The Cincinnati Reds got off to a . . . difficult start this season. Cincinnati started 8-27 and manager Bryan Price was fired. Since that start, the Reds have gone 24-18 and have completed four-game sweeps of both the Dodgers and Cubs. In the last month, Cincinnati has had the best offense in Major League Baseball.
Are grand slams hard to come by?
Apparently not, if you are the Cincinnati Reds. Since May 22, the Reds have hit seven grand slams as a team. That is good enough for the most in Major League Baseball. Joey Votto, Jesse Winker and Anthony DeSclafani (yes, DeSclafani the pitcher) all hit slams against the Cubs this past weekend.
The team as a whole is top five in slugging percentage over the last month at .453.
Votto-like consistency for all of Cincinnati.
Joey Votto’s specialty is getting on base. That may sound simple, as that is every position player’s goal in baseball. However, Votto is uniquely elite when it comes to getting on base on a consistent basis. Nobody has had a higher OBP than Joey Votto since he came into the league in 2007—not even Mike Trout. Now, that excellence has spread to the rest of the lineup. Cincinnati’s offense has had the highest OBP in the MLB over the last month by .022 points. They are also first in fWAR at 6.9, Cincinnati is also top two in batting average, walk percentage and strikeout percentage over the last 30 days.
What does this mean for the future?
It is promising, for sure. Nick Senzel is out for the year with a finger injury, but there is no doubt he will be in the big leagues at some point next season. This offense is relatively young with a lot of talent on the way up through the system. This will be the staple of a competing Reds team if they can get the pitching to a worthy level. The bullpen does not need much tweaking, rather experience. Healing injuries and the future additions of Hunter Greene and Tony Santillan could be just enough to push Reds pitching into competition.
Jim Riggleman has been an excellent interim manager, but the Cincinnati front office needs to land someone reliable to become the full-time manager. All in all, Cincinnati is on the way up. How long it takes to get to the top depends on how quickly the pitching can get to a high level before Joey Votto’s time in Cincinnati comes to a close.