Since all is well in Redsland these days, how about a little thought exercise about the future. JoeyMVP’s return to the lineup, say around September 1, will present Reds’ manager Dusty Baker with a difficult playing time dilemma. With Votto playing first base every day, two line-up spots (left field and third base) remain for three players: Scott “Fountain of Youth” Rolen, Ryan Ludwhack and Super Todd Frazier.
For this hypothetical exercise, assume Rolen, Ludwick and Frazier will only play those two positions — no cheating by the Bruce haters and moving Ludwick to RF. And further assume that all three stay healthy for the remainder of the season. In September, the Reds play six games per week, thanks to days off.
Here’s the question, Nation: How many times would you play those three players each week?
Some stats to help you decide. First, slash lines for all of 2012 (batting average/on base percentage/slugging percentage):
- Frazier .286/.343/.541
- Rolen .245/.323/.410
- Ludwick .268/.335/.552
Seems easy, right? Not so fast. Here are the numbers in the month since the All Star break:
- Frazier .300/.339/.518
- Rolen .366/.459/.606
- Ludwick .324/.383/.695
Frame your opinion on playing time with the number of games adding up to twelve (two positions times six games/week) in parentheses, like this:
Frazier (4), Rolen (4), Ludwick (4)
Since Dusty loves advice about the lineup, maybe he’ll take a look at this comments section for some insight.
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.