Matt’s Take – Reds sweep, swept, slump


After sweeping the Yankees in the Bronx, I was more than optimistic with the 10 game home stand approaching. Win 7 of those and you’re above .500 before the All-Star Break. However, the Reds once again let us down and failed to take a single game from the Tigers at home. Pitiful is the only word I can use to describe their performance and honestly, 5 or 6 players are being asked to do things or play in scenarios that they have no business playing in due to injuries. It’s a shame, but Martini (now hurt), Jordan, Dunn, Espinal, Rios, and Soto are not big league players right now. Add in the bad start from Marte, the bad season from Benson, and the multitude of injuries, and here we are. It’s a cycle that we simply cannot get out of and after half the year, maybe it is time for me to come to the realization that Cincinnati is not in a spot to make a run this year. I was certainly wrong on the depth of this organization, and it appears I am wrong on thinking that Cincinnati still had a chance to make a run after taking down the Yankees. Cincinnati needs to win six of the next seven for me to truly believe that they have a chance before the break.

Trade News

While it isn’t a blockbuster trade by any means, Cincinnati added an outfield piece that they desperately need, as they traded away left handed pitcher Alex Young for Austin Slater. Slater is a rental, as he will be a free agent after this year, but he provides a much-needed bat for this Reds offense. Slater is a career .254 batter and in 2020 he batted a remarkable .282. He has a little bit of power, some speed, and is an improvement in comparison to Hurtubise, Dunn, Soto, and helps fill the gap with the new injury to Nick Martini. Slater will immediately be asked to join the lineup and become an everyday outfielder. Let’s hope he can turn back the clock a year or two and become someone who can put the ball in play.

Elly De La All-Star

With the league leading 43 stolen bases, a .247 average, 15 home runs, 39 RBIs, and an OPS of .804, Elly De La Cruz becomes the only Red to make the All-Star game in 2024. Elly is playing in his first full season in the bigs, is 22 years old, and has made remarkable improvements on both sides of the plate. His ability to make big time plays with his cannon of an arm, along with his speed, makes him one of the most exciting players in the world. Enjoy Elly De La Cruz while you can Cincinnati, there is nobody else quite like him.

Random Comments and Facts

Jazz Chisholm is making under 3 million per year and has 2 additional years of control left. His speed fits this team perfectly and he has a respectable .255 average with 10 home runs. If I am the Reds front office and am looking for a cheap addition to try and make a run at it, Jazz is someone who is locked in for a couple years.

Whatever you do, do not trade Jonathan India. He is the leader of this team and he has proven to be a reliable player on this roster. Let him breathe without worrying about being traded for awhile.

Noelvi Marte has 40 at-bats since his return with 6 hits to show for it. He is batting .150 and appears to be lost on both sides of the ball. His stance appears to be different and he has a very low probability of hitting anything on the outside edge of the plate. If Cincinnati is going to do anything, Marte will have to get it going quick.

Cincinnati has been through the trenches this year and is the most injured team in the league. I hope the front office doesn’t get too impatient and start trading off some of the young talent.

I feel bad every time Hunter Greene takes he mound. He gets zero run support and has been pitching like a true ace for the majority of his starts. His 6-year contract extension for roughly $8 million per year was an absolute steal for the Cincinnati Reds.

59 days until NFL football … If things go south for the Reds, we are less than 2 months away from meaningful Bengals football.

This column appears in several newspapers in southwest Ohio

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