The Cincinnati Reds have had a mid-season renaissance, eschewing the dismal three-and-whateverbillion start to their 2022 campaign that had us all questioning whether we’d ever actively choose to watch the game of baseball ever again. Their season is still sunk, of course, and their obnoxious owners should still sell the team to someone who a) cares and b) is capable, but at least we’ve had the chance recently to see some slightly above-average play, finally.
That play has finally, mercifully dug the Reds out of the bottom of the MLB standings. They’re still last in their division, mind you, but Monday’s off-day saw the Kansas City Royals match their 2022 futility and equal the Reds overall 16-31 record. The Reds run of good form, though, has carved away at their run differential, and at -55 that now sits much better than the Royals -68, and that’s good enough for me to confirm that the Reds no longer have the worst record in all of Major League Baseball.
Old friend Grant Brisbee pals up with Levi Weaver to do MLB Power Rankings for The Athletic every week, rankings that have repeatedly featured the Cincinnati Reds in the absolute worst position each and every week of the season, I believe - until now!
Speaking of old friends now at The Athletic, Zach Buchanan - who covers the minors now as much as he does Arizona - has a positive mention of former Reds 1st rounder Austin Hendrick in his latest rundown. Hendrick struggled mightily with Class-A Daytona so much in 2021 that he was sent there to start 2022, too, and while his numbers there did not improve - you can make the case they got worse, even - he’s been promoted to a better hitting environment (and more talented overall team) in Dayton, where he’s performed better in early returns. Maybe just being on a club with such talent and buzz is what he needed to spur him on.
Former Red Reporter Fearless Leader Joel Luckhaupt had an interesting thread on how the Reds have performed in Fenway Park, where they’ll tackle the Red Sox later this evening. Included in it is a list of Reds players who have ever homered there, a list highlighted by Skip Schumaker:
Players who have homered at Fenway Park while playing for the Reds:— Joel Luckhaupt (@jluckhaupt) May 31, 2022
In non-Reds news, it’s Kenny Lofton’s 55th birthday today, which makes me feel incredibly old. Lofton was perhaps my favorite player during his career, is perhaps still my favorite player, and as Travis Sawchik of The Score echoes, is damn worthy of being in the Hall of Fame.
HoF worthy. His peak years were so fun. https://t.co/W7HenDTt6m— Travis Sawchik (@Travis_Sawchik) May 31, 2022
Finally, Tommy Pham’s brief 3-game suspension for slapping the crap out of Joc Pederson over a fantasy football beef has now sunset, and he’ll be able to rejoin the Reds tonight for their series in Boston. Hannah Keyser of Yahoo Sports has a worthwhile read on the entirety of the strange, slappy situation that arose at GABP over the weekend.