Fair point. However, 1)this is the national league (and the Reds) where #9 is usually a sure out. 2)On this team #7 and #8 slots have been occupied by painfully bad hitters.
When you don't have enough overall team talent to make your batting order relatively unimportant it becomes critical. The order needs to be set with the right players in the right spots to maximize scoring opportunities and runs.
Additionally, when relatively short on overall raw talent "versatility" of the talent you have becomes even more important. Best to have players who can help you in a variety of ways so that the team can better manufacture runs.
Originally Posted by IslandRed
Perhaps that's the fundamental problem with your view and other folks' -- you have a notion of batting-order roles that's more rigid and rooted in smallball-era "conventional wisdom" than the more modern research-based thinking in an era where we need to score six runs a game just to keep up with our so-called pitching.
Scoring runs is a process of getting guys on and getting them home, and it's the same process regardless of whether it's the first, fourth or seventh hitter leading off the inning. On-base is key everywhere; power is helpful everywhere. Get the best hitters up early, so they get more at-bats over the course of the season, and don't worry too much about if they're an "OBP guy" or an "RBI guy." Over 162 games, what a #2 hitter and a #5 hitter are called upon to do from at-bat to at-bat is much more alike than different.