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Thread: Jay Bruce Needs to Bat Cleanup

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    There's no Walt only Zuul villain612's Avatar
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    Jay Bruce Needs to Bat Cleanup

    My first thread!

    Anyway, as the title suggests, I think the Reds need to move Jay Bruce into the cleanup spot.

    Sure, I don't think Jay is a natural cleanup guy - the 5 hole seems to suit him better - but right now, not having anyone to protect Joey Votto is seriously hurting our offensive production (especially with the loss of Choo). So in lieu of finding an actual cleanup hitter, I say put Jay right behind Votto - clump your two best hitters together. I think Votto will start seeing better pitches to hit and will start swinging the bat more. As it stands now he's taking a lot of walks because pitchers do not fear Brandon Phillips - to me, the only other batter in the lineup to fear than Votto is clearly Jay Bruce. Can't criticize Votto for getting on base because he's walking.

    I know there are arguments out there about putting two lefties together but call me new school, I don't really care about that argument. Someone else stated in better in a thread in the ORG, but basing your lineup on a hypothetical at bat late in the games while sacrificing all the at bats in the first 6 innings of the game is nuts to me. Besides, Jay Bruce has led the lead in Lefty vs Lefty home runs the last 3 seasons (I think).
    "The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three run homers."

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    Plan to be spontaneous Jefferson24's Avatar
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    Re: Jay Bruce Needs to Bat Cleanup

    This would be fine if they move Votto up to the 2 spot. Especially true if last years approach continues.
    We only live in patches. - H. G. Wells

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    Re: Jay Bruce Needs to Bat Cleanup

    I think this is going to be a very interesting season. How will our new manager decide to use his talent. Personally I am already a bit scared with Walt saying Billy Hamilton will bat leadoff. I would rather see him hit say 8th for the first few months, let him get his feet wet before puting him in that presure slot. I would go with Brandon, Votto, Bruce, Ludwick as my first 4 to start the season.

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    Re: Jay Bruce Needs to Bat Cleanup

    Quote Originally Posted by Jefferson24 View Post
    This would be fine if they move Votto up to the 2 spot. Especially true if last years approach continues.
    Honestly, half of the reason I think Bruce needs to bat 4th is to protect Votto in the lineup, so moving Joey to 2nd would basically nullify my proposed strategy.

    As it stands now, as long as there's no one behind Votto to inspire fear in opposing pitchers, he will continually be pitched around. Jay Bruce is the ONLY other guy in the lineup that inspires any kind of fear so I think it best to clump them together. I can't criticize Votto for not swinging at bad pitches and taking walks. This will continue as long as he doesn't have protection.
    "The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three run homers."

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    Re: Jay Bruce Needs to Bat Cleanup

    Bruce is the only guy we have capable of hitting behind Votto. No brainer.

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    Re: Jay Bruce Needs to Bat Cleanup

    I'd love to see Jay in the cleanup spot. If it were up to me, I think I'd try Billy, Joey, Brandon and then Jay though. I think the 3 spot suits Brandon well, as he might just finally hit instead of worrying about his perceived role on the offense (your role is to try not to make an out, Brandon!). Jay looks like he's ready to be a force in the middle of the lineup to me, and I am all for getting your best hitters more ABs.

    Billy seems to have the makeup to be able to withstand the rigors of the leadoff spot (though admittedly, I do not know him personally), and if he can keep his OBP around even .315 or .320, he'll be a run scoring monster. With his speed, that OBP will put him in scoring position (after steals and being able to advance on balls most could not) as frequently as another leadoff hitter with a .350-.360 OBP. I'm totally guessing on the math here, but it seems like an educated guess to me. I'll miss Choo as much as anyone, but I'm excited to see what Billy can do.

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    Re: Jay Bruce Needs to Bat Cleanup

    Quote Originally Posted by JMac84 View Post
    I'd love to see Jay in the cleanup spot. If it were up to me, I think I'd try Billy, Joey, Brandon and then Jay though. I think the 3 spot suits Brandon well, as he might just finally hit instead of worrying about his perceived role on the offense (your role is to try not to make an out, Brandon!). Jay looks like he's ready to be a force in the middle of the lineup to me, and I am all for getting your best hitters more ABs.

    Billy seems to have the makeup to be able to withstand the rigors of the leadoff spot (though admittedly, I do not know him personally), and if he can keep his OBP around even .315 or .320, he'll be a run scoring monster. With his speed, that OBP will put him in scoring position (after steals and being able to advance on balls most could not) as frequently as another leadoff hitter with a .350-.360 OBP. I'm totally guessing on the math here, but it seems like an educated guess to me. I'll miss Choo as much as anyone, but I'm excited to see what Billy can do.
    You understand that a .315/.320 OBP is not good, right? Furthermore, it's atrocious for a leadoff hitter. Choo had a .423 OBP last year - and he only scored 107 runs. You're telling me that because Hamilton is fast and a SB threat he's going to score more than that while getting on base at a clip more than 100 points lower?

    I'll have what you're having.

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    Re: Jay Bruce Needs to Bat Cleanup

    Quote Originally Posted by ac084c View Post
    You understand that a .315/.320 OBP is not good, right? Furthermore, it's atrocious for a leadoff hitter. Choo had a .423 OBP last year - and he only scored 107 runs. You're telling me that because Hamilton is fast and a SB threat he's going to score more than that while getting on base at a clip more than 100 points lower?

    I'll have what you're having.

    I share your skepticism in regards to Hamilton batting cleanup.
    Unfortunately, barring an acquisition, I'm not sure the Reds will have any other option.
    "The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three run homers."

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    Re: Jay Bruce Needs to Bat Cleanup

    Quote Originally Posted by villain612 View Post
    I share your skepticism in regards to Hamilton batting cleanup.
    Unfortunately, barring an acquisition, I'm not sure the Reds will have any other option.
    Oh I get that - I'm just saying, if he's happy with a .315-.320 OBP from ANY lead-off man, just because he's fast, well I think he's a bit misguided.

    Thinking a guy is going to score more runs when he's on base 25% less just because he can steal second or turn a single into a double at will - that's reaching.

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    mth123 (12-29-2013)

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    Re: Jay Bruce Needs to Bat Cleanup

    Quote Originally Posted by ac084c View Post
    Oh I get that - I'm just saying, if he's happy with a .315-.320 OBP from ANY lead-off man, just because he's fast, well I think he's a bit misguided.

    Thinking a guy is going to score more runs when he's on base 25% less just because he can steal second or turn a single into a double at will - that's reaching.
    99% of the time I agree with you. Billy Hamilton could be the exception to the rule however. Last season Shin soo choo scored about every 6.6 plate appearances. Billy Hamilton scored about every 7.2 plate appearances. Last year choo had 712 PAs. he scored 107 times. given the same PAs Hamilton would score 99 times, and that's with a .308 OBP.

    Now im not saying that BH will be the same as Choo at the plate, but if he can get a .320 OBP and play plus defense his production will come much closer to choos than people might think. The bigger question for me is what makes me think Hamilton will have .320 OBP next year.

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    JMac84 (12-29-2013)

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    Re: Jay Bruce Needs to Bat Cleanup

    Billy's speed is undoubtedly going to help his OBP, some seemingly automatic-outs could turn into infield singles for him. But how often will that be the case? I don't think it'll make a substantial difference, maybe +.010 throughout the duration of a season.

    To get back on point, I do like the idea of rotating cleanup hitters, in the same vein as not assigning players to specific "roles." I just wouldn't try Billy there.

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    Re: Jay Bruce Needs to Bat Cleanup

    Stubbs scored 75 runs with a .277 OBP. Speed does matter if its really exceptional speed. BH is even faster than Stubbs and a .300-.315 OBP isn't out of the question. I doubt he's any higher than that but even at .300 he should score at least 90 runs with Votto, Phillips and Bruce hitting behind him. That is only 15 runs or so behind Choo. A better season by Mes, Frazier and/or Cozie would help offset that little difference. I'm not worried about the Reds matching 2013's runs scored, I'm worried about being able to better it and keeping the pitching healthy, especially the bullpen.
    No - I am not from State Farm!

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    Re: Jay Bruce Needs to Bat Cleanup

    Quote Originally Posted by EditTheSadParts View Post
    Billy's speed is undoubtedly going to help his OBP, some seemingly automatic-outs could turn into infield singles for him. But how often will that be the case? I don't think it'll make a substantial difference, maybe +.010 throughout the duration of a season.

    To get back on point, I do like the idea of rotating cleanup hitters, in the same vein as not assigning players to specific "roles." I just wouldn't try Billy there.

    Then why hasn't his speed helped him get on base better in the minor leagues?

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    Re: Jay Bruce Needs to Bat Cleanup

    He hasn't done it at AAA yet, but his career MILB OBP is .350. His pattern has been to adjust at every level; it just has taken him some time. I don't know how he'll perform next year but I wouldn't bet against him to surprise.

    Also, just to clarify, I was more stating that his speed once on first will allow him to put himself into scoring position more than any other leadoff hitter. Basically, he will score more per PA than some other leadoff hitters with a higher OBP.

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    Re: Jay Bruce Needs to Bat Cleanup

    Back to the thread topic.

    B Ham, Joey, BP, JB, Ludwick, if Joey is going to be great at OBP, I would put him in the 2 hole
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