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Posted on: 05/17/2017
By  Drew Rucker
            Coming into the season as a very young team, the Reds and their fans knew there would more than likely be some growing pains as those younger players adjusted to the majors. The Reds have played 38 games and sit at 19-19, not bad to be sitting at .500 for as young as they are. While this more than likely will not last, it is encouraging to see some of their veteran players return to form.
            Luckily for the Reds they got out to a hot start going 7-3 through their first 10 games. They have gone 10-16 since that point. So, what has been the difference? The young hitters have started to regress to their mean and the young pitchers have done the same. This is totally normal and happens with every team and their players, no matter the experience.
            Veterans such as Adam Duvall and Billy Hamilton have rebounded from less than stellar campaigns last year and that has given the Reds a huge lift. Joey Votto, has started out on another stellar campaign, batting .297, hitting 11 home runs and plating 35 runs. He is seeing the ball well, as he has drawn 26 walks, helping bump his OBP to .405, while only striking out 19 times. Hamilton has improved early on the season from last year, but he is still only batting .258, while sporting a .305 OBP. Even batting .258, Hamilton has been able to swipe 19 bases, so is he doing work on the base paths when he is able to get on. Duvall has seen a slight improvement early on in the season as he is batting .254, slightly better than his .241 average in 2016. Although Duvall still struggles striking out, which he will need to improve on, in his career. Overall, the Reds offense has seemed to produce, scoring just under 5 runs per game, which puts them at 10th in both leagues.
            The pitching staff for the Reds has seemed to struggle, they have a team ERA of 4.38, which sits them at 22 in the major leagues. Scott Feldman has been their most consistent pitcher, which is less than ideal for the Reds. Their young pitchers have struggled, which was expected, but they will almost certainly improve as the season progresses. Young pitchers many times see success early on as teams do not have much tape to watch of them. As teams get more tape on them, they start to make adjustments to what the pitcher is doing. The next part of the learning curve for the young pitcher is to see what adjustments are being made by the hitters and make their own adjustments. This will be a big part of the Reds staff as they have a lot of young arms.
            Overall, the Reds have gotten out to a better start than many expected them to. Their offense has been a pleasant surprise and their young pitching staff has struggled. Lucky enough, the rest of the NL Central has not gotten out to a blazing start as the Reds only sit 2.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for first place. If they can get their pitching staff to improve, the Reds may be able to surprise some people across baseball, but a lot relies on the young Red pitchers.   

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