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guttle11
05-27-2006, 10:17 PM
It can't be strikeouts, It's obviously not BA/RISP, so why is this team struggling to find consistency when it comes to scoring runs?

Also, why are they completely incapable of hitting a pitch that breaks downward?

Seriously, is it lineup construction, lack of Denorfia, Griffey?

M2
05-27-2006, 10:20 PM
http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44647

guttle11
05-27-2006, 10:28 PM
That post makes perfect sense, but don't kid yourself, the total amount of runs the Reds score don't make them a good offensive team. Every team is going to go through the good and the bad.

This team simply cannot hit a pitch that moves and hasn't been able to all year. They've shown absolutely no improvement on their inability to do so. Put a power pitcher on the mound and they'll rake, everyone knows that. As a whole, this team gets around on a fastball better than any team I can remember.

But if the pitch breaks, a weak grounder is assured.

reds44
05-27-2006, 10:38 PM
There is no diversity in our lineup.

We don't have a leadoff hitter (Lopez is a great hitter, but not a leadoff guy), we have a 1 dimensional 1st baseman, and Edwin has driven in like 5 runs in the last month. Griffey refuses to walk, and our catcher can't hit.

When Dunn and Griffey don't hit homers, we can't score runs.

We need to find a legit leadoff hitter and trade one of our big power guys.

Lopez, Dunn, and Kearns right now are a more then capable middle of the order, and Edwin will be right up there with them very soon.

Having guys like Griffey and LaRue and Aurila around is pointless.

Griffey or Dunn (prefarably Griffey even if you have to eat some salary), IMO needs to be traded.

My dream lineup for next year would be:
A speedy CF (Deno is not somebody I have in mind)
Lopez
Kearns
Dunn-1B
Edwin
Phillips
Deno-LF
Ross

or

A speedy CF
Lopez
Kearns
Dunn-LF
EE
Sean Casey (if he comes cheaper) or somebody like Casey who drives in a fair amount of runs, and puts the ball in play)
BP
Ross

Both of those lineups will be better defensively, and will put the ball in play more.

However for the here and now
Lopez
Deno-LF
Griffey
Dunn-1B
Kearns
BP
EE
Ross

would be what I like to see. We have to get some guys that can get on base and make things happen in the lineup.

Caveat Emperor
05-27-2006, 10:53 PM
It can't be strikeouts, It's obviously not BA/RISP, so why is this team struggling to find consistency when it comes to scoring runs?

Also, why are they completely incapable of hitting a pitch that breaks downward?

Seriously, is it lineup construction, lack of Denorfia, Griffey?

Problem #1: 2 extra-base hits in this series. Nobody's hitting for any sort of power right now and it's damned hard to score runs stringing singles and walks together.

April: 96 XBH, 149 runs
May: 66 XBH, 100 runs

This team needs to get back to acquiring more bases if it wants to resume scoring runs.

M2
05-27-2006, 10:58 PM
That post makes perfect sense, but don't kid yourself, the total amount of runs the Reds score don't make them a good offensive team. Every team is going to go through the good and the bad.

This team simply cannot hit a pitch that moves and hasn't been able to all year. They've shown absolutely no improvement on their inability to do so. Put a power pitcher on the mound and they'll rake, everyone knows that. As a whole, this team gets around on a fastball better than any team I can remember.

But if the pitch breaks, a weak grounder is assured.

The Reds score more than most other teams. They score enough runs to win more often than most other teams and they're very good at getting on base, stealing bases and hitting for power. There's really no disputing any of that at the moment.

I also think they hit breaking balls far better than you give them credit for. They certainly do plenty of damage to bad breaking balls (and not every team does).

IMO, fans sometimes perceive stuff like this to be a problem when it really isn't because they only care about one team for the most part and things like back-to-back shutouts take an emotional toll.

M2
05-27-2006, 11:07 PM
There is no diversity in our lineup.

Boy, I couldn't disagree more. The Reds have power, OB and speed. Adding gap power guys like Encarnacion and Phillips (on the heels of Felipe's breakthrough last season) gives the team great diversity. Austin Kearns is having his best season at the moment. Dunn's an OPS freakazoid. Jr.'s been injured, but the one thing you can be assured of is that if he can stay healthy, he'll hit. Freel's a good OB panic attack on the bases. The club's top 10 in most every offensive category. If that's not a diverse lineup, I don't know what is.

George Foster
05-27-2006, 11:16 PM
Like every other season since 1999, there is no leader in the club house to kick some butt and call players out..in private. No one is showing emotion in the dugout or clubhouse. In 1999, players not only respected Vaughn, but was intimidated by him and did not want to get on his bad side. They stepped up there play. No leader= No post season

KronoRed
05-27-2006, 11:21 PM
I think Vaughn is still available

George Foster
05-27-2006, 11:25 PM
I think Vaughn is still available

Sign him as the new bench coach...tonight!!!

reds44
05-28-2006, 12:10 AM
Boy, I couldn't disagree more. The Reds have power, OB and speed. Adding gap power guys like Encarnacion and Phillips (on the heels of Felipe's breakthrough last season) gives the team great diversity. Austin Kearns is having his best season at the moment. Dunn's an OPS freakazoid. Jr.'s been injured, but the one thing you can be assured of is that if he can stay healthy, he'll hit. Freel's a good OB panic attack on the bases. The club's top 10 in most every offensive category. If that's not a diverse lineup, I don't know what is.
Really?

Who was the last person not named Brandon Phillips to steal a base and when was it?

Guacarock
05-28-2006, 12:11 AM
My dream lineup for next year would be:
A speedy CF (Deno is not somebody I have in mind)
Lopez
Kearns
Dunn-1B
Edwin
Phillips
Deno-LF
Ross

or

A speedy CF
Lopez
Kearns
Dunn-LF
EE
Sean Casey (if he comes cheaper) or somebody like Casey who drives in a fair amount of runs, and puts the ball in play)
BP
Ross

Both of those lineups will be better defensively, and will put the ball in play more.



I like your thinking and the direction you're going. Either lineup you have outlined would give us a balanced attack -- a consistent and productive offense, and also better defense. These lineups might not produce so many 9-15 runs blowouts, but also shouldn't get skunked as often as this year's version of the Reds.

The other thing I'd like to see in '07. Can Narron stop with the daily, Boone-like juggling of the batting order? To get the players into a steady groove, they should have more defined roles. Your speed demons should be up front, then high OBP guys, then the guys with SLG., then batters with more modest skills and lastly, guys playing for their defense.

I'm not advocating that everyone stay in perfect rigid lockstep and always hit 1st or 4th or 7th in the batting order. As a manager, you do have to do some tinkering, some tweaks here or there to play the odds and the matchups, or to compensate for injuries.

But Narron's treating our young guys like Kearns, Encarnacion, Phillips, almost as if they were interchangeable pawns. Any given day, they can turn up anywhere from 2-7 in the batting order. That's too drastic, and places too much stress on these players, besides not really recognizing that they bring different skills to the table. He needs to figure out their attributes, and then position them in the batting order where they properly belong.

reds44
05-28-2006, 12:17 AM
But Narron's treating our young guys like Kearns, Encarnacion, Phillips, almost as if they were interchangeable pawns. Any given day, they can turn up anywhere from 2-7 in the batting order. That's too drastic, and places too much stress on these players, besides not really recognizing that they bring different skills to the table. He needs to figure out their attributes, and then position them in the batting order where they properly belong.
You make a good point here. Living in Chicago I got to watch alot of the Sox last years. You have alot of Ozzie Guillen in you when it comes to this. When Ozzie gave people the day off, he didn't switch around the batting order. For example if Willie Harris spelled Iguchi for a day, he would bat Harris 2nd (Iguchi's normal spot) so he didn't have to move around alot of people the lineup. Now ovbiously if someone is hot/cold for an extended period of time you would want to move them in lineup.

Yachtzee
05-28-2006, 12:31 AM
I'm not as concerned about the offense. This is a team that scores runs by the truckloads, so I'm sure that the games where they score 1-2 runs will be evened out by many more high scoring affairs. My concern would be making sure the bullpen is shored up so that they aren't losing the games where they score 8 or 9 runs.

westofyou
05-28-2006, 12:33 AM
My concern would be making sure the bullpen is shored up so that they aren't losing the games where they score 8 or 9 runs.Or extending a 2 run deficit into a 4-5 run deficit.

BTW love that Arlie Latham avatar.

The Baumer
05-28-2006, 01:32 AM
Ok, so the Reds have scored one run or less in 12 of their last 43 games and been shutout 6 games overall, but the overall numbers are what matter. It's all about the overall. The Reds have a great hitting line up. Ask Tony Armas Jr. or Brandon Webb or Cole Hamel or Oliver Perez or Paul Maholm or Jon Leiber or Cluadio Vargas or Jeff Francis or basically anyone not named Hernandez.

BCubb2003
05-28-2006, 01:41 AM
It's all about the overall.

Orville Overall? Ex-Red pitcher who brought the Cubs' their last World Series in 1908?

KronoRed
05-28-2006, 01:48 AM
Orville?
http://www.popcornfest.net/Famous2.jpg

BCubb2003
05-28-2006, 02:06 AM
If the Reds' OPS went down in May as the Reds' scoring dropped, we may be close to the unified theory that brings the two sides together.

OnBaseMachine
05-28-2006, 02:27 AM
Reds offense

April-149 runs, .831 team OPS

May-100 runs, .745 team OPS

Reds offense walked 122 times in April and got on base at a .362 clip. In May they have only walked 88 times for a team OBP of .333 in 23 games.

As you can see, significant drop in OPS equals a significant drop in runs scored.

GAC
05-28-2006, 06:09 AM
So we can simply say they are in a slump. ;)

TeamBoone
05-28-2006, 10:37 AM
I'm wondering why Freel hasn't been in a game lately. To be perfectly honest, I can't even remember the last game he started... he must be rested by now.

I'm in no way saying he should be a starter (I don't think he should be either), but it seems he could be out there a little more often than he has been lately. The ONLY reason I would like to see him is that he's a huge distraction on the basepaths and that could certainly benefit the Reds against some of these better pitchers.

westofyou
05-28-2006, 10:53 AM
I'm wondering why Freel hasn't been in a game lately. To be perfectly honest, I can't even remember the last game he started... he must be rested by now.

I'm in no way saying he should be a starter (I don't think he should be either), but it seems he could be out there a little more often than he has been lately. The ONLY reason I would like to see him is that he's a huge distraction on the basepaths and that could certainly benefit the Reds against some of these better pitchers.
Freels game is speed, Freel pulled his groin earlier this year, that destroys his game. He's alot like a hockey player, his legs are his life... without them he's a bit player in the 3rd act.

M2
05-28-2006, 11:07 AM
Really?

Who was the last person not named Brandon Phillips to steal a base and when was it?

I could care less. Point is the the Reds are 3rd in MLB in SB and 5th in SB%.

I understand that's inconvenient when you've insisted there's no diversity in the lineup, but that's what happens when you start with a baseless conclusion.

Matt700wlw
05-28-2006, 11:26 AM
It seems the other teams have made adjustments to make the Reds look stupid at the plate.....unfortunately, the Reds haven't adjusted to the pitchers and their flaws are being exposed.

M2
05-28-2006, 12:08 PM
It seems the other teams have made adjustments to make the Reds look stupid at the plate.....unfortunately, the Reds haven't adjusted to the pitchers and their flaws are being exposed.

While I'm sure there's some adjustments going on, they weren't going to score 1,000 runs with an .831 team OPS. Somewhere between 800-825 runs with a .783 OPS is more in line with reality. What's caught up with the Reds is what was always going to catch up with the Reds, no team gets to score at will. That said, the Reds will finish near the front of the NL in scoring and OPS ... not that it would ever be enough to stop folks from constantly complaining about the offense.

wheels
05-28-2006, 12:22 PM
I could care less. Point is the the Reds are 3rd in MLB in SB and 5th in SB%.

I understand that's inconvenient when you've insisted there's no diversity in the lineup, but that's what happens when you start with a baseless conclusion.

Thank you very much.

Not that what you wrote will be understood, or acknowledged due to the din brought forth by the mindless gnashing of teeth.

It's like trying to give my dog an insulin shot. He knows I'm not trying to hurt him, and it's for his own good, but still he feels compelled to let out blood curtling yelps every time I go for the trusty needle.

M2
05-28-2006, 12:37 PM
Thank you very much.

Not that what you wrote will be understood, or acknowledged due to the din brought forth by the mindless gnashing of teeth.

It's like trying to give my dog an insulin shot. He knows I'm not trying to hurt him, and it's for his own good, but still he feels compelled to let out blood curtling yelps every time I go for the trusty needle.

Diabetic dog, someone's got to make a song out of that.

pedro
05-28-2006, 03:06 PM
Diabetic dog, someone's got to make a song out of that.

or a cartoon.(Under Blood Sugar Dog)

pedro
05-28-2006, 03:07 PM
The problem is that the Reds offense is in a bad slump.

Yachtzee
05-28-2006, 04:06 PM
Or extending a 2 run deficit into a 4-5 run deficit.

BTW love that Arlie Latham avatar.

Thanks. I figured it was time for "the Dude" to make an appearance.

KronoRed
05-28-2006, 04:22 PM
So we can simply say they are in a slump. ;)
Apparently not, SOMEONE must be blamed

I choose Bob Boone

Mario-Rijo
05-29-2006, 12:14 AM
Hummm. What is it about this team that keeps us from cramming the seats and it making it to the playoffs? I guess it's everything combined, the offense, pitching & defense all have a hand in keeping us from reaching our potential. I really want to think some of these guys can be great but I am not so sure. I am going to look deeper and then come back to the surface for answers to this quandry.


Chemistry:

Originally posted by George Foster Like every other season since 1999, there is no leader in the club house to kick some butt and call players out..in private. No one is showing emotion in the dugout or clubhouse. In 1999, players not only respected Vaughn, but was intimidated by him and did not want to get on his bad side. They stepped up there play. No leader= No post season


This is an excellent observation by GF. Why, well let's break it down in a simple way.

What makes a true leader? I don't think the leader has to be your main producer (in any aspect of the game) but I do believe he has to be one of your main producers! He likely has to do the right thing most all the time, which usually is do your job (to steal a term from Marvin Lewis) he doesn't neccessarily have to bunt for example if the situation calls for it unless that's his job. He basically above all others on the team just has the mindset always to win and do whatever it takes to win. To always be practicing/playing as if it was the most important game of their life, so that when that game comes it all comes natural too them.

That is why Derek Jeter gets so many Kudo's in the media and around the league. He prepares always to be a winner, sure he has his shortcomings but he truly does everything he can to be a champion, and he gets plenty of results. Barry Larkin also did this IMHO.

So who is our leader on the field?

Larue? Some intimated in the past that he is a leader on this club, I think he is a good guy and sincerely wants to win over anything else. However a leader is someone who actually produces consistently on the field, and as much as I like the guy as a guy he is anything but consistent and he does as much at times to help us lose as he does to help us win.

Aurilia? He certainly will have his say because he's a veteran and an opinionated one at that but frankly he doesn't do quite enough on the field to be considered The Leader, nor will he ever imo.

I got it Arroyo? He certainly has the intangibles to be that guy and he is a producer on this team. However leadership is earned and I'm afraid he hasn't been with the team quite long enough to have completely earned that kind of mantle.

No it's but one guy, Ken Griffey Jr. He's the "Star" he's the one that commands respect in the locker room. He's the one with the HOF credentials. Now he may not have asked for this moniker but he get's it by default, because no one else truly qualifies for one reason or another. If anyone can find someone else on this team that they believe qualifies, then ask yourself if you were KG Jr. would you let that person tell you that you are not holding up your end of the deal, and then go out & respond to it.

Ok so does Jr. as the leader talk the talk? Uuhh to hard too say what's spoken behind closed doors between players, but in public Jr. seemingly says all the right things. Does he walk the walk? I think this is the debatable part of the equation. Sure he has astronomical statistics offensively, has a career 10 gold gloves defensively and has an effervescent smile to boot, why he is the poster child for all that you want in a ballplayer. But he doesn't have a championship ring to show for it, why? Hard to tell, I could only speculate as to why and w/o knowing all the facts that might be considered unjust.

But I know this for sure, guys with his talent offensively and defensively (over the years) don't play 17 years and only make the playoffs twice unless they want too or at the very least don't have that as their #1 objective. Maybe some of what's been said about Jr. by ex-players, managers and the like are true. In his defense though he has rarely if ever been surrounded by a solid team with balance.

Of course chemistry, leadership and the like are not just the players responsibility. You can't lay any blame at the feet of the current FO and Ownership because they simply have not had the time to contribute much to the team in a positive way. They have though done what time has allowed them to do, mainly give these players hope that they have a chance in the near future to be winners.

As far as coaching goes I am not completely sold on Narron and his staff. I think they are far better than Baboon and his cast of misfits, more experienced and less passive than Mileys bunch. However I will not yet say that this staff is the answer yet. Some of the reasons why will be spelled out in my next few paragraphs. However I have really liked the Hatcher addition who has paid some immediate dividends. It would be nice to get Vern Ruhle back just to have another voice for Claussen and Belisle.

The Lineup:
Why in the world would you pitch to KG JR., w/ 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th in a game winning position if Adam Dunn is right behind him? It does not make sense too me. Most will argue that every spot in the lineup has it's purpose, i.e. the 3rd hole has to be your best hitter. I contend that a lineup is not 9 individual spots but 1 neverending supply of offense that each spot compliments the prior and then the next based on it's talents. Not to knock Adam but just based on their styles alone you would want Jr. up if the winning run is on base, and you would want Dunn up if no one else is on. So let's build a lineup w/o regard to politics.

1st: Felipe Lopez- Hardest guy to get out thus will be on base more than anyone.

2nd: Adam Dunn- This guy's approach screams to put him behind a guy with speed who is on base often. He hit's Doubles & HR's or he walks thus being 1-0, 2-0 or 2 on 0 outs w/ dangerous Hitmen coming up next. The other thing he does is K which stinks but it gives the runner on a shot at stealing a base. He also is one of the most likely to hit the ball in the air which keeps us out of DP's. And if he does hit it on the ground he has ok wheels and he is a lefty which also helps to stay out of the DP.

3rd: Austin Kearns- Great FB hitter who sprays line drives everywhere now we have men on who can run a little and the pitcher cannot afford a walk here because that means bases jacked which equals runs given up with still good players coming. Chances are good this Fastball hitter is going to see 1 maybe 2 fastballs. All Austin has to do is become a hair more patient and he is money here.

4th: Ken Griffey Jr.- Who better w/ the bases jacked than a guy with a penchant for hitting Grand Slams. Another outstanding FB hitter. Put the shift on huh, go ahead because now when my guy lays down a bunt a run will score from 3rd. So you as the offense have to be willing to take that risk w/ a solid bat behind this one. Because there will be a lot of occassions when there will be a runner on 3rd w/ less than 2 outs.

5th: Hatteberg/Aurilia- Walk my clean-up hitter to load 'em up w/ less than 2 outs, geez that takes some serious pineapples. Now I need a guy who has the patience to accept a walk if given one or put one into the OF for a sacfly worst case scenario. He also should have some power so he can make 'em pay and/or put it out of reach. He really needs to be a solid bat w/ discipline here because he may need to leadoff at times.

6th: Brandon Phillips- Need a guy who can compliment that leadoff guy often or who can be an OB guy. Doesn't walk much but does make contact alot, can bunt and has speed.

7th: Edwin Encarnacion- Need a run-producer type here who tends to be a slugger more than anything, because not much left behind this spot to produce runs.

8th: David Ross- My new favorite Catcher one last chance to produce, he is a slugger but has shown he is willing to do whatever it takes for any situation. And this spot tends to be a spot that calls for situations, as he may have to just get on base to get the pitcher up for the inning.

9: Too bad there is no DH in the NL as well to keep the momentum going but it is what it is, and it's a problem everyone has to deal with. Just make those pitchers do the best they can with bunting. Another thing I would like to point out is that some of these guys need to stop bailing. It won't be long before people figure out that all you have to do to Harang is throw the ball on the outside part of the plate.

This is just a suggestion on the offense it may or may not work, but keeping Jr. in the 3rd hole based on politics (IMO) is wrong. Don't get me wrong Jr. is more than capable of being the 3rd hole hitter, but the idea here for me is to get the most out of everyone.

Defense:

Guys who are a perfect fit where they play already are as follows.

Kearns RF
Edwin Encarnacion 3B (It's too soon to say he can't get it done here)
David Ross C

Guys Who are fine where they are for one reason or another.

Ken Griffey Jr. CF (We do not have a regular starter that can play CF)
Hatteberg/ Aurilia 1B-Neither is necc. ideal but this is who we have and I wouldn't want them starting anywhere else on this team consistently with who we already have.

That leaves these 3 guys.

Dunn- I would rather him try 1st, but we are talking about the same guy that quit football because he was asked to move to TE. However I don't feel he is as bad in LF as he has been this season, so if he reverts back to Dunn of pre '06 I can live with it.

Phillips- great where he is, but might he improve us dramtically bye moving to SS? If he has the arm, then absolutely. If not then he wouldn't necc. be an upgrade.

Lopez- He has flashes of brilliance there, and then flashes of absurdity. He doesn't have the range on a regular basis which is to say that he doesn't have the range! I could honestly see him being an average to above 2B. He won't make nearly as many errors because he will have more time to make the play the right way.

So it looks like this.

1st: Felipe Lopez 2B
2nd: Adam Dunn LF
3rd: Austin Kearns RF
4th: Ken Griffey Jr. CF
5th: Hatteberg/Aurilia 1B
6th: Brandon Phillips SS
7th: Edwin Encarnacion 3B
8th: David Ross C

Pitching:
The rotation at this point can be ok, I think Claussen has some work to do in a few area's. I think if Brandon needs something else, whether that means changing his approach, adding a pitch or making an existing pitch more effective (change or slurve) or whatever, he just doesn't seem to have enough of an arsenal. Milton needs to stay healthy. Arroyo & Harang are fine. Elizardo needs to gain some maturity but that comes w/ experience.

The Pen has a few solid guys Coffey, Weathers & Mercker. Hammonds has his place in the pen I think and Shackleford could be that situational lefty. That leaves Belisle & White. Belisle needs to work on that control and White I'm just not sure of.

Harang
Arroyo
Milton
Ramirez
Claussen

Belisle Long Relief
White Mop Up
Shak Situational Lefty
Hammond Change of pace guy
Mercker LH Set-Up
Coffey RH Set-Up
Weathers Closer

I gotta say I would honestly give Ryan Wagner another shot up here before the season is over.

Bench:
Larue C
Valentin C
McCracken OF
Freel Utility
Aurilia/Hatteberg (Whoever isn't starting).

Larue is sooo expendable for a Bullpen upgrade. Then you maybe bring up an Olmedo or Denorfia. Overall the bench is ok, but maybe you need a Power Bat from the Right side.

Well this took me a long time, about 5 times longer than it will take to read it. Hopefully I hit on a thing or 2 that could help.

smith288
05-29-2006, 12:18 AM
I just think Reds are getting pitched differently.

In may they were being patient and running up counts. Im not doing any number gathering but it seems like the Reds are being pitched much more aggressively and thusly, their patience is backfiring and putting them in pitcher counts and having to be very defensive.

Adjustments arent being made in my opinion.

flyer85
05-29-2006, 12:21 AM
Reds offense

April-149 runs, .831 team OPS

May-100 runs, .745 team OPS

Reds offense walked 122 times in April and got on base at a .362 clip. In May they have only walked 88 times for a team OBP of .333 in 23 games.

As you can see, significant drop in OPS equals a significant drop in runs scored.There has been a decided lack of patience of late. Today was a good example. After the Freel HR the next 7 batters were out before getting a 2nd strike on them, a number(3) on 2-0 counts.

Mario-Rijo
05-29-2006, 12:38 AM
There has been a decided lack of patience of late. Today was a good example. After the Freel HR the next 7 batters were out before getting a 2nd strike on them, a number(3) on 2-0 counts.


I think they have been way too patient as of late. Whatever happened too drilling that 1st pitch fastball out of the park? I am not saying to go to another extreme, just don't be so predictable. If they serve you up a meatball on the 1st pitch why are you holding out for a.......meatball? :bang:

TeamBoone
05-29-2006, 01:08 AM
Today, I think part of the problem was the homeplate umpire.

Several guys struck out looking because the ump was calling low and outside balls strikes. Then the batters started going after those balls that were out of the zone because the guy was calling them strikes anyway.... as a result they were reaching for them and missing.

The umpire basically forced them into swinging at bad pitches... and trying to consistently hit a ball outside the zone usually leads to failure.

It's really tough to be patient in that situation (and it seems to be happening more and more). Umpiring hasn't been very good this year so far (in my opinion).

Chip R
05-29-2006, 01:56 AM
Good couple of posts there, Mario Rijo. I like how that lineup is constructed. I do not know about Jr. hitting 4th. It is a good idea and he has done it before willingly but he seems pretty stubborn lately about moving positions. He might think moving him down to 4th is a precursor of him moving to another position. Plus it causes a big to do when he hits anywhere but 3rd. If Dunn hits 2nd, 3rd, or 6th, a few folks from RedsZone get excited but the media does not bat an eye. But when Jr. hits anywhere but 3rd, it is a story. And I think the only story that Jr. wants to be is the story about the guy who won the game with a home run or a great defensive play.

Yeah, they might want to think about swinging at more 1st pitches but this team has had a lot of success when they have made the starting pitcher throw a lot of pitches and get him out of the game early. And swinging at that 1st pitch does not necessarily mean they will hit it.