Consistency at the top of the lineup
The Reds have too many marginal offensive players on the current roster...Paul, Robinson, Cozart, etc. Each of these players have had on and off again opportunities to hit second in the batting order. This crucial spot in the order should not be handled the way Dusty has this year. He has had Cozart hitting there the majority of the season and this has been an obvious problem. He now shifts Cozart to number 7 in the order when a lefty is on the mound and puts Robinson in the lineup to hit 1st, now moving Choo to second. When there is a righty on the mound, Dusty has juggled Choo back to leadoff, Cozart to the second spot and Paul hitting #7. Where is the consistency?
I don't believe a batting order and offensive consistency happen simply by finding the right combination. This is not a safe we are trying to crack. We need the most fundamentally sound player that fits the #2 role in the order to be there game after game. We also need a consistent philosophy for our offensive game plan, especially early in the game.
With a starting pitching staff that typically allows the opponent 2 runs or less through the front 6 innings, moving runners into scoring position as often as possible early in the game and getting a quick lead is crucial to the overall success of this team.
The Reds do not have a bonafide power hitter in this lineup. Bruce gets hot (see the last 7 games), Votto is not the same and Brandon was supposed to be the #2 hitter. We need to manufacture runs and the leadoff and #2 hitters in the lineup are paramount for this teams' success.
The bottom line is this. Stick with Choo at leadoff every game. Settle on a #2 guy that can consistently move runners over and hit behind runners. Whoever the player is that fit the bill as a #2 guy must play ever day.
My suggestion is to stick with Xavier Paul as your #2 guy. He is the best hitter among Cozart, Robinson and himself and Cozart seems to be more comfortable hitting in the 7 hole. He is also a good fastball hitter and will a higher percentage of these hitting in front of Votto.
Its time for the musical chairs lineup to stop and create that extra run early in the game to lead to more victories.