For fans frustrated about the team’s inability to get back to .500, here are three reasons to think they might get there in the weeks ahead:
1. Help on the way: Although Reds starters rank third in the National League with a 3.76 ERA, one starter could lose his job soon when or if Alex Wood returns to the big leagues. Wood, who the Reds acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in December, will start for the Triple-A Louisville Bats on Thursday.
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Wood is expected to throw a bullpen session Tuesday and then begin his rehab stint two days later against Toledo at 7 p.m. in Louisville. He has been on the injured list all season with a lower back strain.
Wood threw 21 pitches in live batting practice Monday at Great American Ball Park and threw 42 pitches in another live batting practice session Saturday in Milwaukee
2. Division is winnable: Through Sunday, the Chicago Cubs had the worst record (42-35) of any first-place team. They had a half game lead on the Brewers (42-36). The Reds and Pirates were tied for last place, only 5½ games back.
In any other division, the Reds would be at least eight games out of first place, and in most divisions, they would be in even bigger holes. A year ago at this time, the Reds were 44-57 and 14½ back.
3. Joey Votto heating up: In the last month, the Reds first baseman has raised his average from .208 to .260. He went 3-for-4 Sunday with a three-run home run.
Reds at Angels, 10:07 p.m., FS Ohio, 700, 1410