A disappointing sweep in Boston, an impressive home series against the best offense in baseball. Just more of the usual in this inconsistent early 2014 ride. Here is a list of the Reds contributing the most:
1. Johnny Cueto (last week No.1)
The king of Reds Player Power Rankings remains on the iron throne. Cueto was nothing short of magnificent against the best offense in baseball, the Colorado Rockies. He didn't pick up a win because of yet another bullpen hiccup, but he did go eight innings and strike out as many while allowing just two runs from a team that has scored 230 on the year.
To put that in perspective, the second-closest team in runs scored is the White Sox, with 29 fewer.
2. Todd Frazier (last week No. 3)
Todd Frazier has contributed significantly in the past two weeks. He had four RBI last week and is currently riding an 11-game hitting streak. He has three home runs in that 11-game streak. His contributions come at a time when the Reds' former MVP is batting .258, which makes his bat vital at the moment.
3. Mike Leake (last week unranked)
Leake pitched in both the Boston and the Colorado series. He went 15 innings and allowed just four runs, a notable feat considering the offense of the Rockies and the DH-equipped Red Sox. He only walked four batters total in both games. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to get a win in either.
4. Homer Bailey (last week unranked)
Homer Bailey may finally be hitting a stride in 2014. He pitched just over 13 innings in two games last week and allowed only four runs. He did allow nine hits and walked seven batters, but he struck out 13. Batters hit just .188 off of Bailey in that stretch, a notable turnaround from his tumultuous start.
5. Skip Schumaker (last week unranked)
The former Cardinal has been a shot of life for a Reds team in need of one. With slugger and run-producer Jay Bruce sidelined for at least a month, Schumaker has stepped in off of the DL and has been a very useful utility for the Reds. He drove in a team-high five RBI last week and was an enormous difference-maker in the successful series against the Rockies.
6. Joey Votto (last week No. 5)
Joey Votto is hardly resembling the 2012 National League MVP, but despite hitting just .258 on the year, he's still pitching in. He had more hits (three) than walks (two) last week and had two RBI, both of them via a solo home run, in back-to-back games. But his performance of late has been mediocre. He was last batting over .300 on April 25.
7. Brandon Phillips (last week No. 6)
Phillips was productive from the No. 3 spot in the order last week, recording four hits, two walks and an RBI. Phillips had three doubles last week, two coming in the Colorado series. That allowed him to cross the plate twice.
8. Billy Hamilton (last week unranked)
Hamilton had a productive week, but it's what he's silently done over the last 30 days that has finally earned him a spot in the rankings. He turned in three hits last week, worked a walk, had a double and accounted for two runs in the Boston and Colorado series. In the last 30 days, Hamilton is leading the team in batting average of all active players at .318. He has 10 stolen bases in that time frame.
9. Ryan Ludwick (last week No. 10)
Ludwick needed to produce in order to remain in the power rankings. To a degree he did. He only had three hits, including a double, two RBI and a team-leading five walks. While he was by no means a significant contributor, he pitched and made himself a difficult out, which is always welcomed in this lineup.
10. Manny Parra (last week unranked)
LeCure drops out of the rankings and is replaced with fellow bullpen mate Manny Parra by sheer virtue of workload. LeCure worked in just the first game against Boston and hasn't been to the mound since. Parra allowed one earned run in four innings over three games. He had four strikeouts in that time span.
Dropped from Reds Player Power Rankings
Brayan Pena (last week No. 4)
Jonathan Broxton (last week No. 7)
Sam LeCure (last week No. 8)
Zack Cozart (last week No.9
Mike Leake (unranked - No. 3)
Alfredo Simon (No. 2 - unranked)
On the Cusp
Aroldis Chapman, Sam LeCure
All stats provided courtesy of MLB.com.
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