I compiled a list of guys who I feel really boosted their performance, or took a big step back in the month of August. Guys not mentioned "held steady" as compared to their career norms/what they have done this year.
It's a beautiful, yet frustrating game at the same time. As soon as one guy puts it all together, someone else is batting their inner demons. Ah, the joys of the 162, and we are all guilty of getting caught up in the highs and lows.
Want proof? In May, many Reds fans were clamoring for Jonny Gomes to be an all-star, as he was arguably one of the most productive outfielders in the National League. Conversely, others were recently calling for Jay Bruce to be sent down to the minors (a ridiculous notion, but I digress) or hoping for a platoon in right field.
Regardless, it was an outstanding month, as we were the best team in Major League Baseball in August.
Without further ado......
-OF Jay Bruce--Hit seven home runs this month after a severe power outage the prior two months. He was cast into an unfamiliar spot at leadoff, and has produced in the absence of Brandon Phillips. Granted, the sample size is small, but he's shown great patience, has hit lefties for a change, and hit a rare opposite field blast.
-C Ramon Hernandez--led the team with a .368 average during August as him and Ryan Hanigan make for a frighteningly productive catching tandem. A bevy of clutch hits have come courtesy of Hernandez as well.
-SS Paul Janish--He's cooled off a bit, as fatigue has set in from an extended run of starting time, but has stepped up big time in the absence of Orlando Cabrera. Everyone knows about his fielding, but he has shown an ability to handle the bat as well.
-1B Joey Votto--He just keeps getting better and better as the season goes on. If he's not a National League MVP frontrunner, then I don't know who is. His huge RBI hit in San Francisco ensured them of an extremely successful west coast trip, one in which many people didn't think they could handle.
-P Nick Masset--Has basically become unhittable. A lot of us were screaming for his head on a platter early in the season. He has shut everyone up, as he just goes out there and gets people out.
-P Francisco Cordero--Saves are no longer becoming an issue for big Frank. He claims to have discovered a flaw in his mechanics, fixed it, and has started to hear that hefty $12 million salary of his
-Bronson Arroyo--In five August starts, compiled an excellent 2.97 ERA. Critics claim we don't have any aces to make an extended postseason run, but I'll put Arroyo up against anyone.
-3B Scott Rolen--Looked tired at times, though in Tuesday night's game against the Brewers, showed signs of coming out of it. I have no doubt he will have a fine September.
-P Mike Leake--Hit the wall, and has been shut down due to shoulder fatigue. Early in the season, he was integral to the success of the team, but the brakes have wisely been applied to this kid, who has no reason to hang his head for what he's done in 2010.
-OF Jonny Gomes--Slowly has started to emerge from his tailspin, but just when you want to praise him for his opposite field home run Tuesday night, you see the crap he pulls out in the field. He's probably the weakest link in the starting lineup, but at the very least, is capable of jacking it out of the yard each and every time up.
-P Edinson Volquez--It's not working out for Volquez. Coming back from Tommy John surgery is a process, and we were badly fooled by what he did in his first start against Colorado. Right now, he has no command, and has been sent down to Dayton.