Heading into 2011, the general perception of the Cincinnati Reds was that their great young pitching staff and solid lineup featuring Joey Votto and Jay Bruce would lead them back to the playoffs and possibly even to the World Series.
The Reds even won their first five games of the 2011 season, sweeping the eventual NL Central Champion Milwaukee Brewers in the process. The Reds were back!
But, something happened on the way to the playoffs.
The Reds hitters stopped hitting in clutch situations, Jonny Gomes was terrible, Scott Rolen barely played, Bronson Arroyo was worse than terrible and, all the while, the Brewers just kept winning baseball games.
Reflecting on the 2011 season has caused many fans and supporters of the Reds to clamor for them to go after a front-line starting pitcher like C.J. Wilson in the offseason.
However, after performing my own autopsy on the dead body that once was the Reds' playoff hopes, I've determined that the cause of death wasn't pitching at all.
In fact, the Reds should focus their free agent spending almost exclusively on hitting. Here are six reasons why the Reds don't need starting pitching in free agency.