The Reds have a bullpen problem. That was pretty evident in Monday night's 6-5 loss to the Pirates.

Statistically, the Reds went into Tuesday with the worst bullpen in Major League Baseball with a 5.77 ERA. It's early, but the Reds relievers are getting hit around at an alarming rate. Opponents are hitting .274 against Reds relievers.

The Reds' relievers had the fourth best ERA in the National League last year (3.29) and held opponents an NL-low .216 average. The Reds have more blown saves (four) than saves (three). The walk-to-strikeout ratio is 1.30, the second worst in MLB.

The overall struggles were compounded Monday night by the fact that everyone was not available after the bullpen pitched seven innings in the two previous days.

Things should get better as Jonathan Broxton and Sean Marshall get up to speed, and better still when Aroldis Chapman returns. But J.J. Hoover and Logan Ondrusek, who have struggled, are going to have to pitch better.

"When you don't have your traditional closer, like Chapman," Reds manager Bryan Price said, "it elevates everyone up into different positions. We certainly need to perform. We've got guys that have a history of performing. Logan and J.J. have been very, very accomplished pitchers with us the last couple of years.

"And we know they're certainly capable of pitching better than they have. I'm very confident they will."

"That being said, we'll do whatever we can to give everyone an opportunity to give us the best chance to win."

But of the pitchers who have pitched on a regular basis, so far only Sam LeCure (1.13) has an ERA under 4.66.