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membengal
03-02-2012, 02:02 PM
This might be worth its own thread. He is there tomorrow and there is a good chance dusty sees that as a good spot for him when the games count.

Me? Absolutely fine with it.

What say others?

RedsManRick
03-02-2012, 02:28 PM
I don't think he's a great fit for the #2, but I don't know that this team has better options that Dusty would consider. We have too many high SLG, low OBP guys for my taste, but he makes more contact than Stubbs or Heisey. I would have loved to have Sappelt in LF for just this reason.

Edd Roush
03-02-2012, 02:35 PM
I like Rolen in the 2 hole because I think despite his injuries he has better pitch recognition skills than Cozart and he will have a better OBP than Cozart in 2012.

I don't see much from Cozart this year. I expect a .260/.305/.395 line from him this year, which I don't think works well enough for a #2 hitter on a playoff team.

For reference, I expect a .270/.350/.450 from Rolen, albeit in less PAs.

PuffyPig
03-02-2012, 02:40 PM
Cozart should likely bat 8th, maybe 7th depending on how he and the catchers hit.

He needs to hit his way to 2nd, or likely show some ability to walk.

RedsManRick
03-02-2012, 02:43 PM
Cozart should likely bat 8th, maybe 7th depending on how he and the catchers hit.

He needs to hit his way to 2nd, or likely show some ability to walk.

Who would you hit 2nd instead?

Scrap Irony
03-02-2012, 02:46 PM
I don't think he's a great fit for the #2, but I don't know that this team has better options that Dusty would consider. We have too many high SLG, low OBP guys for my taste, but he makes more contact than Stubbs or Heisey. I would have loved to have Sappelt in LF for just this reason.

I agree with the entirety of this post. Hanigan would have been a fine choice, but there's NO chance that happens. Ditto Rolen (though he Ks a bit much for the spot).

As long as Baker puts the right bats in the lineup most of the time, there's not much difference is scoring runs. One win, IIRC, at worst, assuming he's choosing the right bats. The only questions is LF, and, at this point, it looks like Heisey and Ludwick are going to semi-platoon.

Crumbley
03-02-2012, 02:49 PM
Who would you hit 2nd instead?
Rolen is the best option I see. Could see .280/.350/.400. Good bat control, hope Dusty doesn't miscast him in the clean up spot.

Scrap Irony
03-02-2012, 02:58 PM
The problem with Rolen is health-- and the fact that Francisco will be his back-up.

Rojo
03-02-2012, 03:01 PM
I like Rolen 2nd. Not a burner but an excellent baserunner.

LoganBuck
03-02-2012, 03:13 PM
Duh people SS hits second.






In fairness to Dusty, I agree here. There just isnt another good option. This team could use a high OBP top of the order hitter. They just aren't here right now.

Edd Roush
03-02-2012, 03:13 PM
The problem with Rolen is health-- and the fact that Francisco will be his back-up.

I agree. Rolen's health is a big wildcard for the Reds this year. I have no problem with Cozart hitting two when Rolen is out, but when Rolen is playing and healthy, I think the Reds should maximize his PAs and put him higher up in the lineup.

WildcatFan
03-02-2012, 03:29 PM
I hadn't thought of Rolen there before, but I like it. On a Sundeck thread I advocated for Hanigan, but I'm now thinking the best hitter not named Bruce or Votto should have that spot. Or even maybe Ludwick? He'd see a ton of pitches to drive.

medford
03-02-2012, 04:32 PM
I didn't get to see Cozart in his brief stint in the majors last season. However, while it was multiple seasons ago and in low-A, the first time I saw Cozart at Dayton I came away extremely impressed with his approach. The early book on him that I often saw was that he was a good glove, light bat kind of hitter, so I wasn't expecting much at the plate. He showed a great handle of the ball, hitting balls to the right to move a runner over, going the opposite way for a single, and pulling a ball into the gap for a double (plus a strike out) If he's carried those kind of abilities thru the minors and up into the majors, I think he'd make a very solid 2 hole hitter.

REDREAD
03-02-2012, 04:53 PM
I have no statistics to back this up.. just a gut feeling.
I would rather have Stubbs hitting 2nd than Cozart. I think overall he will be more productive offensively. I see Cozart as a #8 hitter.

Ludwick is probably the best choice based on the options they have.
I guess I don't see the point of putting a relative weak hitter (like Cozart) between Phillips and Votto. If we don't have an ideal #2 hitter, why not just essentially shift a "middle of the order" guy like Ludwick or Rolen up.

AmarilloRed
03-02-2012, 04:59 PM
Stubbs, Votto, Phillips. All 3 have scored 90+ runs two years in a row-I think all 3 should be in the top 3rd of the lineup. Cozart shouldn't have the 2nd spot handed to him.

RedsManRick
03-02-2012, 05:27 PM
For the record, I like Rolen batting 2nd as well. Good OBP and smart base-runner.

Vottomatic
03-02-2012, 05:54 PM
Don't you know that the SS always bats 2nd in a Dusty Baker lineup.

CesarGeronimo
03-02-2012, 06:45 PM
So do we think that tomorrow's lineup gives other hints of Dusty's thoughts on the lineup for the season? Ludick/Heisey combo at cleanup? Rolen sixth? Stubbs 7th?

Brandon Phillips 4
Zack Cozart 6
Joey Votto 3
Ryan Ludwick 7
Jay Bruce 9
Scott Rolen 5
Drew Stubbs 8
Devin Mesoraco 2
Dioner Navarro DH
Mike Leake P

If so, I like the idea that Rolen may not be just slotted at cleanup, as I feared he might be (respect!). I think Cozart will have a low OBP for hitting second, but as others have said I don't know who other than Rolen might be better and I like Stubbs in the 7 spot.

reds44
03-02-2012, 07:45 PM
I like it.

RedlegJake
03-02-2012, 08:00 PM
I like it because Zach has shown a continuing pattern of improving every time he repeats. He started out terribly then jumped his OBP when he repeated low A. He had a good AA then a poor OBP season in AAA. Then he repeated and put up a solid OBP in AAA. Each time he repeated he also improved his walk rate pretty solidly too. Since his callup was so brief this is really his curtain call and he may well struggle this year but he has shown a regular pattern of adjusting very well and learning what he needs to succeed at each level and doing it without a lot of struggle. Give him the spot and let's grow with him - I believe he'll do it. Maybe he'll be a bit rough but he'll grow into the role and I'd be willing to bet on it. Cozart is not just a good athlete physically - he's a smart athlete. This is a kid who learns on the fly. He'll make the adjustments each time the league adjusts to him. My money is on Zack having a better career than anyone here but the most optimistic expect. Guess you can tell I really, really like this kid.

mth123
03-02-2012, 08:14 PM
I'm OK with the line-up tomorrow, ideally though, I'd sit Stubbs vs. RHP, hit Heisey 2nd in CF, hit Mesoraco 7th and Cozart 8th.

Against LHP, Stubbs would hit 4th and Ludwick would sit.

Griffey012
03-02-2012, 09:21 PM
If Phillips is leading off I like Cozart there. Or I could go with Ludwick. I believe Stubbs is best suited down in the 6th or 7th spot due to his power and k's. If Cozart is batting #2 he has 1 job and he knows that job, get on base for Joey and Jay. If Stubbs is hitting number 2 he likely does not have the same agenda due to his skillset. Let Stubbs hit 6 or 7 where he can have more pop and more k's.

CesarGeronimo
03-02-2012, 10:30 PM
Cozart will definitely be interesting to follow. I really liked how hard he hit the ball during his brief time up last year, but I don't think he should be a near the top of the order guy. For whatever it's worth, Bill James projects him at a .306 OBP in 2012 (http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=2616&position=SS). I hope he'll do better than that, but I'd rather that he'd be down in the lineup and Rolen hit second because it would lower fan/media expectations and pressure.

Tony Cloninger
03-03-2012, 01:53 AM
I would like him there as well....or Stubbs and I do like the Rolen idea.

However..... Cozart is only there beacuse he is the SS......so it is no different than when Dusty stuck Cabrera there or Renteria.

vic715
03-03-2012, 02:10 AM
Cozart should likely bat 8th, maybe 7th depending on how he and the catchers hit.

He needs to hit his way to 2nd, or likely show some ability to walk.

I imagine any rookie hitting in front of Votto is going to see a lot more strikes so I'm not concerned with his inability to draw a walk.

PuffyPig
03-03-2012, 08:33 AM
I imagine any rookie hitting in front of Votto is going to see a lot more strikes so I'm not concerned with his inability to draw a walk.


If we want to score lots of runs, getting guys on base ahead of Votto is the key to our season.

If Cozart doesn't take a walk, it seems unlikely his OBA will exceed .300, and it would be a huge mistake to hit him there.

You score runs by getting baserunners. You score more runs by getting more baserunners.

Degenerate39
03-03-2012, 09:07 AM
I want to see Bruce in clean up

Chip R
03-03-2012, 11:55 AM
You guys do realize that this is the 1st spring training game and not Game 1 of the World Series?

membengal
03-03-2012, 03:28 PM
Chip, I started it as a general conversation about the notion of Cozart batting second, and I think people have been discussing it on that level, not taking anything bigger from today. We have to have some ability to discuss such things on this board or this board is going to really be useless.

vic715
03-03-2012, 04:39 PM
If we want to score lots of runs, getting guys on base ahead of Votto is the key to our season.

If Cozart doesn't take a walk, it seems unlikely his OBA will exceed .300, and it would be a huge mistake to hit him there.

You score runs by getting baserunners. You score more runs by getting more baserunners.

I think you completly missed my point.You are basing his first 37 at bats as his inability to take a walk.He was hitting in front of a great hitter and the guys on the mound weren't pitching around him to get to Votto.He only struck out 6 times so He was probably seeing some pretty fat pitches.

Cedric
03-03-2012, 05:12 PM
Chip, I started it as a general conversation about the notion of Cozart batting second, and I think people have been discussing it on that level, not taking anything bigger from today. We have to have some ability to discuss such things on this board or this board is going to really be useless.

Perfect topic to discuss right before the first spring training game. I myself would hit Rolen second and not think twice about it.

PuffyPig
03-03-2012, 07:13 PM
I think you completly missed my point.You are basing his first 37 at bats as his inability to take a walk.He was hitting in front of a great hitter and the guys on the mound weren't pitching around him to get to Votto.He only struck out 6 times so He was probably seeing some pretty fat pitches.

Cozart has never been a particularly good OBA guy. I`m basing that on the entire history of his minor league career.

He`s more likely a .250 BA guy with maybe 15 HR power.

It doesn`t matter why he doesn`t walk much; he doesn`t.

Plus Plus
03-04-2012, 03:19 AM
Perfect topic to discuss right before the first spring training game. I myself would hit Rolen second and not think twice about it.

+1 on the idea that this is a perfect topic given the time.

I actually like Cozart in the 2 hole, with Rolen hitting a little further down in the order (6?).

Edd Roush
03-04-2012, 11:09 AM
I actually like Cozart in the 2 hole, with Rolen hitting a little further down in the order (6?).

Plus Plus, what do you think Cozart brings to the table that Rolen doesn't other than the ability to play 150 games? I think when he is in the game Rolen is better on reaching base and he hits the ball harder (even though his shoulder is not it once was). When Rolen is in the game, I think he should get more PAs than Cozart because he is a better hitter. If Francisco or Frazier or Cairo is starting at third, I have no issue with Cozart in the two hole, but when Rolen is starting, I would like him in that two hole.

PuffyPig
03-04-2012, 11:19 AM
If you want to increase scoring, your best hitters should get more PA's, your lesser hitters should get less.

Cozart should bat 8th until (unless?) he proves to be a better hitter than ayone else in the starting 8.

mth123
03-04-2012, 12:08 PM
Plus Plus, what do you think Cozart brings to the table that Rolen doesn't other than the ability to play 150 games? I think when he is in the game Rolen is better on reaching base and he hits the ball harder (even though his shoulder is not it once was). When Rolen is in the game, I think he should get more PAs than Cozart because he is a better hitter. If Francisco or Frazier or Cairo is starting at third, I have no issue with Cozart in the two hole, but when Rolen is starting, I would like him in that two hole.

A this point, I'd expect an OPS in the .700 to .725 range for both Cozart and Rolen.

AmarilloRed
03-04-2012, 01:48 PM
The last time Rolen scored 90 runs in a season was 2006. His last full season(2010) he scored 66. Bill James projects 51 for him this year. I think it will hurt the offense if you put him in the #2 hole.

mth123
03-04-2012, 01:59 PM
The last time Rolen scored 90 runs in a season was 2006. His last full season(2010) he scored 66. Bill James projects 51 for him this year. I think it will hurt the offense if you put him in the #2 hole.

Runs scored are more a result of other abilities and placement in the line-up. I'd guess anyone who consistently hits in front of Votto will score runs. Stubbs was awful in 2011 and he scored runs. A better player may have scored 120+.

I think Phillips is a mediocre choice to lead-off (but probably the best we have), but if he hits first all year and stays healthy (and Votto stays healthy too), I'd say he's a lock to score 100+. A more true lead-off guy would probably score a lot more.

Roy Tucker
03-04-2012, 02:14 PM
If Cozart projects out as people expect, I'd say batting 2nd is a perfect fit.

But there is this thing called reality. Cozart is a rookie, everyone has great expectations, and he has tons of pressure on him as opening day SS.

So with players like that, I'd like to set him up for success. Let him bat 8th, get some MLB ABs (he doesn't have many), let him get his feet wet and see the league (and the league see him), and only if things go right do you move him up. Otherwise, he could fail miserably, fickle Reds fans call for his head by May 1, and he's back at AAA with shattered confidence and everyone is saying "what happened, he looked so good, when do we call up Billy Hamilton".

Ron Madden
03-04-2012, 02:25 PM
I think I'd rather see Cozart hit 2ND than 8TH, He'll see better pitches in the two hole than he will in the 8 spot with the Pitcher following him in the order. I think hitting 2ND will do more to boost his confidence than batting 8TH would, and confidence is very important to any hitter especially a young hitter..

mth123
03-04-2012, 02:26 PM
If Cozart projects out as people expect, I'd say batting 2nd is a perfect fit.

But there is this thing called reality. Cozart is a rookie, everyone has great expectations, and he has tons of pressure on him as opening day SS.

So with players like that, I'd like to set him up for success. Let him bat 8th, get some MLB ABs (he doesn't have many), let him get his feet wet and see the league (and the league see him), and only if things go right do you move him up. Otherwise, he could fail miserably, fickle Reds fans call for his head by May 1, and he's back at AAA with shattered confidence and everyone is saying "what happened, he looked so good, when do we call up Billy Hamilton".

:thumbup:

nate
03-04-2012, 02:28 PM
If Cozart projects out as people expect, I'd say batting 2nd is a perfect fit.

But there is this thing called reality. Cozart is a rookie, everyone has great expectations, and he has tons of pressure on him as opening day SS.

So with players like that, I'd like to set him up for success. Let him bat 8th, get some MLB ABs (he doesn't have many), let him get his feet wet and see the league (and the league see him), and only if things go right do you move him up. Otherwise, he could fail miserably, fickle Reds fans call for his head by May 1, and he's back at AAA with shattered confidence and everyone is saying "what happened, he looked so good, when do we call up Billy Hamilton".

What do "people" expect him to do?

I think a wOBA of .320-ish with a 6-ish% BB rate is likely.

With my experience managing multiple world championship teams*, I'd tend to place production like that lower in the order.

*on xBox :cool:

AmarilloRed
03-04-2012, 02:50 PM
Runs scored are more a result of other abilities and placement in the line-up. I'd guess anyone who consistently hits in front of Votto will score runs. Stubbs was awful in 2011 and he scored runs. A better player may have scored 120+.

I think Phillips is a mediocre choice to lead-off (but probably the best we have), but if he hits first all year and stays healthy (and Votto stays healthy too), I'd say he's a lock to score 100+. A more true lead-off guy would probably score a lot more.

I don't think there's anyone else on the roster that can score 90, let alone 120-even hitting in front of Votto.It remains to be seen if Cozart can do it.

_Sir_Charles_
03-04-2012, 04:01 PM
I think I'd rather see Cozart hit 2ND than 8TH, He'll see better pitches in the two hole than he will in the 8 spot with the Pitcher following him in the order. I think hitting 2ND will do more to boost his confidence than batting 8TH would, and confidence is very important to any hitter especially a young hitter..

I agree with Ron. It's a combination of confidence and getting pitches to see. That's the key to success for a kid IMO.

Edd Roush
03-04-2012, 04:12 PM
A this point, I'd expect an OPS in the .700 to .725 range for both Cozart and Rolen.

Bill James, the rest of the FanGraphs projections and I all project Rolen at a higher OPS than .725. I expect Rolen to be around .045 better in OBP which is significant enough for me to making these arguments.

mth123
03-04-2012, 04:36 PM
I don't think there's anyone else on the roster that can score 90, let alone 120-even hitting in front of Votto.It remains to be seen if Cozart can do it.

If your point is that outside of Phillips, Votto and Bruce, there really isn't an ideal guy to hit higher than 6th against RHP (and Phillips is iffy), I'd agree. I'd say Ludwick and Heisey are probably the best choices against RHP. Heisey 2nd, Ludwick 5th. Stubbs should probably sit a lot against RHP. Against LHP, the Reds have lots of good choices.

I'd say that only Valdez and Janish are likely to have a lower OPS than Stubbs though, especially if he plays a lot against RHP. Stubbs can hit anywhere against lefties, but against RHP, no higher than 7th IMO.

membengal
03-04-2012, 04:46 PM
Kinda have to trust the coaches on this one, I think. If they think can handle the stick well enough to make consistent solid contact, then 2nd ahead of Votto is kinda a nice spot to break in a rookie - especially one with the pop and speed that Cozart has. Let him see fat pitches as opposing staffs won't want to walk guys ahead of Votto and see if that doesn't jumpstart his season.

If he falters, then its easy enough to drop him back down to 8th.

defender
03-04-2012, 11:44 PM
Stubbs had a pretty rough finish last year. I don't think the Reds want to put any pressure on him this spring. Rolen may have a higher OBP than Cozart, but the Reds need Rolen to drive in runs. Same with Ludwick. Heisey had a poor OBP last year, and needs to hit lower in the lineup.

This is a good time go give Cozart a chance. Maybe he is actualy the guy who can be a solid 2 hitter.

membengal
03-17-2012, 10:25 PM
It's spring and all, but I like the way Cozart is hitting the ball so far, 2 hole or not.

Plus Plus
03-18-2012, 11:49 AM
Plus Plus, what do you think Cozart brings to the table that Rolen doesn't other than the ability to play 150 games? I think when he is in the game Rolen is better on reaching base and he hits the ball harder (even though his shoulder is not it once was). When Rolen is in the game, I think he should get more PAs than Cozart because he is a better hitter. If Francisco or Frazier or Cairo is starting at third, I have no issue with Cozart in the two hole, but when Rolen is starting, I would like him in that two hole.

For me, it is more of a "gut feeling" thing (I hate lineup optimization tools- I have used them and always find myself disagreeing with the result). I think that putting Rolen in front of Votto and expecting him to stay healthy while running around the bases a bunch in every game is something that could lead to Rolen wearing down. My lineup would be something like:

Phillips
Cozart
Votto
Bruce
Ludwick/Heisey
Rolen
Stubbs
C
P

-Phillips has done well in leadoff lately.
-Cozart is spry and can hit enough to get on for Votto, and shouldn't do anything to inhibit Votto's hitting (e.g. move at glacial speeds)
-Votto is hitting third because he is the best hitter in the NL right now
-Bruce is hitting 4th because he is the second best hitter on the Reds
-Ludwick and Heisey provide good middle of the order slugging to protect Votto and Bruce
-Rolen, if healthy, is also a threat with the stick. Moving him down in the order may help and keep him healthy for longer
-Stubbs at 7 and C at 8 are kind of "how the cookie crumbled," but I don't think that anyone is being inhibited here.

But hey, what do I know? :laugh: Just a gut feeling for me.

membengal
03-23-2012, 12:30 AM
Man he's stroking the ball this spring. Be nice if he can carry some of this to the regular season. Two more hits tonight against Texas, both doubles.

RedlegJake
03-23-2012, 05:50 AM
If anyone noticed I called a great season ahead for Cozart in earlier posts and predicted he'd surprise the naysayers and even his optimistic supporters. I have followed the Reds for years, have followed baseball for years, and don't consider myself a "casual" fan. I've played, I've coached and I've been involved in baseball intimately since I was "knee high to a grasshopper" - I only say all this to emphasize that I am not coming from a naive or "booster boy" position - I have a gut feeling from years of watching baseball that Cozart is the real deal at shortstop. There is something about him that isn't just about physical talent - it's that "baseball instinct" intangible something that separates some guys who have flaws yet still seem to make despite them - and Zach strikes me as that kind of kid. I am betting he pleasantly surprises everyone this season and is the heir apparent to the Reds shortstop tradition.

mth123
03-23-2012, 07:52 AM
My opinion of Cozart hasn't changed. I continue to think he'll be a quality major league starting SS in the Alex Gonzalez mold - strong defense, .270ish BA, with double digit HR power (12 to 18 per season, perhaps more in GABP) but a low .320ish OBP. That's a quality player, but not an ideal fit for the 2 hole IMO. I'll be happy with an OPS above .700 and very pleased with an OPS above .725.

The Reds don't really have obvious choices to hit at the top, but they'll be just fine as long as the 3 ,4, 5 guys hit. Cozart is probably as good a choice as any among the non Phillips, Votto, Bruce group of offensive players. Any player who hits there should get lots of pitches to hit since pitchers aren't going to want to walk guys in front of Votto. If the walk rate is low, its probably not a indictment of whoever is hitting in the 2 hole. The most important skill in that spot might be finding somebody who isn't afraid to jump on the fat ones likely to come early in the count. Its why Stubbs would be my last choice to hit second. If not Cozart, I'd go with Heisey.

Scrap Irony
03-23-2012, 04:00 PM
My opinion of Cozart hasn't changed. I continue to think he'll be a quality major league starting SS in the Alex Gonzalez mold - strong defense, .270ish BA, with double digit HR power (12 to 18 per season, perhaps more in GABP) but a low .320ish OBP. That's a quality player, but not an ideal fit for the 2 hole IMO. I'll be happy with an OPS above .700 and very pleased with an OPS above .725.

If that's what happens, the Reds will have gain a couple wins (or more) from 2011, depending on defense.

It might make him one of the top five SS in the National League.

757690
03-29-2012, 03:31 PM
Cozart leading off today's game against the Brewers. Could be just because Phillips is sitting, or maybe Baker is trying out a new leadoff hitter?

CySeymour
03-29-2012, 03:51 PM
Cozart leading off today's game against the Brewers. Could be just because Phillips is sitting, or maybe Baker is trying out a new leadoff hitter?

Looks more like just a day off for Phillips. The lineup only includes one regular, Cozart, one semi regular (Ludwick), and the rest role players.

Raisor
03-31-2012, 06:25 PM
I want the Reds' three best hitters up in the first inning. I go Phillips, Bruce, and Votto. The rest of the lineup cand fend for itself.

dougdirt
03-31-2012, 06:28 PM
I want the Reds' three best hitters up in the first inning. I go Phillips, Bruce, and Votto. The rest of the lineup cand fend for itself.
Blasphemy! Jay Bruce can't play shortstop.