The Further Rebuilding of the Cincinnati Reds (#1)

As much as I hate to say it, and as surprised as I am that I am saying it, I think my beloved Cincinnati Reds should trade Zack Cozart before the July 31 MLB trade deadline.

I’ve come to accept that, despite the good second half I still think the Reds are going to have, the chances that they’re going to win enough games to overtake the Brewers–not to mention the Cubs, Cardinals, and Pirates–is too slim to even think that keeping Zack is a better move than seeing what pitching prospects you can get for him.

This would be true even if they didn’t have Scooter Gennett as a more than viable ninth positional starter filling in here and there every night,  but they do. With Zack elsewhere, Scooter–whose listed position is second base, but who has played at least four positions this year–could move there, with Jose Peraza moving from second to short, or just take over the duties at short and leave Jose where he is.

The rebuilding is showing too much promise to sell it short now. Those who only look at the standings would wonder how I can say that the rebuilding is showing promise, but when you break down how the team is performing at the various elements of the game the promise is evident.

The pitching is rotten; the staff ranks dead last in the majors with a 5.22 ERA, and even if the relievers have been more successful than the starters, the staff as a whole has been pretty much just that: rotten.

But that’s where the negatives stop really. While the pitchers give up a lot of earned runs, the defense is near the top when it comes to adding unearned runs to that total. Their .987 fielding percentage has them ranked second in the National League and tied for fourth in all of baseball.

Offensively, they are first and second, respectively, in batting average and runs scored in the Central, and they rank 6th in both of those categories when stacked up against the entire league. Those numbers aren’t dynamite, but they’re certainly respectable enough to vie for a division crown, when factoring an upper tier defense, if they get a few more pitching prospects to pan out.

It’s not going to happen this year, however, and since Zack is having a career year, it would be silly to not see what he can bring in hopes of helping the next two or three seasons.

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