As of the morning of June 9th, the Reds are 5 games back of the Cardinals with 99 games left in the season.
It's not a surprise that the Cards, Brewers and Reds are the group leading the division, but it is a bit frustrating that the Reds are the team chasing both the Cards and Brewcrew and they only lead the Pirates by half a game. Who would've thought the Ms would have a better record than the Reds at this point? That said, clearly there is alot of baseball to be played.
Five games may seem like a huge deficit to some and maybe not a big deal to others. It's just a number without some type of context that helps inform the size of the task it'll take to overcome it...
Here's the context I use- if the Cards go 50-49 the rest of the way (essentially playing .500 ball, a threshold that they certainly are capable of surpassing), the Reds would have to go 55-44 the rest of the way to tie (.556 ball).
Going into the season, I thought the Reds were likely an 85-86 win true talent team (.525-.530 ball) based upon the 2011 projection thread and barring injuries which would suggest they'd likely go 52-47 the rest of the way.
Being back 5 games is not an insurmountable deficit in and of itself and given the talent on their roster, there is no reason to panic or start wondering if the Reds should be sellers. But it's quickly becoming a time where the Reds need to get cranking because without additions to the roster, they're digging a hole that will be very difficult to climb out of IMHO....
Shortstop, left field, and the rotation are positions that could be upgraded meaningfully. Third base has been a problem but Rolen likely isn't going to be replaced IMHO. Phillips has struggled at the plate for the better part of his last 150 PAs. One would hope he'd be closer to a league average hitter going forward so that should improve.
But absent guys going on a tear or additions via trade, it's starting to get to a point where the Reds are going to need others to falter (i.e. their destiny may not be completely in their own hands).