Jocketty not worried about hitting woes
GM optimistic bats will come around to complement arms
CHICAGO -- The Reds may not be hitting much, but they're winning.As far as general manager Walt Jocketty is concerned, offensive reinforcements aren't in order while the team still has positive momentum. "Not yet. We just have to stay with what we've got right now and see what happens," Jocketty said before the Reds and Cubs played on Thursday. "I'm not sure who is really out there." If the Reds were to add someone, it would probably be a right-handed hitter. That could eliminate free agents like Geoff Jenkins, Frank Catalanotto or Luis Gonzalez. A scan of the right-handed hitters still seeking work will show Frank Thomas, Jay Payton or Shannon Stewart. Meanwhile, a right-handed hitter inside the organization continues to tear it up at Triple-A Louisville. Infielder Adam Rosales was 4-for-5 in a loss to Columbus and raised his average to .409 (18-for-44) with four home runs, 11 RBIs and a .750 slugging percentage. "You can't ignore what he's doing down there," Jocketty said. "He's doing everything we've asked him to do. At some point, we'll have to acknowledge that. Right now as long as we're winning, we'll stay with what we've got." Despite hitting a Major League low .218 as a team entering Thursday, the Reds were 8-6 and assured themselves of a winning 10-game road trip through Milwaukee, Houston and Chicago with Wednesday's 3-0 victory over the Cubs. Pitching has been the key and the Reds have won several games on the trip by margins of three runs or less. The only consistently hot hitter Cincinnati has is first baseman Joey Votto. Optimists would feel the hitting will eventually catch up to the pitching while pessimists might wonder if the Reds are foreshadowing rough times ahead with the team-wide slump. Count Jocketty among those who are optimistic. "I know we're going to hit," he said. "Guys like Brandon [Phillips] and Edwin [Encarnacion] and [Alex] Gonzalez are not going to hit under .200. I think when the weather gets a little better, you traditionally see the bats get a little better. We just have to continue to pitch well, because that will be our formula -- pitch well and play good defense. The bats will come. I'm not that worried about it." To Jocketty, the winning road trip was a very positive sign about the Reds forecast for this season. The 10-game trip's significance was stressed in a meeting as it got started last week. "We said it was important to have a good road trip and start on a positive note for the season," Jocketty said. "Guys have responded well. I think it helps build confidence on a young team, too. "I hope our fans respond to that. We're playing good baseball. It's a fun team to watch."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.