Originally Posted by Brutus
Heisey's career numbers suggest otherwise.
1.002 OPS on the first pitch. What part of that is problematic for you?
Like Tony said... you don't try to make hitters into something they're not. Some people prefer high tops. Other prefer loafers with khakis. Some people like hitting early in the count, others prefer waiting until later. Not everyone can be Joey Votto or Albert Pujols. Joe Morgan had a Hall of Fame career hitting pitches early in the count. Does he have bad fundamentals?
A hitter should hit the pitch he feels he has the best chance of hitting. Doesn't really matter if that's 0-0, 0-2 or 2-0.
A walk is preferable to a strikeout, but a good pitch to hit is preferable to the mere chance of a walk.
With it all, with his first pitch OPS, and his comfort zone, and his preferences, Heisey is a .750 OPS hitter. That isn't good enough for a starting corner outfielder. It is good enough for a good defensive CFer, but the Reds obviously feel Heisey's CF play doesn't measure up to, say, Stubbs'.
So what you get with Heisey, with his first pitch hitting, with his comfort zone, with his preference, is a fourth outfielder.
If he were more patient, if he walked more than 12 times through August, maybe Heisey could be an .800 OPS hitter and would have a better chance to be a starter. But right now, with his early swinging, with his preferences, with his comfort zone, he's a backup who is getting a chance because of Stubbs' monumental slump.