2014 Reds

New lineup – The best yet to come?

Reds manager Bryan Price is trying a new lineup tonight, featuring Jay Bruce batting second and Devin Mesoraco batting clean-up. Other changes include Chris Heisey playing LF and batting fifth and Kris Negron starting at 2B and batting seventh.

1. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
2. Jay Bruce (L) RF
3. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
5. Chris Heisey (R) LF
6. Brayan Pena (S) 1B
7. Kris Negron (R) 2B
8. Zack Cozart (R) SS
9. Homer Bailey (R) P

Let’s hope Price’s shake-up ignites a much-needed rally for the offense. And that everything will start to hum, as suggested by Todd Frazier’s new walk-up song.

21 thoughts on “New lineup – The best yet to come?

  1. With what Price has to work with this isn’t so bad. If offers a new look, gives Santiago, Schu, Hanahan, Ludwick a Front row seat on the bench. I really would like to see this outfit get about 7 or 8 games before changing it.

    • Agreed and I’m OK with Negron for tonight but I wouldn’t want to see him replace Santiago for 7 or 8 games unless he earns it. And of course we won’t see Mes for nearly that many in a row.

  2. I like this for many reasons, but mostly it puts a good bunter on the bench in Santiago and a fairly descent contact hitter on the bench in Schumacher. Also, I agree this lineup needs to be given a chance to succeed, not a one night wonder. And bench players need to stay sharp by taking live batting and fielding practice only and not be put in the game on a regular basis. Also, the bull pen with two closers, would seen to allow them to pitch more than one inning moreoften.

  3. Just for fun, if Negron continues at his current batting stats (13 AB, 2 HR, 4 RBI,
    wRC+ 142) after 21 games he should have 14 HRs, and 28 RBI. :) Take that Byrd and Rios. Just saying

  4. Its worth a try. What can Price do? Unless a lightning bolt strikes Jocketty and wakes him up from his slumber, lineup construction will be like dealing with an ingrown toenail on the big toe. Painful and hard to keep balanced.
    With the bottom half of that lineup, the only thing that is humming is the Fat Lady loosening up. Next homestand Frazier’s walkup music will be the Fat Lady with a diddy from La Boheme.

  5. I’ve argued many times on this site that lineups do matter, and that people who say “it’s only a few wins a year” aren’t seeing that taking a few free wins is great.

    That said, at this point, it really really doesn’t matter for the Reds. Here are the Reds OPSs after the break for players with at least 10 ABs.

    Pena .815
    Santiago .634
    Heisey .627
    Schumaker .616
    Lutz .614
    Mesoraco .523
    Frazier .501
    Hamilton .446
    Ludwick .449
    Bruce .336
    Cozart .212

    So really, when none of your four best hitters are topping .525, who cares?

    • This isn’t really a direct response to your comment, but it’s something that crossed my mind when I read it. There’s a school of thought that a manager shouldn’t take recent short-term performance into consideration when making out the lineup. Instead, a better estimate of how a player will hit is to take a larger sample from a longer part of a career. Platoon splits matter, but over a long time, not a few weeks. Of course I don’t know if or how that addresses the psychology of slump-busting.

      • Short term reviews can led to long term errors. At this time Price may feel that not doing what has always been done may, I repeat may, give everybody a chance to “tap the breaks”. The 4 that I mention in my initial comments are 4 players that have been put into some of the most difficult roles for bench players and need to sit a “minute”. The “psychology of slump-busting” I will leave it to people who are a lot smarter than I can hope to be. The overall feeling that each player needs to step-up his performance up spreads like a virus. These guy are what they are and finding the place for them to be what they are is the managers dilemma. I hope I said that right.

      • I think Bruce batting 2nd is an attempt by Price to bust his slump, hoping he’ll see more fastballs.

  6. When I looked at this lineup, at least I didn’t get sick to my stomach. The first 6 guys can hit a bit. I like Frazier-Mesoraco batting 3-4. The idea to batting Bruce 2nd is probably in hopes he’ll get more fastballs.

    Although the DBacks pitcher is a righty, his numbers against lefties are much better. So it makes sense to have Heisey in there and also give Negron a shot.

    Beyond today, I don’t want to see Santiago on the bench. He’s been one of the Reds’ best hitters ! I noticed just now that when he made that nice catch of a pop out going out into LF yesterday, he banged his head hard on the ground. That might be another reason he’s out tonight. Also might explain why he didn’t cover 2nd twice yesterday – though if he was that woozy, he obviously should have been taken out.

  7. Great move to move Bruce to second position. When (if?) Hamilton is on first base, that will mean more fastballs for Bruce (and less opportunity to look like a cricket player). At the same time, Bruce’s long swings and misses will keep the catcher honest and give Hamilton a split second extra on swipes.

    Price should just field his best defensive team(at their best defensive positions respectively) with no nod to the small differences in offensive ability. Keep the opponent’s run total as low as possible, and maybe, just maybe, the Reds may get a couple of runs. Voila, victory!

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