John Erardi has an interesting article in today’s Enquirer:

Some excerpts:

For all the talk about the Reds not being able to hit with runners in scoring position (RISP), they are hitting higher in that situation than the Chicago Cubs, who led the Reds by 6 1/2 games going into Saturday night’s games?

It’s true: The Reds are hitting .257 with RISP, and the Cubs are hitting .244 in the same circumstances. (The Reds are hitting four points higher than the National League average with RISP – .253.)

So, why have the Cubs outscored the Reds by 42 runs? Because the Cubs have 82 more plate appearances with RISP than do the Reds (220 plate appearances with RISP – 14th in the 16-team league).

Conclusion: You’ve got to get runners on base in order to score them.

Does this go against our manager’s beliefs?

That how often your team’s hitters strike out really doesn’t matter?

Maybe this will convince you: The Reds have struck out the second fewest times of any team in the league (134 times to Atlanta’s 123 times) yet have one of the least productive offenses in baseball …

Go figure: Reds pitchers lead the league in strikeouts with 191 through Friday.

This is something I’ve never been able to figure. Guys that know more stats than I do say that strikeouts don’t matter for hitters, but they judge a pitchers chances of success (partially at least) by strikeouts. Isn’t this contradictory?

That the Reds have the fourth-oldest group of position players (30.0) in the league, and eighth-

oldest group of pitchers (29.5)? (The source – baseballreference.com – “weights” the ages by how much the players play. In other words, if there are several 40-year-olds clogging up the bench, their ages are weighted much less.)

The last time the Reds were really good was 1999, when the average ages of their hitters was 28.3 and their pitchers were 28.0. (Keep in mind that a two-year difference in average age between this year’s team and the 1999 team is very significant.)

The last time the Reds won the World Series (1990), they averaged 27.5 for hitters and 27.4 for pitchers. And in 1970 – when the Reds started the season 70-30 and roared into the World Series – they were 25.9/25.2.

Conclusion: The Reds have to get younger before they get better.

This shows the conumdrum the Reds have caught themselves in (probably due to the owner’s impatience). They don’t trust their young players enough (which, IMO, means they don’t trust their own scouts, eyes, decision making) to let them operate without a safety net. If you had Volquez, Cueto, Bailey, Maloney, even Belisle, why did you need a Fogg? If you already have a Hopper, Freel, and Bruce, why did you need a Patterson?

Read the full article. Like almost everything Erardi writes, it’s interesting stuff.