Reds promote Bruce - finally
By Hal McCoy | Monday, May 26, 2008, 05:40 PM
Jay Bruce is coming. Finally. For real.
The 21-year-old outfielder will be in uniform 32 with the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday when they open a three-game series with ther Pirates.
And it made me a prophet. I told Marty Brennaman during a second-inning visit in Los Angeles on the just complete 2-5 trip to the west coast that I thought he would materialize when the Reds returned home.
After losing an 18-inning game Sunday to the last place San Diego Padres, and watching Corey Patterson go 0 for 8, the Reds decided it was time to call up their No. 1 draft pick from 2005 who is wreaking havoc on Triple-A pitching.
General manager Walt Jocketty said all along that they wouldn’t call him up until they decided he would play.
So…let’s see if he is in Tuesday’s lineup. They say his position isn’t center field, but it isn’t likely they’ll bench left fielder Adam Dunn or right fielder Ken Griffey Jr. If he plays - and why else would they call him up - he’ll be in center.
Scouts tell me he CAN play center field. While he doesn’t have great speed, he gets good jumps on balls and gets to them. That’s all he needs to do, right?
Amazingly, I was dragging myself in the back door of my house after flying all day from San Diego when the phone rang with the news.
I left at 6:30 (9:30 Dayton time) and flew four hours to Atlanta, had a 90-minute layover, than an hour-and-a-half flight to Dayton, arriving home at 5 p.m.
Tired? Oh, yeah. But excited over the prospect of finally seeing Mr. Bruce in the flesh for the first time since spring training.
Bruce has been rated the best prospect in the minor leagues by Baseball America, Sporting News, most scouts, anybody with good baseball sense and fans of the Reds since last year.
He has spent the season at Louisville, where in 49 games he hit .364 with nine doubles, five triples, 10 HR, 37 RBIs and eight stolen bases.
He leads the International League in hitting and hits (67) and ranks among the IL leaders in slugging percentage (.630, 3rd), runs scored (34, 4th), extra-base hits (24, T4th) and RBI (T5th).
All that was wasted in the minors. Now it’s time to put those numbers to good use.
A roster move to make room for Bruce will be made before Tuesday’s game.