first in NL Central
The Reds pinch-hitters have been absolutely awful, especially from the left side of the plate.
Utility player Willie Harris made the team out of spring training solely because he was the only left-handed hitter they would have on the bench. In 35 at-bats, he got a mere three hits and continued to get playing time. Reds pitchers Mike Leake, Bronson Arroyo and Homer Bailey all have more hits in fewer plate appearances.
When Harris was demoted in early May, left-handed hitter Mike Costanzo was called up. After one hit in 18 at-bats, Cincinnati finally decided they need a productive bench player rather than a left-handed hitter. Kristopher Negron was called up to replace Costanzo last week but has not had a chance to hit.
The Reds also have backup catcher Devin Mesoraco on the bench but rarely use him as a pinch-hitter. Wilson Valdez, Ryan Ludwick and Miguel Cairo make up the rest of the Reds bench. With Mesoraco batting .200 and Ludwick at .203 as the best averages on their bench, Cincinnati needs to look to other teams to improve their depth.
The leadoff spot also needs to be addressed, but the club is content with the players in their lineup. Outfield depth and a utility player would be good areas for the Reds to look to improve.
If the Marlins would be willing to trade backup outfielder Austin Kearns, he would fit in nicely with this team. He can play either of the corner outfield spots while providing power. In a limited time so far this season, he has a high average but probably will drop off in that area.
Kevin Youkilis may also be looked at, but Cincinnati is probably happy with rookie Todd Frazier’s production this season. Boston would want prospects in return for Youkilis, and the Reds farm system is depleted after their busy offseason. A trade with Boston would allow the Reds to have Frazier come off the bench to hit, where he is 6-for-7 this season.