Reds Mid Way Grades: Half Way in Cinn-City

Lamar BoltonContributor IJuly 6, 2009

CINCINNATI - JULY 04:  Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds is pictured at bat during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at the Great American Ball Park on July 4, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

I have resisted talking about the Reds for quite a long time, in hopes that I might see somthing that would indicate that they are redy to get over the hump. But based on this past weekend's series with the front running Cards, our Reds have a ways to go.

In my mind this team's offense, defense, and pitching haven't been in sync for a long time. At present they are at .500 and unless there is a big time power infusion from the right handed side of home plate, they just have too many teams to jump over to get to the top.

For the first time in a long time, the front line pitchers for this team match up with any one else in the NL Central. Edinson Volquez is on the DL right know but Johnny Cueto has taken up a lot of that slack. Harang is doing his usual good job but with little if any run support, and newcommer Micah Owings has put in some quality innings and helped his own causes out greatly with his bat.

Then, there is Mister Arroyo. Bronson Arroyo is going through his mid season bout of getting lit up by every team he faces. With Homer Bailey finally getting his head and his arm on the same page, one would think that would make Bronson expendable .

The only thing I can really say about the defense is that the loss of Alex Gonzalez is a problem, and they need him back up through the middle. Edwin Encarnacion is back from an extended stay on the DL, fully aware that his spot isn't safe. Phillips is working  on another gold glove season and young mister Votto at first has improved his defense a great deal over last year.

The offense this season is at best inconsistant, they have little of anything from the right side plate other then Phillips. The whole "small ball" thing just doesnt really work when you have to force it with no power threat to back it up. Votto is having a banner year but with not much going on past number five, runs are going to be coming at a premium. If that continunes, they won't get past third place.