Over at Grantland, Jonah Keri has a pretty good piece on the Todd Frazier dilemma that will be staring the Reds in the face when Joey Votto returns (this weekend, hopefully). I’ve gone on the record as urging people not to worry; there will be plenty of ABs to go around, with Frazier playing all over the diamond.

I like both of Keri’s proposed solutions, and I also like his ideas to maximize the productivity of the Reds lineup. It’s something we’ve said a number of times, but the historical aspect of this surprised me:

The problem lies with the Reds’ two resident OBP sieves. Cozart’s hitting .245 with a .287 on-base percentage, Stubbs .221 with an identical .287 OBP. This would be a big enough problem if Baker buried his resident out-makers at the bottom of the lineup. It’s even uglier when they’re hitting 1-2 in the lineup. Together, Cozart and Stubbs have combined to eat up 1,009 plate appearances. Put another way, they’ve made 719 outs. And counting.

How rare is this configuration on a winning team? Try this. According to Elias Sports Bureau, in the history of baseball, only 11 World Series winners have regularly started multiple position players with on-base percentages of .290 or lower; none of those teams have batted two sub-.290 OBP guys 1-2 in the order. If the Reds win it all with Cozart and Stubbs setting the table with torn paper plates and dirty napkins, they’ll have accomplished something no other team has done in 100 years.

Keri criticizes Dusty on this point (and rightly so), but then proceeds to make a similar case as I made over at ESPN recently; i.e., Dusty may screw up the lineups, but he does some other things very well. There’s a reason the Reds have the best record in baseball, and you must give Dusty Baker credit for that. He’s probably the National League Manager of the Year. He’ll probably get a new contract in the off-season, and dare I say it? He’s probably earned that new contract.

I do, however, fundamentally disagree with the notion that it’s heresy to question things such as a sub-optimal lineup, just because the Reds are winning. Certainly, the actual order of the lineup matters much less than most people think…but shouldn’t the Reds still be trying to improve? I don’t understand why some people get so upset over it (on Twitter, especially), but I don’t see anything wrong with questioning the lineups and discussing ways to construct an order that might help the Reds score more. The Reds should be trying to get more ABs for the guys who make fewer outs. I’m not sure why that’s controversial.

Keep that in mind next time you see an employee of the Reds chiding someone on Twitter for the crime of suggesting that, perhaps, the lineup isn’t perfect. As Keri says:

It’s easy to point to the Reds’ record and declare that everything’s working. But it’s also worth considering the possibility that they’re winning in spite of the configuration of their starting nine, not because of it. In baseball, trusting a bad process to keep delivering good results has a way of biting you in the ass.

I have to be honest, however: the fact that the Reds have such a great record is precisely the reason I can’t muster up much energy to get outraged by these lineups. As long as they keep winning, I’ll hold my tongue and remind myself: Dusty Baker isn’t perfect, but he’s not nearly as bad as recent managers Bob Boone or Ray Knight or Jerry Narron.

I know that’s not a ringing endorsement, but it’s something….

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 81 Comments

  1. Another nice Reds article:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/johnny-cueto-for-cy-young/

    I can’t say that I disagree at all.

  2. Fay seems to be confident that Phillips goes back to leadoff when Votto returns, not sure what everybody thinks of that, but it’s unquestionably better than having Cozart-Stubbs up there right now.

    Phillips – Cozart – Votto – Ludwick – Bruce – Frazier/Rolen – Stubbs/Rolen – Catcher…. would be fine with me.

    You could hit Frazier second, but I really like the way he comes through driving the middle of the lineup guys home, and if I’m not mistaken Cozart was a lot better when he was in the two hole earlier this year.

    I’d even consider putting Stubbs eighth, but that’s not Dusty’s style, so it’s not even worth mentioning….as I just did.

    I don’t know if it’s been mentioned, but the sluggish 1-2 combo wasn’t AS much of a problem with Votto out, but when he’s back, you can’t have him coming up with the bases empty all the time or he’ll get walked twice as much as he already does. At least with BP in the three hole he was still getting pitches to hit.

    That said, I’m loving me some Dusty and really hope he’s around for a while. I don’t care if I never like his lineup, I know the players will always bust their ass for him.

    • Fay seems to be confident that Phillips goes back to leadoff when Votto returns, not sure what everybody thinks of that, but it’s unquestionably better than having Cozart-Stubbs up there right now.

      Phillips – Cozart – Votto – Ludwick – Bruce – Frazier/Rolen – Stubbs/Rolen – Catcher…. would be fine with me.

      You could hit Frazier second, but I really like the way he comes through driving the middle of the lineup guys home, and if I’m not mistaken Cozart was a lot better when he was in the two hole earlier this year.

      I’d even consider putting Stubbs eighth, but that’s not Dusty’s style, so it’s not even worth mentioning….as I just did.

      I don’t know if it’s been mentioned, but the sluggish 1-2 combo wasn’t AS much of a problem with Votto out, but when he’s back, you can’t have him coming up with the bases empty all the time or he’ll get walked twice as much as he already does. At least with BP in the three hole he was still getting pitches to hit.

      That said, I’m loving me some Dusty and really hope he’s around for a while. I don’t care if I never like his lineup, I know the players will always bust their ass for him.

      Votto, I think his walks are likely to go down. Not only are there lingering concerns about his knee but, for the first time this season, he’ll have a power hitter batting behind him who teams don’t want to face with runners on base. Not to overrate Ludwick or underrate Phillips but Phillips isn’t a big homerun threat.

      Cozart biggest success is in excelling with small sample sizes when given the opportunity. He had a great Reds debut in 2011 and performed well as the #2 hitter to start this season. I think things have balanced out, however, and I doubt his numbers will improve as the #2 hitter. I expect a ~.300 OBP from him if he returns to that role.

      Bruce, Phillips, Votto, Ludwick, Frazier, Rolen, Stubbs, Cozart, Hanigan – that’s my choice for the best lineup. Jay Bruce is the only guy who is not playing in his stereotypical/ideal role in the lineup.

  3. I would like to see Stubbs batting 7th in front of Hanigan (because you know Dusty won’t bat him anywhere else) so you can use his speed for stolen bases and hit and runs with Hanigan. Frazier needs to bat 6th when he’s playing 3rd and 4th when he is playing LF.

    I am often critical of Dusty, mostly with his lineup construction and in-game decisions. I think he is a pretty poor manager in those two aspects, however I think he is outstanding at managing egos and personalities which is also a large portion of his job. You can tell the guys play hard for him, which can’t be said about a lot of managers.

  4. 100 years of baseball history kind of undermines the ‘if it ain’t broke’ argument.

  5. It’s always a lot easier for fans to question and criticize the lineup than suggest improvements. Ask 10 different fans and you get 10 different lineup suggestions. The lineup isn’t something that can easily be solved until the team has a prototypical leadoff hitter on the roster, which they haven’t had for years. When should Frazier play when Votto returns, there’s no consensus even amongst fans. Personally I don’t want him playing everyday, he needs to stay rested for the playoffs.

    The Reds need #1 and #2 hitters who will score runs. Get ’em on, get ’em over, get ’em in. How many runners score is what matters, not how many reach base to get stranded. Dusty always chooses guys with the speed to get around the bases and score runs. Fine.

    • It’s always a lot easier for fans to question and criticize the lineup than suggest improvements.Ask 10 different fans and you get 10 different lineup suggestions.The lineup isn’t something that can easily be solved until the team has a prototypical leadoff hitter on the roster, which they haven’t had for years.When should Frazier play when Votto returns, there’s no consensus even amongst fans.Personally I don’t want him playing everyday, he needs to stay rested for the playoffs.

      The Reds need #1 and #2 hitters who will score runs.Get ‘em on, get ‘em over, get ‘em in.How many runners score is what matters, not how many reach base to get stranded.Dusty always chooses guys with the speed to get around the bases and score runs.Fine.

      You don’t need to have a specific suggestion other than to say that the worst two hitters in the lineup shouldn’t be batting 1-2. That generally the weaker hitters should bat down in the lineup.

      I also really don’t buy the “sabermetric notion that batting order doesn’t matter”. Keri said that. It may not matter over 162 games, but it sure as heck is going to matter in a short playoff series.

      • You don’t need to have a specific suggestion other than to say that the worst two hitters in the lineup shouldn’t be batting 1-2.That generally the weaker hitters should bat down in the lineup.

        I also really don’t buy the “sabermetric notion that batting order doesn’t matter”.Keri said that.It may not matter over 162 games, but it sure as heck is going to matter in a short playoff series.

        It helps your case to suggest to be able to suggest two hitters who SHOULD be hitting 1st and 2nd. Generally the power hitters hit in the middle of the lineup and the speedy OBP hitters hit at the top. Doesn’t always happen.

        • It helps your case to suggest to be able to suggest two hitters who SHOULD be hitting 1st and 2nd.Generally the power hitters hit in the middle of the lineup and the speedy OBP hitters hit at the top.Doesn’t always happen.

          I don’t need to. All I’m saying is that while fans may have 10 different lineups, all of them are better than the one we have now, as long as Stubbs and Cozart are batting 8 and 7, respectively.

  6. how do you get around the bases and score runs without first getting on base?

    • how do you get around the bases and score runs without first getting on base?

      Zack Cozart and Drew Stubbs are having horrible seasons by reaching base 29% of the time.

  7. Anyone, like Mark Sheldon, who makes the “wins and losses are the bottom line” also has to assign blame to Dusty Baker for the Reds losing season of 2011.

  8. This should be the everyday lineup:

    Phillips 2B
    Frazier 3B
    Votto 1B
    Ludwick LF
    Bruce RF
    Hanigan C
    Stubbs CF
    Cozart SS

    On days when Rolen plays 3B, I’d play Frazier in LF. I’d slide Bruce up to #4 and put Rolen at #5.

  9. Phillips
    Ludwick
    Bruce
    Frazier
    Rolen
    Hanigan
    Pitcher
    Cozart
    Stubbs

    After the first 2 AB’s of the game. that’s how the Red’s lineup rolls from that point on. Anybody else think that that’s why the line up produces so well the way it does after the first? It gives Cozart and Stubbs extra AB’s but stacks up ok in a strange way after that?

    • Phillips
      Ludwick
      Bruce
      Frazier
      Rolen
      Hanigan
      Pitcher
      Cozart
      Stubbs
      After the first 2 AB’s of the game. that’s how the Red’s lineup rolls from that point on. Anybody else think that that’s why the line up produces so well the way it does after the first? It gives Cozart and Stubbs extra AB’s but stacks up ok in a strange way after that?

      Not so sure Ludwick in the #2-hole helps, but switch him and Frazier, maybe. Votto has to be in there too at the #3 hole.
      I was thinking the same about batting the pitcher 7th, when that pitcher is Leake or maybe Latos now. Then followed by Cozart and Stubbs. It would be worth experimenting with it in a game or two in September and see how it would work.

  10. I would agree with this line up:

    Phillips
    Cozart
    Votto
    Ludwick
    Bruce
    Rolen / Frazier
    Hanigan
    Stubbs
    Pitcher

    This lineup lets Stubbs see the same pitching that Hanigan’s feasted on all year and puts him in the greatest place to succeed. If Stubbs gets on then, he can steal 2nd or he can still beat out a bad bunt by the pitcher. If Stubbs can steal 2nd then the sac bunt is to get him to 3rd. Frazier and Rolen should not hit in the 2 spot to set them up to be the RBI producers in the 6 spot. Phillips in the lead off has always been productive.

    • This lineup lets Stubbs see the same pitching that Hanigan’s feasted on all year and puts him in the greatest place to succeed.If Stubbs gets on then, he can steal 2nd orhe can still beat out a bad bunt by the pitcher.If Stubbs can steal 2nd then the sac bunt is to get him to 3rd. Frazier and Rolen should not hit in the 2 spot to set them up to be the RBI producers in the 6 spot.Phillips in the lead off has always been productive.

      Phillips in the lead off spot has NOT always been productive. He’s had opportunities to lead off in 2010, 2011, and 2012. He had a ~.250 average and ~.300 OBP in ~300 ABs in that role in 2010, a ~.400 OBP in ~150 ABs last year, and a terrible start in that role this year. Phillips was successful in one of his three stints in that role and, with unsustainable numbers in that short stint, he really inflated his career numbers.

  11. I hate that I am saying this, but I am willing to bet that come the start of the playoffs it will be Todd Frazier at first and Votto back on the DL. I think Votto will play about 8-10 games, continue to have discomfort and swelling and in the best interest the Reds will shut him down, so I think this whole worry about where Frazier will play will become a non factor.

    • Well aren’t you Mr. Happy? Seriously, banishing Votto to another DL stint before he’s even suited up yet?

      • Well aren’t you Mr. Happy?Seriously, banishing Votto to another DL stint before he’s even suited up yet?

        I have been saying since the injury that it would end up being a season ender and with all that has happen with reinjury and addition surgery and now soreness and swelling, its best long term to just shut him down.

  12. My favorite part of this post has to be this sentence:

    “Keep that in mind next time you see an employee of the Reds chiding someone on Twitter for the crime of suggesting that, perhaps, the lineup isn’t perfect.”

    You say “employee” when most of the chiding has been done by Fay and Sheldon — neither of which are employees of the Reds, but certainly act like they are.

  13. @redsfanman: I don’t think that’s a fair way to look at the numbers… that’s how averages work. Sometimes a guy is high, sometimes it’s low. Joey Votto hit .289 in April… should he sit out the first month? I’m not sure why BP’s good streak was a fluke…. it ends up right where his average usually is! It’s the nature of the numbers…. up and down, up and down. The notion of batting position having a significant impact on skill set just doesn’t make any sense to me.

    Ultimately, BP consistently hits the same no matter where he hits. I’m not sure why you don’t want to see that. You could probably find out he hits better on Tues and Wed in 2010 but not in 2012… Push comes to shove, he’ll play within a reasonable margin of what he usually does.

    • /

      I don’t think it’s a fair thing to say that if a guy hit well for two months last year it means that he’s always been successful. Yep, law of averages, that concerns me, Phillips had a ~.415 OBP in last season’s brief stint as a leadoff hitter and that is much, much better than his ~.320 career OBP. An unrealistic and unsustainable performance. I don’t think Phillips will excel when he returns to the leadoff spot, he’ll just be mediocre to balance things out.

      Certain guys like, say, Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier, just have certain skills that they rely on to be successful. Phillips has many different skills and I believe his spot in the lineup relates to what skill he focuses on, and some are better than others. As a #3 and #4 hitter his priority switches from stealing bases (which he’s never been terribly successful at) to making contact and hitting homeruns. I’m particularly concerned that a renewed desire to steal bases like a good leadoff hitter will result in a third leg injury of the season.

      I expect Phillips will replace Cozart as the leadoff hitter, but I still doubt he’ll be an improvement over Cozart. I think he’ll struggle in a role he’s not suited for, like Cozart has done, and eventually suffer an injury as a result to remove him from the lineup entirely. Then Dusty will be to blame for putting such a crummy hitter in the leadoff spot in the first place. Oh well.

      • I don’t think it’s a fair thing to say that if a guy hit well for two months last year it means that he’s always been successful. Yep, law of averages, that concerns me, Phillips had a ~.415 OBP in last season’s brief stint as a leadoff hitter and that is much, much better than his ~.320 career OBP. An unrealistic and unsustainable performance.

        Ahhhh! I give. I’ve been citing his career stats the whole time, not cherry picking years. I’ve cited his career leadoff stats, and shown how they compare very similarly to every other career positional slash line… thus I am working with the law of averages, not working against it. He does what he does.

        I don’t expect him to get on at a .350 OBP at lead off. I expect him to be around .320-.330. I expect that to be better than .280. I’d like BP in the two hole in an ideal world, with a really high OBP guy in the #1. They don’t have that guy. Given that BP is a more consistent hitter, though lower overall OBP than Bruce, I still like him at the top. And he prefers the top of the lineup!:

        July 8, 2012, Brandon Phillips on hitting leadoff: “I’d love that,” Phillips said. “I just feel like I have more fun hitting leadoff. I feel I can play my game all the way and go out and have a good year like I did last year.”

        • Ahhhh! I give. I’ve been citing his career stats the whole time, not cherry picking years. I’ve cited his career leadoff stats, and shown how they compare very similarly to every other career positional slash line… thus I am working with the law of averages, not working against it. He does what he does.

          I don’t expect him to get on at a .350 OBP at lead off. I expect him to be around .320-.330. I expect that to be better than .280. I’d like BP in the two hole in an ideal world, with a really high OBP guy in the #1. They don’t have that guy. Given that BP is a more consistent hitter, though lower overall OBP than Bruce, I still like him at the top. And he prefers the top of the lineup!:

          July 8, 2012, Brandon Phillips on hitting leadoff: “I’d love that,” Phillips said. “I just feel like I have more fun hitting leadoff. I feel I can play my game all the way and go out and have a good year like I did last year.”

          I like discussing the topic.

          We’ll see how he does, I would be impressed if Phillips pulls off an OBP over .320 when he returns to that role. Better than Cozart, but bad enough that we’ll continue to hear complaints about how the Reds need a new leadoff hitter. For the most part I think Phillips’ talent for driving in runs will go to waste.

          I agree that Phillips’ ideal role is as a #2 hitter. I say move him there, to #2 hitter, and throw somebody else under the bus (hit leadoff). Bruce, Cozart, Stubbs, whoever runs fast.

          As far as that quote by Brandon Phillips, it’s admirable that he’s so willing to voluntarily fill any role the Reds need filled and do whatever is asked of him to help the team win. It sets a good example. It makes me want to buy a BP jersey. On the other hand does he actually believe he’d do well in that role? I don’t.

      • I expect Phillips will replace Cozart as the leadoff hitter, but I still doubt he’ll be an improvement over Cozart. I think he’ll struggle in a role he’s not suited for, like Cozart has done, and eventually suffer an injury as a result to remove him from the lineup entirely. Then Dusty will be to blame for putting such a crummy hitter in the leadoff spot in the first place. Oh well.

        This doesn’t make any sense to me. Phillips is clearly just a better hitter than Cozart, it has nothing to do with what type of hitter he is. He’s better, that’s really all you need to know. Do you think Cozart is a better hitter than Phillips? If not, then the argument is pretty much over.

        An Cozart hasn’t stolen at all, so it’s clear that the Reds aren’t forcing their leadoff guys to run.

        • Are you super cereal?The have a 4-5% difference in terms of the OBP.How will Phillips uncharacteristically regress?

          From running more?Phillips is already running about 3 times as often as Cozart from the 3 and 4 spots – so he doesn’t even need to increase his agression there.

          You said he did poorly at leadoff this year (for the 6 games he played or so) but neglected to mention that he was playing through injury, if I recall correctly.

          The above is just pessimism disguised as a statistically based predicition.

          Your memory is faulty – Phillips wasn’t playing through injury to start the season, he struggled at leadoff, injured his leg, missed a few games, and returned to the lineup as the #4 hitter. He was moved down in the lineup so he’d be less tempted to steal bases or injure his leg. Unfortunately he injured his leg again and missed more time with a leg injury. Phillips has 11 stolen bases on the season but I’m worried that he’ll try to increase that – after all, good leadoff hitters usually steal bases and if he leads off he wants to do his best to be a good leadoff hitter.

          This doesn’t make any sense to me.Phillips is clearly just a better hitter than Cozart, it has nothing to do with what type of hitter he is.He’s better, that’s really all you need to know.Do you think Cozart is a better hitter than Phillips?If not, then the argument is pretty much over.

          An Cozart hasn’t stolen at all, so it’s clear that the Reds aren’t forcing their leadoff guys to run.

          I agree that Phillips is a better hitter than Cozart. Cozart is a mediocre hitter who belongs in the bottom of the lineup – he needs to be removed from the leadoff spot because his OBP is unacceptable for a leadoff hitter. Unfortunately maintaining a high OBP is NOT one of Brandon Phillips’ many talents. I think Phillips’ talents are better used and displayed hitting 2nd, 3rd, or 4th in the lineup. Asking him to lead off is just throwing him under the bus to toss him into a role he’s not suitable for on the basis that other guys are bad at it also.

          The Reds aren’t forcing their leadoff hitters to run but I think Phillips’ pride will motivate him to do his best to be a good leadoff hitter fans have been hoping would emerge. That includes stealing bases. Phillips is confident, he knows he can do it if he tries, he’s not lazy.

          • Your memory is faulty – Phillips wasn’t playing through injury to start the season, he struggled at leadoff, injured his leg, missed a few games, and returned to the lineup as the #4 hitter. He was moved down in the lineup so he’d be less tempted to steal bases or injure his leg. Unfortunately he injured his leg again and missed more time with a leg injury. Phillips has 11 stolen bases on the season but I’m worried that he’ll try to increase that – after all, good leadoff hitters usually steal bases and if he leads off he wants to do his best to be a good leadoff hitter.

            It may be, but I know Phillips was not put at 4 to prevent him from running!

            Ludwick was looking like an unmitigated disaster and Rolen was in one of the soap opera coma’s, I think. BP was the ONLY option to keep lefties from batting consecutively in the order and causing the apocolypse. Running was awfully far down the list of reasons.

            Regardless, BP can run as much as he has been and be running far more than Coz – so hypothetical injury averted.

          • I agree that Phillips is a better hitter than Cozart. Cozart is a mediocre hitter who belongs in the bottom of the lineup – he needs to be removed from the leadoff spot because his OBP is unacceptable for a leadoff hitter. Unfortunately maintaining a high OBP is NOT one of Brandon Phillips’ many talents. I think Phillips’ talents are better used and displayed hitting 2nd, 3rd, or 4th in the lineup. Asking him to lead off is just throwing him under the bus to toss him into a role he’s not suitable for on the basis that other guys are bad at it also.

            I think you’re really grasping at straws at this point.

            The article wasn’t about whether Phillips is the best leadoff hitter in the game, it was about whether or not there is something the Reds can do to better deploy their offense.

            If you agree that Phillips is the superior hitter, then you have to agree that giving him more ABs than Cozart would be good. We don’t have to get into all the other stuff about prototypical leadoff guys and the running game. It’s just as simple as that.

            Who should get more ABs, Cozart or Phillips? The answer is Phillips and that’s the end of the debate to me. All the other stuff about OBP and SLG and RBI, that’s the fine tuning of a lineup. The first thing that you have to address is having bad hitters getting the most ABs.

          • It may be, but I know Phillips was not put at 4 to prevent him from running!

            Ludwick was looking like an unmitigated disaster and Rolen was in one of the soap opera coma’s, I think.BP was the ONLY option to keep lefties from batting consecutively in the order and causing the apocolypse.Running was awfully far down the list of reasons.

            Regardless, BP can run as much as he has been and be running far more than Coz – so hypothetical injury averted.

            Concerns about Brandon Phillips running wasn’t the only factor that got him moved to the cleanup role but it was one of them, and a factor that made him the obvious choice.

            I think you’re really grasping at straws at this point.

            The article wasn’t about whether Phillips is the best leadoff hitter in the game, it was about whether or not there is something the Reds can do to better deploy their offense.

            If you agree that Phillips is the superior hitter, then you have to agree that giving him more ABs than Cozart would be good.We don’t have to get into all the other stuff about prototypical leadoff guys and the running game.It’s just as simple as that.

            Who should get more ABs, Cozart or Phillips?The answer is Phillips and that’s the end of the debate to me. All the other stuff about OBP and SLG and RBI, that’s the fine tuning of a lineup.The first thing that you have to address is having bad hitters getting the most ABs.

            I think that opens a question again why anybody is content with Cozart hitting second if he’s not capable of leading off. I think Votto, Bruce, Frazier, Ludwick, Hanigan, Rolen, and Phillips are all better hitters than Cozart. Everyone but Stubbs, who is comparable. I think Hanigan and Rolen are too slow and get too much time off to be options to hit first or second. I think Votto, Ludwick, and Frazier belong in the middle of the order to drive in runs.

            Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips, that’s my choice for the best 1-2 punch at the top of the lineup once Votto returns. Speedy hitters with an OBP over .330, homerun threats who you want to reach base. Getting your best hitters, or at least most threatening hitters, the most ABs. I think Jay Bruce deserves another shot in that role after performing well in brief leadoff stints in prior seasons – hopefully he can perform well in the role while Phillips settles into the #2 spot.

      • I expect Phillips will replace Cozart as the leadoff hitter, but I still doubt he’ll be an improvement over Cozart. I think he’ll struggle in a role he’s not suited for, like Cozart has done, and eventually suffer an injury as a result to remove him from the lineup entirely. Then Dusty will be to blame for putting such a crummy hitter in the leadoff spot in the first place. Oh well.

        Are you super cereal? The have a 4-5% difference in terms of the OBP. How will Phillips uncharacteristically regress?

        From running more? Phillips is already running about 3 times as often as Cozart from the 3 and 4 spots – so he doesn’t even need to increase his agression there.

        You said he did poorly at leadoff this year (for the 6 games he played or so) but neglected to mention that he was playing through injury, if I recall correctly.

        The above is just pessimism disguised as a statistically based predicition.

  14. I do, however, fundamentally disagree with the notion that it’s heresy to question things such as a sub-optimal lineup, just because the Reds are winning.

    I like this, Chad. I just said in another thread… there’s a huge difference between being critical and using critical thinking .

  15. Just read Votto to play again with Dayton on Friday…

  16. I agree, Votto’s injury is worrying. This might be heresy, but maybe he doesn’t need to be rushed back. Frazier is an able deputy in the short term, especially the way he has been playing. More time might help Votto heal better. Maybe he sits for now, pinch hits or late inning sub, and comes back for the last 8-10 games to get back in the groove before (hopefully) the playoffs. There’s nothing wrong with thinking long term about Votto given his contract status.

    • I agree, Votto’s injury is worrying. This might be heresy, but maybe he doesn’t need to be rushed back. Frazier is an able deputy in the short term, especially the way he has been playing. More time might help Votto heal better. Maybe he sits for now, pinch hits or late inning sub, and comes back for the last 8-10 games to get back in the groove before (hopefully) the playoffs. There’s nothing wrong with thinking long term about Votto given his contract status.

      I can hear it now – “I didn’t buy a ticket to see Joey Votto sitting on the bench, if he’s not on the DL why isn’t he playing?!” “Why did we play this bum so much money if he’s just going to sit on the bench?” “is the manager really so stupid that he’d keep the former MVP on the bench to keep Scott Rolen in the lineup?” If Votto isn’t ready it’ll be received really really badly by fans.

      • @redsfanman:

        I can hear it now – “I didn’t buy a ticket to see Joey Votto sitting on the bench, if he’s not on the DL why isn’t he playing?!”“Why did we play this bum so much money if he’s just going to sit on the bench?”“is the manager really so stupid that he’d keep the former MVP on the bench to keep Scott Rolen in the lineup?”If Votto isn’t ready it’ll be received really really badly by fans.

        I know what you mean. I was there on Sat. 8/25 against St. Louis. It would have been nice to see Votto play, of course, but I didn’t get to see Chapman pitch either. Why? One reason-winning, and winning handily. I want Votto to come back, and stay back, but I don’t think anybody wants him to come back and then get hurt again. Maybe it’s just luck, but we’ve managed okay without him. Aren’t we at a point where we need to think about the postseason?

  17. @Aaron: Mr. Mancuso noted that Mark Sheldon is in fact employed by Major League Baseball (it says as much on every article he writes) and I am sure the Red’s opinion of him factors into his job stability.

  18. @Matt WI: Matt, how did you italicize?!

  19. NM, I guess I just figured it out. Lookout world!

  20. There is a always a non-zero chance that Votto is unable to return, that is just being realistic. But stating that he won’t return with any degree of certainty and without any additional facts that haven’t been disclosed is pure, unadulterated bs that should be treated like the pessimistic trolling it is….just ignore it.

    • There is a always a non-zero chance that Votto is unable to return, that is just being realistic.But stating that he won’t return with any degree of certainty and without any additional facts that haven’t been disclosed is pure, unadulterated bs that should be treated like the pessimistic trolling it is….just ignore it.

      He has reinjured already, is saying now after just two 5 inning performances that it hurts and there is swelling. Exactly what does that tell you? Oh and he is going to play another game at Dayton when the original plan was for two and meet the team in Houston…

      • He has reinjured already, is saying now after just two 5 inning performances that it hurts and there is swelling.Exactly what does that tell you? Oh and he is going to play another game at Dayton when the original plan was for two and meet the team in Houston…

        Dayton’s season is almost over so he’ll be back with the Reds in a few days even if he can’t walk.

        • Dayton’s season is almost over so he’ll be back with the Reds in a few days even if he can’t walk.

          Why is that relevant though? I don’t care when he comes back to Cincinnati, I care when he can play.

          I’m extremely worried, and I can’t believe how cavalier an attitude I’m seeing about him. That is, he’s not well. He’s hurting. He’s probably not just a couple days away.

          It’s still ok in that they don’t absolutely need him back for another week or two. But more than that and I’ll fear he’ll be rusty for the playoffs.

  21. Does anyone know how the to find team stats by inning? I’d be interested to see how the Reds stack up against the league in the first inning. We know that they’re 13th in the league overall. If they are much worse than that in the first inning, it would suggest that they should change the lineup.

  22. @bmatt21: I like your lineup bmatt. And, Chad, I like the tone of your posting today – fair and not over-dramatic.

    Go Reds!

  23. Sorry, didn’t mean to put my comments in the quote box.

  24. Yes, I saw the article where Votto said his knee was still pretty sore. Disturbing. But I have to think that he wouldn’t be playing in Dayton if there was a significant chance of reinjury from it. And the way the team’s played in his absence gives them the luxury to bring him along verrrry slowly if necessary. And as far fan reaction to an active Votto sitting – I can’t really imagine that being a problem. The vast majority of fans would understand, and those that don’t aren’t worth worrying about.

  25. So word is Votto will play tomorrow night for Dayton, but he is not playing tonight? Have the Reds said anything of late as to what is up with Votto?

  26. And so I don’t get left out of the lineup proposals…

    Without Votto:

    Phillips
    Frazier
    Bruce
    Ludwick
    Rolen
    Hannigan
    Stubbs/Heisey
    Cozart

    With Votto (in fantasy land):

    Phillips
    Frazier
    Votto
    Ludwick
    Bruce (CF)
    Rolen
    Hannigan
    Cozart

    With Votto (in reality):

    Phillips
    Rolen
    Votto
    Ludwick
    Bruce
    Hannigan
    Stubbs/Heisey
    Cozart

    Frazier can sub in anywhere from 2nd to 4th there and you wouldn’t have to touch the rest of the lineup, which Dusty loves.

  27. From day one the handling of the most valuable knee in baseball has been troubling to say the least. I don’t have much confidence at this point in any particular outcome and I wouldn’t be at all shocked to see him shut down for the year. I was hoping for a much more positive experience in Dayton than Joey’s comments indicate he has had.

    As far as the line up goes, has Dusty actually said that he will bat Phillips lead off? I’ve seen a whole lot of folks assuming that but Dusty has a unique way of bending logic. The only on the record comments that I’ve seen Dusty make is that Phillips will return to clean up as soon as Votto comes off the DL. That was a while back, but Dusty is nothing if not hard-headed about his line up. Seems to me that once he said it that all common sense be damned at that point. He’s also on the record that Frazier goes to the bench. I think the health of Votto/Rolen will force Dusty’s hand into giving Frazier ABs but if Rolen and Votto are healthy and rested then I have absolutely no faith that Dusty will actually play Frazier.

  28. @Hank Aarons Teammate: He reported being sore after the first game, and then he played in a second game. He reported being hesitant in the second game, but he’s playing again on Friday.

    I think that he’s being honest about the fact that it’s gone more slowly than he wanted, but I don’t think he’d be playing on Friday if he was really hurt.

  29. @redsfanman: Now this I agree with. Moving Phillips up only solves half of the problem if you leave either Stubbs or Cozart at the top of the order.

    In the lineups I posted above I said that I would put Frazier or Rolen #2. I think Rolen is still a good enough baserunner to hit there.

    I would also be ok with Bruce, but if I was going to have Phillips and Bruce at the top of the order, Phillips would lead off, in deference to Jay’s HR power.

    • @redsfanman: Now this I agree with.Moving Phillips up only solves half of the problem if you leave either Stubbs or Cozart at the top of the order.

      In the lineups I posted above I said that I would put Frazier or Rolen #2.I think Rolen is still a good enough baserunner to hit there.

      I would also be ok with Bruce, but if I was going to have Phillips and Bruce at the top of the order, Phillips would lead off, in deference to Jay’s HR power.

      Woohoo! Won you over on one point.

      Phillips leading off in deference to Jay Bruce’s homerun power? How about Jay Bruce leading off in deference to Phillips’ ability to hit with runners on or move runners over? To ‘clog up the bases’ to prevent Brandon Phillips from having the urge to risk injury by stealing a base?

      On another issue, Rolen might have good baserunning instincts but, like with Hanigan, he’s relatively slow and gets a lot of time off, requiring big changes to the lineup on days off. Dusty has shown a willingness in the past to let Jay Bruce hit leadoff but has always been resistant to letting Votto and Bruce hit back to back. Letting an unconventional guy like Bruce hit at the top of the lineup is a stretch for Dusty – letting him hit at the top of the lineup and right before Votto is an even bigger step.

  30. I didn’t sort through all the comments, but is anyone else worried that when Votto comes back, Phillips goes back to clean-up? As has been well documented, Dusty is stubborn and not always logical. For all the reasons he batted him there before Votto went down, he could quite simply slide him back in there despite the ascension of Super Todd Frazier and resurgance of Luddy.

  31. @dn4192: He didn’t “reinjure” his knee..he had a piece of floating cartilage removed after the initial surgery, which is pretty normal/minor stuff.

    Again, I’m not saying there is a non-zero chance he will miss the rest of the season. The human body is like that. But the fact that he’s rehabbing at in Dayton at all indicates the Reds & Joey’s doctors feel he will be back up. It isn’t unusual for someone whose had knee surgery to have swelling post surgery. And swelling by itself doesn’t have any significance. I’d be way more worried if Votto had hurt his wrist or hand.

    Why would the Reds not have Joey Votto in Dayton? Why not rehab a guy that has been sidelined a month? Why rush a guy back if you don’t have to? Why push a guy into rehabbing faster when you’re up 7 games and have very little to gain?

    • @dn4192: He didn’t “reinjure” his knee..he had a piece of floating cartilage removed after the initial surgery, which is pretty normal/minor stuff.

      Again, I’m not saying there is a non-zero chance he will miss the rest of the season.The human body is like that.But the fact that he’s rehabbing at in Dayton at all indicates the Reds & Joey’s doctors feel he will be back up.It isn’t unusual for someone whose had knee surgery to have swelling post surgery.And swelling by itself doesn’t have any significance.I’d be way more worried if Votto had hurt his wrist or hand.

      Why would the Reds not have Joey Votto in Dayton?Why not rehab a guy that has been sidelined a month?Why rush a guy back if you don’t have to?Why push a guy into rehabbing faster when you’re up 7 games and have very little to gain?

      Ah I believe the Reds stated that he reinjured it while practicing sliding thus they had to go in an clean up some stuff and his rehab was pushed back by 7-10 games.

    • @dn4192: He didn’t “reinjure” his knee..he had a piece of floating cartilage removed after the initial surgery, which is pretty normal/minor stuff.

      Again, I’m not saying there is a non-zero chance he will miss the rest of the season.The human body is like that.But the fact that he’s rehabbing at in Dayton at all indicates the Reds & Joey’s doctors feel he will be back up.It isn’t unusual for someone whose had knee surgery to have swelling post surgery.And swelling by itself doesn’t have any significance.I’d be way more worried if Votto had hurt his wrist or hand.

      Why would the Reds not have Joey Votto in Dayton?Why not rehab a guy that has been sidelined a month?Why rush a guy back if you don’t have to?Why push a guy into rehabbing faster when you’re up 7 games and have very little to gain?

      I’m no doctor, but it has been reported, for example by Sheldon, that the sliding drill caused the cartilage problem. No, that doesn’t make 100% sense to me, but just saying.

  32. On another note, Cardinals on the verge of getting shutout for the third game in a row. How does that lineup, with no regular hitting below .264 and 6 guys hitting north of .300, get shutout 3 games in a row?

  33. @RedLegHerrm: Its like asking why the little dog won the fight with the big dog –
    Either the little dog is flat meaner or the big dog had a bad day.

    Sometimes BA is a poor gauge of value.

  34. all this talk about “the lineup”…….fact is the lineup changes with the wind.
    Dont like it on Monday, tune in Tuesday

    If you watch every game you will, in time, find your perfect lineup.

    Playoff lineups will be set on information of the day, just like it is now. Nothing will change – Dusty gets his lineups from mystical sources……..

    We know two facts, Hanny @8, Votto @3
    All else is up to the stars, the cards and Dusty’s last meal.

    • all this talk about “the lineup”…….fact is the lineup changes with the wind.
      Dont like it on Monday, tune in Tuesday

      If you watch every game you will, in time, find your perfect lineup.

      Playoff lineups will be set on information of the day, just like it is now. Nothing will change – Dusty gets his lineups from mystical sources……..

      We know two facts, Hanny @8, Votto @3
      All else is up to the stars, the cards and Dusty’s last meal.

      The lineups change daily but they usually retain continuing trends for a while. Particularly the role of Votto and Phillips tend to stay consistent while other guys fill the roles around them. When Phillips switches roles he tends to stay in the new role for a while.

  35. Read the Keri article on Grantland, haven’t read the comments. The article reinforces what has been beaten to death here that Cozart and Stubbs (identical .287 OBP) have no business at the top of the order.

    I gather from talk that Baker plans on putting Phillips at leadoff when Votto comes back. That is a start. Frazier at second in the order would be optimal, ,no matter where he plays. Votto third and so on.

  36. @RedLeg75: The Reds have the best record in the game, two games left in August. Fact
    The lineup has ignored conventional wisdom all year. Fact
    A conventional lineup would work better…..theory.

    Explain why we lead with what we have ?
    How does Dusty win, without MVP, with arguably pedestrian “numbers” ?

    Point is this – until we know how and why we are better than the entire league, we are fools to change it.

    • @RedLeg75: The Reds have the best record in the game, two games left in August. Fact
      The lineup has ignored conventional wisdom all year. Fact
      A conventional lineup would work better…..theory.
      Explain why we lead with what we have ?
      How does Dusty win, without MVP, with arguably pedestrian “numbers” ?
      Point is this – until we know how and why we are better than the entire league, we are fools to change it.

      I take issue with the use of the term theory. If by theory you mean one hundred years of baseball statistics then that about as theoretical as the concept of gravity. No, the article is revealing because lays out one simple fact – at team with a lineup like the Reds has never won a championship.

      So the facts regarding records are wholly irrelevant – the Reds aren’t playing to finish with the best regular season record.

      Remember, the only thing that has made this lineup ‘unconventional’ are the subpar offensive performances on Zach and Drew as of late (in July they were both over .300 OBP at least). Considering the two of them (unlike Phillips) there is no guarantee they ‘heat’ up to render this problem moot.

    • @localboy:

      The Reds have the best record in the game, two games left in August. Explain why we lead with what we have? How does Dusty win, without MVP, with arguably pedestrian “numbers”? Point is this – until we know how and why we are better than the entire league, we are fools to change it.

      This is really quite simple to explain. It’s called pitching, pitching and more pitching. After last season, Uncle Walt realized that the pitching staff lacked quality and he upgraded the pitching staff with quality. The Reds now have the 2nd best record in MLB to the Nats. The Reds have the 2nd best staff ERA in the NL to … wait for it … the Nats. Do you recognize a correlation? The Reds success is directly attributable to their pitching assembled by Uncle Walt, not Mr. Baker. The Reds have the 5th best AVG in the NL, the 4th best SLG in the NL & the 4th best OPS in the NL. So where do the Reds rank in runs scored, the one true measure of offensive production? The Reds have the 6th most runs scored in the NL, good but below their rank in AVG, SLG & OPS. Why? Here we go again … wait for it … OBP. The Reds have the 8th best OBP in the NL. Do you recognize a correlation? This result IS directly attributable to Mr. Baker since he is directly responsible for batting the two worst OBP performs in the lineup where they get the most PA and where hitters would normally get on base for the run producers. My good localboy, those are facts.

  37. Votto himself said he re-injured the knee when he had his first sliding practice during his 1st rehab. I don’t know what the relationship is between the (second) sliding injury and the floating cartilage that required the 2nd procedure.

    My (uneducated) guess is that the floating cartilage was a remnant of the first procedure, and that the problem didn’t surface until he did his sliding drill.

    Joey’s having soreness and swelling after his first couple of games in his rehab is normal. The only abnormal thing is his honesty – other players would say they feel great. When resuming work after knee (or any leg) surgery, this always happens, even if your job involves sitting most of the day.

    We can’t be 100% sure of a successful Votto comeback in 2012 because it’s too soon to know. He’s not running hard on the bases and he hasn’t tried sliding yet and is not in a hurry to.

  38. Great post, Chad. I would say “Fair and balanced” except that phrase mostly gets used sarcastically now.

    I really like Keri’s article. My only problem with it is that the title is misleading. “Let the Kid Play” sounds like he’ll be exhorting Dusty to make Frazer the starting 3rd baseman. Actually he’s recommending the super-sub role for Frazer for now.

    I’ve waffled on this but at this point I’m good with Frazer as the super-sub for the rest of the regular season. The tough decisions will come in the post season.

    Keri presents the argument well. To paraphrase him and add a bit of my own, even though Dusty has ruled out Frazer at RF and SS, he can get plenty of playing time at 3rd, 1st, and LF. I expect that Rolen will get 2 games a week off from here. Ludwick is 35 and Dusty correctly likes to rest him, probably once a week from here. And Joey’s health, as discussed above, is still an X factor. The Reds will go slowly with him, yet more playing time for Frazer.

  39. Not sure I get any of the consternation about Votto at this exact moment. If he’s suiting up now and playing, I’m thinking that’s a positive. The guy’s had two procedures on his knee, and I’ve seen nobody indicate it is unusual for him to be sore. A week or 10 days from now if he’s no further along, then it’s time to think of a postseason without him.

    And time is on the Reds’ side. To update numbers that I saw on RLN a few days ago, if the Reds go 16-14, they would get 96 wins. … The Cardinals would have to go 25-6 to get to 96 wins, and they have six more games against just the Nationals, plus four in LA and three in San Diego against the suddenly-hot Padres before closing with the Reds. … And the Pirates would have to go 26-6, and they have an easier schedule than the Cards overall, but still have six games against the Reds and three against Atlanta to close the season. Could be a fun series if the Bucs can hang around the wild-card hunt until the very end.

  40. I agree that the Red’s success is primarily due to pitching. Both SPs and the bullpen have improved dramatically over recent years. But I have never seen a manager put the two weakest hitters in his lineup in the #1 and #2 slot. Stubbs can use his speed wherever he is in the lineup, on the rare occasion when he gets on base. It’s nice to have speed in the #1-2 slot, but getting on base is essential to using that speed. And another job of the #2 guy is to advance runners. You can’t do that when you don’t make contact with the ball. Both Cozart and Stubbs are #7-8 hitters all day long in this lineup which should include Frazier batting #2 on a daily basis. Heck, the way Leake hits and the way Latos and Arroyo have hit lately, Stubbs should be batting 9th. Oh, I forgot, he can’t bunt.

  41. Dusty is stubborn to a fault, probably what keep him managing in spite of criticism. When Corey Patterson was sucking it up, he said “I KNOW talent when I see it.” Chiding him gets his horns out, acts him not a corner, makes him even more determined to show us he is right.

    Live with it. They are winning, but weak opponents is part f it. Survival in the playoffs is unlikely.

    • Dusty is stubborn to a fault, probably what keep him managing in spite of criticism. When Corey Patterson was sucking it up, he said “I KNOW talent when I see it.” Chiding him gets his horns out, acts him not a corner, makes him even more determined to show us he is right.

      Live with it. They are winning, but weak opponents is part f it. Survival in the playoffs is unlikely.

      Dusty is stubborn to a fault, probably what keep him managing in spite of criticism. When Corey Patterson was sucking it up, he said “I KNOW talent when I see it.” Chiding him gets his horns out, acts him not a corner, makes him even more determined to show us he is right.

      Live with it. They are winning, but weak opponents is part f it. Survival in the playoffs is unlikely.

      You know, a bunch of times he’s been right about hitters fans have given up on early into the season. Scott Rolen and Ryan Ludwick are fine examples this year.

      • @redsfanman:

        You know, a bunch of times he’s been right about hitters fans have given up on early into the season. Scott Rolen and Ryan Ludwick are fine examples this year.

        Redsfan, maybe its simply semantics, but I don’t agree with your premise or the two examples you submitted to support your premise. Mr. Baker wasn’t right about either Rolen or Ludwick. The fact that both Rolen and Ludwick are now performing admirably did not have anything to do with Mr. Baker.

        Uncle Walt brought in Ludwick in the offseason to play LF, hoping that he would catch lightning in a bottle on the cheap. It worked, but not because of Mr. Baker. There were only two options for LF, Ludwick and Heisey. Neither Heisey (.214/.283/.310) nor Ludwick (.190/.266/.397) produced in April. Heisey (.321/.346/.436) started to produce better than Ludwick (.224/.321/.388) in May and got more playing time. Ludwick (.253/.326/.582) started to produce better than Heisey (.228/.265/.316) and got more playing time. Ludwick continued to produce and earned more playing time and eventually became the undisputed starter in LF. This wasn’t Mr. Baker knowing that Ludwick was going to be the man in LF from the start and going with him no matter what. This was Ludwick earning the job. That’s how it should work all the time. Mr. Baker didn’t do anything in this situation other than what every manager should do. What made this appear to be exceptional was that Mr. Baker doesn’t usually handle such competition properly and routinely. He usually annoints the starter and that’s it, no discussion.

        Rolen had a marvelous spring training and thiongs were looking up for a production year from Rolen in 2012. When the season started, Rolen was hurt and that became blatantly obvious almost immediately after the season started. Rolen didn’t admit he was hurt and Mr. Baker obviously didn’t recognize he was hurt (or worse, he stubbornly refused to admit Rolen was hurt), but Rolen had no bat speed and no power. Rolen continued to play and Mr. Baker continued to play him. That action was not to Mr. Baker’s credit or some innate knowledge that Rolen would simply come around again. Rolen would have continued to play and Mr. Baker would have continued to play him, if Rolen had not removed himself from the lineup after he finally admitted that he was hurt. This was months after it should have happened and Mr. Baker did nothing but turn I blind eye to the situation the entire time. In the mean time, Todd Frazier was recalled and did nothing but hit and hit some more. Frazier also play good, sometimes spectacular defense, but Mr. Baker continued to play Rolen over Frazier without regard to their performances. This is typical Mr. Baker perfomance and it has nothing to do with being right, because specifically in this instance, he was wrong and would have continued to be wrong except Rolen took himself out of the lineup because he was hurt. The fact that Rolen is now healthy and performing well does not alter the fact that Mr. Baker mishandled the entire situation, again.

  42. Please delete that comment. iPad autocorrect made it unintelligble even beyond my norm.

  43. John Fay is now saying that the chances are Votto won’t join the Reds till they return home on Monday vs. the Phillies…

    • John Fay is now saying that the chances are Votto won’t join the Reds till they return home on Monday vs. the Phillies…

      Joey Votto was facing single A pitching in Dayton, is Houston Astros pitching really that big of a step? Come on, a bad pitcher from a bad team named ‘Abad’? YIKES!

  44. @BloodyHo:
    You see that Dusty foolishly mishandled a situation but the Reds have Scott Rolen hitting great in the second half. I see that Dusty stuck with the player and it, without question, has paid off and proved to be a successful decision. I don’t think anyone should be unhappy with the amount of playing time Todd Frazier has received, ever since he was promoted this season he’s found an opportunity to play somewhere.

    You see that Ludwick was provided by Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker did as he was told by putting him into the lineup and giving him giving him playing time as he hit well. I saw Ludwick hit .190 in April but, despite fan objections, Dusty continued to stick with him, knowing that he was a better hitter than Chris Heisey… and it paid off. Both Ludwick and Rolen, good job by the Reds manager for not giving up on them.

    Good managing, managing that makes players want to play for Dusty Baker. He won’t throw them under the bus.

  45. @redsfanman: I’m sure it’s more about the threat of having to put him on the 15 day DL again if they brought him up now. Why lose two more weeks if 3 or 4 days will do? This actually seems smart regarding the Votto injury for once.

    • @Matt WI:

      I’m sure it’s more about the threat of having to put him on the 15 day DL again if they brought him up now. Why lose two more weeks if 3 or 4 days will do? This actually seems smart regarding the Votto injury for once.

      Matt, since the rosters expand tomorrow any stint of the DL would be completely unnecessary. Now the Reds can afford to carry an unavailable active player on the roster without shorting the roster. I think Votto had some input into playing another game in Dayton. In his interview he just didn’t sound like he was comfortable. Whether that was discomfort with his knee or just rust from not playing, only Votto can answer. Since this series is against Houston and the reds are back at GABP on Monday, I think another game at Dayton isn’t necessarily a bad idea, even if it just allows Joey to get his head back in the game completely before putting on his spikes for real.

  46. @BloodyHo: Ah, duh (for me), good point. Plus, they don’t need the plane swelling anything, do they?

  47. @Matt WI: Matt, I have more than my share of duh moments. It’s a busy time of year right now in the baseball world, at least for those teams chasing a ring…and one of those teams is the Reds!!! YEAH BUDDY!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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2012 Reds, Dusty's Lineup Shenanigans

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