…is not the offense. I know everyone is clamoring for the Reds to acquire Jose Reyes, or to trade for a left fielder, or to call up Yonder Alonso. But the problem is not the offense.

The Reds rank second in the major leagues in runs scored. They have scored more runs than the Yankees and the Red Sox and the Bautista Jays and the Rangers. The Reds are third in the majors (2nd in the NL) in OBP, and 7th in OPS (3rd in the NL). A Red leads the league in batting average, and another Red leads in homers.

Sure, we’d all like to see more offense from SS and LF..but again, offense isn’t the reason the Reds have a .500 record, and sit in third place, 5.5 games out.

As I’m sure you guessed, the problem is the horrific performance of the pitching staff. Cincinnati’s pitchers have issued more bases on balls than any pitching staff in the major leagues. The team ERA is in the bottom five in the majors. OPS Against and WHIP: bottom six in the majors in both categories.

The problem with the Reds is that the pitching staff has stunk up the joint so far this year. The pitchers who have started the most games for Cincinnati this season have ERAs of 5.72, 5.37, 6.35, and 5.03. The rotation’s ERA as a whole is 5.03.

Whether the rotation issues will work themselves out is a matter that is up for debate. If something doesn’t give, however, I think we can all agree that this is going to be a long season.