We all knew the Cincinnati Reds would be bad this season, but I don't think anyone expected this. Only 22 games into the season, Cincinnati is 16 games below .500. Yes, you read that right, the Reds are 3-19 and are on pace to post the worst record in Major League Baseball history. There's no reason to expect a turnaround any time soon.
The Reds sold off or refused to re-sign a ton of their key pieces this offseason. Gone are Nick Castellanos, Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suarez, Tucker Barnhart, Sonny Gray, Wade Miley and Amir Garrett. In their place, the Reds have a mix of stopgap guys, aging veterans and a one young phenom with a lot on his shoulders in Hunter Greene. It's no shock then that the Reds have been horrific.
As a team, Cincinnati enters Monday's action ranked 29th in batting average (.201) leaguewide, tied for dead last in on-base percentage (.271), last in slugging percentage (.311), last in OPS (.582), tied for 28th in run scored (67) and 24th in home runs (15). Even Joey Votto is down this year. He's hitting .122, with a .278 on-base percentage while slugging .135. He has yet to hit a home run.
The scary thing? While the offense has been terrible, the pitching may be worse.
The Reds are currently last in MLB in ERA (6.15). Their closest competition are the Washington Nationals at 5.08. They're more than a full run above second place. The team WHIP (1.63) ranks last, as does their opponents' batting average (.275).
So yeah, they're not just regular bad, they're bad bad. And yes, that's a technical term. Greene is truly the team's lone bright spot and there's not much else worth watching. Reigning NL Rookie of the Year Jonathan India might be considered a bright spot, but he's already hit the injured list twice this season. It's no wonder the stands are empty at Great American Ballpark.
Of course, given the arrogance of the team's management, this isn't shocking. Reds COO Phil Castellini showed ownership's disdain for the fans before Opening Day when he basically dared them not to support the team.
What's happening to the Reds right now is not only toxic, it's tragic. This is a team that was in the hunt for a National League wild card spot until September last season. They finished seven games out of a playoff spot but were 83-79. A few months later Cincinnati looks like an easy bet to lose 110 games and flirt with the 1962 New York Mets (40-120) for the worst record in the Modern Era.
This isn't going to change any time soon. The Reds are down bad and they'll stay there all season. Their fans deserve better than this.