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Reflections on the Reds: An April Review
- Updated: May 4, 2012
The beginning of the season and the month of April for the Reds has been entertaining to say the least. 4 games going into extra innings, with plenty more 1 run wins and losses. Below are the events that took place early this season.
Before Opening Day the Reds received unfortunate news, Ryan Madson would be out for the year. The ex-Phillies closer was signed during the winter by the Reds after Cordero moved on. Madson, just days after reportedly saying he was great and feeling good, now has a year to recover from Tommy John surgery. On the 1st of April the Reds traded Juan Francisco to the Braves for J.J. Hoover,looking to get triple-A help in the bullpen and another option at the major league level with the acquisition. At first glance Hoover does not have eye opening stats but does consistently have good numbers for a 24 year old minor leaguer. However, in Madson’s absence Sean Marshall, whom the Reds picked up in a trade with the Cubs, will take over the closer role. At the end of April, Marshall is 5/6 in save opportunities.
Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips received contract extensions just as the regular season began. Votto agreed to a 12 year contract ,or 10 year extension, worth $225 million. Phillips agreed to a 6 year contact worth $72.5 million after the Reds picked up his club option for this season. Realizing that they could lose their talent, and their chances of winning the division, the Reds worked out deals for both players within a week of each other while raising the team payroll to $81.3 million for the year.
Now that the month of April is over, it is clear some players are off to a great start and some not so much. To stay optimistic, here are the players that have been on a hot streak in April.
Bronson Arroyo has made a comeback from last year, pitching hurt almost every start he made, but this year he looks like the dominant pitcher Reds fans remember. Despite only winning one game he has allowed only 8 runs in 26.2 innings pitched with an unbelievably impressive 0.7 HR/9 and BB/9.
Jay Bruce finished April with a bang, going yard 4 games in a row. At the end of the month Bruce leads all Reds in runs scored, hits, HR, RBI, and 3 other offensive categories. One thing to watch out for is his strikeout rate. 21 strikeouts compared to just 6 walks. Since it’s still early it most likely will not be a factor.
On a side note, I am glad to see Zach Cozart take over as the starting shortstop. He is really fitting right in with this club with his speed and range out on the field.
The Reds end April in 2nd place, 3.5 games behind the Cardinals with an 11 – 11 record winning 7 of their last 10 games played.