All offseason long we heard about how the Reds were going to employ a small ball approach. Plenty of bunts, stolen bases, and creating havoc on the bases. So far, I've yet to see any of it. The Reds brought the personel in for small ball with Taveras, McDonald, and Hairston, but none of them have impressed me with their small ball abilities.
Willy Taveras was touted as a great bunter who would create havoc on the bases. His 2009 season has been the exact opposite of that. He's a horrible bunter from what I've seen, and he never steals. As Cyclone pointed out in another thread, Taveras was in an ideal steal situation last night in the 8th inning, yet he never even attempted to steal. Back in spring training he said he was going to steal 100 bases this season. He'll be lucky to get 30 at the pace he's going.
Darnell McDonald. Another guy who's supposed to be a small ball type of player. Last night he was brought on to sac bunt in the 12th inning. He made two horrible bunt attempts and fouled them both off, then grounded into a doubleplay. He's also been very shaky defensively. He brings nothing of value to the club, yet he's still here.
I'm been very, very unimpressed with this team's bunting ability, save for Johnny Cueto and some of the pitchers. As for creating havoc on the bases, the Reds have only 12 stolen bases, which ranks 23rd in all of baseball. They've been caught six times. If you're going to go to a small ball approach, you better hope you have the players to do it. It doesn't appear the Reds do.
This offense is a major liability. It's time to scrap the small ball approach and go get some actual hitters.