You can spend all the money in the world on pitching, but if you don't have a guy that has a clue behind the plate to catch(????) it, you'll probably be in trouble.
I really thought that Larue was going to be a good catcher for the Reds. I thought that he would mature as a receiver and hitter, but I just don't see it happening. Based on what I see the majority of the time from Larue, I can't see any improvement whatsoever in either area. Add that with his propensity for melting down in crucial situations, and I don't know how anyone can say that his performance is acceptable. I don't think that the Reds pitchers have a whole lot of confidence in Larue, and I think it negatively affects the pitching staff.
I could probably live with Larue's hitting (with minor improvement year to year) if he was a good defensive catcher who handled the pitching staff and called a good game. He does none of those things. I would not, however, begin to think about calling him a "good hitter" because he simply is not. I think that there has to be better options for the Reds behind the plate at this point. For starters, Corky Miller. I have just seen enough of Larue's incompetence.