Remember when we all couldn’t wait for the season to start? Well, with 40 games under their stirrups and a 24-16 record, it’s now about 25% complete already! What the…?
I don’t expect many surprises from the game tonight in Miami. Mat Latos is pitching. Against the Marlins. Yes, anything can happen in any game, but on paper, this should be as easy of a victory as they come in the majors.
So, let’s look back on the 2013 season and see who would win a few awards, you know, “if the season ended today”:
Surprise of 2013:
This one is fairly easy – Tony Cingrani. I think a lot of people knew of Tony and some knew how good Tony could be, but for him to translate that into his performance at the Major League level after Cueto went to the DL was more than anyone really expected. In 28 innings, Cingrani has posted a sub-3 ERA and a K/9 stat of more than 11. Plus, Cingrani is the only pitcher on the Reds (with more than 6 IP) with a WHIP of under 1. Will those stats hold up if he comes back from Louisville and relieves his shoulder soreness? That’s not for me to say, but it IS for me to declare him as my pick for the SURPRISE OF 2013!
Disappointment of 2013:
Sorry folks, we here at Head First Slide are a positive-thinking group. You can fill in your own name if you want, but you won’t get one from me…
Man, the possibilities… Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, Tony Cingrani, Aroldis Chapman… It is impossible to have “too much” good pitching, but the Reds have been pretty close to that reality. Their starting pitching staff ranks fourth in the majors with a 3.38 ERA and fifth in the majors in innings pitched, which is clutch for the bullpen guys to stay fresh. On an individual level, I’m going to tab Mat Latos as the first quarter Cy Young guys on the Reds because of the numbers he’s put up. He’s the team leader in wins and quality starts, has an ERA of just a touch over 3 and gets the fans fired up for his pitching days. Homer Bailey is right there on most aspects, and has a cool nickname with “Batman”, but for this non-realistic award for the quarter-season Cy Young goes to Mat Latos.
Another category with an embarrassment of riches: Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Shin-Soo Choo, Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, Aroldis Chapman, Head First Slide… You could throw up a legitimate argument for any of these guys and stand a fighting chance in the debate. At this point, I’m going to go with the guy who leads the majors in on-base percentage and is second in the majors in on-base-plus-slugging – Shin-Soo Choo. Joey Votto has walked 34 times so far this season and most of them have been intentional passes. Choo has walked 27 times, and very few of them have been freebies. Choo leads the team in getting on base for the big hitters behind him and when he feels like a run is needed RIGHT NOW, he gets it done himself, leading the team in home runs. Yes – the Reds leadoff hitter has more home runs than Joey Votto and Jay Bruce – COMBINED. Shin-Soo Choo: Your 2013 first-quarter Reds MVP.
Thoughts? Arguments? Want to discuss the “WOO!” some more? Leave a comment below or find me on Twitter at @GeoffreyHoman. Thanks for reading!