He has instructed Felipe Lopez (.545 SLG) to bunt more. Lopez, like a good soldier, is going along with it – even to the point of setting Juan Pierre as his role model.

It’s not that bunting is bad, per se. It’s that Miley consistently ignores his players’ unique strengths, and tries to get them to do things that will actually make them less valuable and effective players. Sure, lots of speedy shortstops should bunt for hits. That’s not because shortstops (or even fast guys) automatically have to bunt. It’s becuase speedy shortstops typically can’t hit for power, and need to derive offensive value in some other way (bunting). Lopez doesn’t have this weakness (he trails only Tejada among SS in slugging, and leads the NL by a wide margin), but Miley is asking him to play like he’s Manny Trillo.

Lopez gets an extra-base hit every 5.6 ABs. Over 60% of his hits are for extra bases. But now Miley wants him to NOT swing.

In my opinion, the manager’s job is primarily three-fold:
1. Manage the pitching staff.
2. Keep the clubhouse content and motivated.
3. Put your players in the best position for them to succeed.

Miley just shows no clue about his players’ strengths, or seems bound and determined to reform them in his way.

Join the conversation! 9 Comments

  1. I guess I wasn’t fast enough typing this. 🙂

  2. But your point is right on the mark…and Miley seemed clueless. There isn’t much that can be done with this pitching staff, you know they’re going to continue to throw Milton out there, I think Ortiz will lose his spot at some point and be upset at being sent to the pen, but he was especially clueless in the 3rd one of your points. His lineups made no sense and he never defended his best offensive player from the media’s stupid comments.

  3. Bunting as an offensive weapon only enhances his game IMO. I don’t want him doing it weekly.. but I’d like the threat (like a knife in a boot) to be there.

    It worked for Morgan and Larkin, who were both high slg% MI’s.

    It should be a tease, not a go to.

  4. I would like to see hitters threaten to go the other way when opponents put a dramatic infield shift on them.

  5. having one guy like that is one thing but when a team can legitimately do a shift for your 3/4/5 (or in some cases 6 hole) hitters that is a bit of red flag.

    Watching Griff and Dunn take their big swings can be painful to watch when they’re not hitting anything.

  6. I didn’t get to see the big Red Machine. I am too young. But did Joe really use the bunt? He had a total of 10 sacrifices with the Reds, other than stories told by fans is there another way to quantify the number bunts Joe really had?

  7. Morgan did use the bunt as a weapon, but I can’t really cite an incident, but in Pete Rose’s book “Charlie Hustle” Page 195, there is an exchange about how the Reds jibe Morgan as being a “Judy hitter”

  8. Pinski,
    If you missed seeing Joe Morgan, you really missed something. There was nothing that man couldn’t do. He was a Hall of Famer in every aspect of the game.

  9. I agree that the threat of a bunt could make Lopez marginally more effective. But the dude is murdering the ball. Like I said, he’s getting an extra base hit every 5.6 ABs – it’s obviously “impossible” to get a bunt double, so every bunt attempt just waters down his effective power. Heck, even if the bunt threat alters defenses, doesn’t it just increase the chances of Lopez singling – which isn’t his game?

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Reds - General