The Cincinnati Reds remain in the hunt for a spot in the postseason, even though the Milwaukee Brewers are 7.5 games ahead in the National League Central division.
With a 57-51 record, the Reds are second in the division, and while the gap is considerable, they could still theoretically catch the Brewers.
Is it possible?
Is it realistic?
That’s certainly an interesting discussion, and while the Reds are a good team, catching the Brewers seems unlikely at this point.
For starters, there was no major movement by the Reds before the trade deadline, besides a couple of relief acquisitions.
The team obviously lacks a top-tier shortstop, yet they opted against bringing in one.
There were several alternatives available, and one of them, Trevor Story, wasn’t traded even though his contract is up after the season.
Instead, Cincinnati deemed Kyle Farmer (.259/.326/.411, 10 home runs) as an appropriate starting option at the shortstop position.
Farmer is not a bad player, but he should not be the starting shortstop on a contending team.
Surging Bats And Pending Returns
The former is the symbol of steady veterans looking for ways to do damage despite their aging bodies, while the latter is part of the new blood that fills MLB games with excitement.
Votto went on a home run binge and his season line is up to .273/.368/.550, with 21 home runs.
India has developed nicely this year, and is up to .284/.403/.450 with 11 home runs and seven stolen bases.
That on-base percentage of .403 has been a nice surprise and has played nicely at the top of the Reds lineup.
Nick Castellanos, perhaps Cincinnati’s most dangerous hitter, has returned from his injury and is in Thursday’s lineup.
HE'S BACK!! 🙌
— Cincinnati 💔 (@CincyProblems) August 5, 2021
The starting rotation is certainly good enough, led by Luis Castillo’s recent run of quality starts and with excellent pitchers rounding it out in Sonny Gray, Wade Miley (and his surprising 2.92 ERA), and Tyler Mahle.
The Gap Is Already Too Big
However, by the time all of them are back on the Reds’ active roster, they may not have enough time.
The Brewers are no slouch, and they have built a large enough difference to assume that, if they relinquish their lead in the NL Central, something monumentally bad happened to their roster.
If there were questions about the Brewers’ roster, one would think the Reds, who are certainly a quality team, can swoop in and make a run at the NL Central title.
The Reds could theoretically catch the Brewers, but they likely don’t have enough time.
If they can’t quite pursue Milwaukee, perhaps the Reds can make the postseason as a Wild Card team.
#Reds can get within 3.5 GB of a playoff spot with a win over Pittsburgh tomorrow night.
The Padres, who lost in extras today, are off tomorrow before starting a 3 game series vs ARI on Friday.
— Gingersaurus Rex (@HeyGingersaurus) August 4, 2021