Baker continues to show his cluelessness as a Manager.
Baker continues to show his cluelessness as a Manager.
As one fan so aptly puts it over at cincinnati.com :
Say it ain't so...
First of all, if Rose was not a prototypical leadoff hitter, who was? Davey Lopes??? Rose hit >.300 FIFTEEN times in his career. He had an OB% >.380 twelve times. He never hit more than 10 HR's in a season after he turned 31. He'd normally get 10-20 SB in a season, but do you really want to steal a lot with THREE hall of famers plus George Foster hitting behind you? In addition, Morgan had a lifetime OB% of almost .400. Griffey Sr's OB was around .380 while he and Rose were teammates. That automatically puts Rose at second most of the time he singled or walked. Almost 25% of his hits were for extra bases and did not give him an opportunity to steal second. Maybe if you're successful at stealing 81% of the time like Joe Morgan it would be ok to run more, but it would have been foolish for Sparky to risk getting Rose thrown out any more than he did.
After Aug 8 in 2010 Bruce's slugging pct was almost .800. He had 15 HR's in the last two months despite missing two weeks to injury. Over that same time period Stubbs hit >.300 and had an OB% of almost .400. Long time announcer Marty Brennaman calls Stubbs "the fastest player I've ever seen in a Reds uniform outside of Deion Sanders". He's been successful on 40 of 50 SB attempts in his career. Joe Morgan is on the Reds payroll as a special advisor and I can't think of any better advice he could contribute than helping Stubbs put up those kind of numbers over the course of an entire season.
Brandon Phillips was on his way to being a .300AVG/.350OB% man in 2010 until his arm was hit by a pitch in late July. He's a good base stealer too. Also, Fred Lewis has a lifetime OB% >.350 against right handed pitching and he's been successful on >70% of his SB attempts. If he platooned with Gomes in LF he would get most of the action. The Reds are a small market team and there's no way they sign him if Walt Jocketty didn't think he would be a better leadoff option than moving Jay Bruce up there.
Bruce has never stolen more than 5 bases in a season and there's three options to consider before leading him off.
A final comment: They made a list of Reds leadoff failures in the past and I do not argue they've had some bad ones. Freel's OB was >.350 and he stole 150 bases (successful 75% of attempts) while with the Reds. It now looks like Hopper will be one of the unique players that retires with a lifetime batting average >.300. His career numbers are .316 AVG/.367 OB% in over 400 career plate appearances. He had some speed too. I know that stats sometimes don't tell the whole story, but I'll go on records as saying that even the worst .316 hitter would still be a pretty good option for leadoff. He only had 50 AB's after Baker arrived in Cincy and failed to make it back to the bigs since. Meanwhile the Reds suffered through two horrible seasons of leading off from Patterson and Taveras after they traded him.
Baker is judged on sabermetrics, but he is making his decisions based on people. If Baker bats Bruce leadoff, it is because he thinks Bruce will hit better there. Batting first lets him focus on getting on base, and not also worry about clutch hitting and slugging.
When you play this game twenty years, go to bat ten-thousand times, and get three-thousand hits, do you know what that means? You've gone zero for seven-thousand. - Pete Rose for HOF!
After that Cubs series this last summer when Bruce just tore it up I kept asking myself why Bruce isn't leading off on a regular basis? I know there are reasons as far as RBI and other things, but he sure looked good that series.
Chris Heisey would be a better leadoff (than Bruce) and get Gomes out of the lineup completely, and DFA Lewis.
Though, the only logical leadoff hitter is Stubbs.
Heisey is hitting .333 so far this Spring, plays outstanding Defense, and has some speed.
There shouldn't even be a question of who the every day Left Fielder should be nor who the leadoff hitter should be.
Dusty is just disturbingly fascinated with not having his #4 and #5 hitters both bat from the left side, though history has proven that it's completely irrelevant as long as they are both good hitters.
Once again, Dusty has no idea what the heck he is doing, and we'll win again, in spite of Dusty Baker.
Looking forward to a great season no matter who Dusty again tries to mistakenly bat leadoff for the 4th (or is it the 5th?) season in a row.
Last edited by Kingspoint; 03-10-2011 at 01:01 AM.
It'd be like having Cordero pitch the 1st Inning of a baseball game followed by Chapman pitching the 2nd inning. Then bring in a Starter to pitch the 3rd through 8th innings. It just doesn't make any sense.
Last edited by Kingspoint; 03-10-2011 at 01:02 AM.
Bruce should be driving in runs, but who is the best leadoff hitter if Phillips misses an extended period of time?
Stubbs may need more time to mature as a hitter. I'm hoping this is the year but he may need more time.
Gomes is out of the question.
I'm not crazy about Janish or Renteria with that role either.
As for Heisey, his OBP last year was lower than Stubbs, but he's still not a bad option.
I see Lewis as a very good candidate (.348 career OBP). Only problem is, Gomes is going to be the everyday starter in left.
Reds' leadoff hitters were horrible last year. They compiled (according to ESPN) a .306 OBP. This ranked 14th in NL. Yet still they managed to lead the league in runs scored. If Votto and Rolen are getting on-base at a healthy clip don't you want someone behind them driving them in?Bruce should be driving in runs, but who is the best leadoff hitter if Phillips misses an extended period of time?
I agree that a high OBP out of your leadoff batter would be nice. But moving Bruce to leadoff seems to me to be a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
A summer watching a bad Reds' team, is still a pretty good summer.