Some guy over on McCoy’s weekly Q&A has a suggestion for how to fix the Reds:
Why not trade Adam Dunn, move Joey Votto to left field and play Scott Hatteberg every day at first base? This would improve the team defensively, get more contact hitters in the lineup, and fewer strikeouts, and save the team millions to spend to improve the team. Ã¢â‚¬â€ Mark, Bloomington, Ind.
McCoy rightly shoots this down, but even he still perpetuates the old “Reds strike out too much” myth. Strikeouts, per se, were never the problem with the Reds offense (in 2005, they led the league in Runs Scored, and strikeouts (by 150)). But now, no part of it holds water – the Reds don’t strike out very much at all, but their offense sucks eggs.
I’m not sure if this list includes today’s games, but the Reds rank 13th of 16 NL teams in runs scored – the bottom line for any offense. They’re only beating the Nats, Padres, and Giants – three clubs that play in HUGE pitchers’ parks. Meanwhile, the Reds have struck out the 4th-fewest times in the league. If that doesn’t put the stake in the “little ball,” how about this – the Reds rank 3rd in sacrifice bunts.
“But Adam Dunn…” Nope. Dunn’s K-rate is remarkably lower than his career norm:
2008: Once every 3.79 ABs
01-07: Once every 3.07 ABs
Yet for all those extra balls in play, he’s still “hitting” .209.
So once and for all, the problem is not that the Reds strike out too much. I’m honestly not sure what it is – they’re middle of the pack in AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS, HR, 2b, 3b, BB, and SB – yet collectively, they can’t score. I’m pretty much fine with blaming
anyone everyone but Keppinger and Paul Bako (whodathunkit), but the strikeout issue is a distraction.