The Reds dropped five straight games last week, but they’ve now won two in a row at home against the Pirates and are again looking like a postseason-worthy ball club. Oh, and they’re about to get a big offensive boost thanks to the return of a power-hitting outfielder.
Jay Bruce, sidelined August 30 due to a sore right side, is expected to make his way back into the Reds’ lineup early this week, according to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com.
“We’re targeting Tuesday,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “They said he
won’t completely heal 100 percent until the winter. Waiting a couple of
more weeks is going to help but it’s not going to … so we may have to
space him. He’s very close. He let it out pretty good yesterday. He
swung pretty good.”
Bruce, 23, posted an unimpressive .266/.339/.446 batting line over 323 at-bats during the first half of the season but he’s hit eight homers and registered an .860 OPS since the All-Star break and has helped solidify the middle of the Reds’ batting order.
The Reds currently hold a seven-game lead over the Cardinals in the National League Central.