Okay guys, I think it's becoming pretty obvious that the Reds will be calling up Jay Bruce within the next week. Let's zoom forward until then and try to figure out what they're going to do with him and the rest of the team.
First off, what postition does he play? I've heard dozens and dozens of people say that he's "projected" as a right fielder. So does he play there and we bench Junior? I certainly don't see Junior moving back to centerfield. Also, if it's so certain that Jay's a rightfielder...why in the world have the Reds played him out of position so much in Louisville?
So far this year, Jay has played...
Right-field: 9 starts
Left-field: 8 starts
D.H.: 2 starts
day off/pinch hit: 3 times
Center-field: 25 starts!!!
For a guy who's supposedly not a centerfielder, he sure is being treated as one.
So instead of following the "projected" route...let's follow along with what the Reds are doing with him. Jay will play Centerfield for the Reds. That means Patterson/Freel combo sits instead of Junior. So, Dunn in left, Bruce in center and Junior in right. Hopefully it'll play out better than it sounds.
So, now that the defense is situated, now we've got the lineup to consider. Without Freel, Patterson or Keppinger starting...who's leading off and why?
Personally, I'd lean towards something like this....
(RH) 2B Phillips
(LH) LF Dunn
(LH) CF Bruce
(RH) 3B Encarnacion
(LH) 1B Votto
(LH) RF Griffey
(RH) SS Janish
(LH) C Bako
Without a true leadoff hitter, I think we need to at least minimize our hitters' shortcomings. Brandon loves to line into DP's. Leading off will minimize that. Dunn's OBP needs to be MUCH higher up in the lineup. Personally, I'd love to see Adam leading off...but I think that's too much of a drastic leap for many here. In regards to the clean up slot, there are 2 players who I don't want to put there. Phillips and Bruce. I know how Brandon hits from that spot and he simply tries to hit the longball way too much. It takes him out of his normal hitting style. As for Jay, I just don't want to put a high amount of pressure on the rookie this early (which is also why I don't put him in the leadoff spot either). I don't mind Joey in the #4 hole, but I think Edwin's a better fit for it. I originally had Bako hitting 7th and Janish hitting 8th, but I didn't like the run of 3 straight lefties of Votto, Griffey and Bako, so I swapped the Paul's.
I know this topic will get rehashed over and over again in the coming days, I just figured maybe this will limit the talk to one thread...but I doubt it. :O) Anyway, how do YOU see this club a week from now?
Oops, one last thing. With Jay coming up...who is shown the door? Patterson? Valentine? Ross? Hairston to DL?