Loyal Nation member WVRedlegs posted the link to this article by Paul White at USA Today this morning in the comment section. It’s about the trend in baseball to use the second spot in the batting order differently. I wrote about this recently, in relation to Todd Frazier batting second, but the White article develops the concept further and has plenty of new, interesting quotes from current big league managers.

No surprise that there’s no comment in it from the Cincinnati Reds manager.

The managers (and players) interviewed for the story keep coming back to the idea of getting a good hitter — like Joe Mauer, Robinson Cano, Jose Bautista — more at bats.

If you have some time before the game starts tonight, it’s an informative read.

About The Author

Steve grew up in Cincinnati 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. Contemporary Reds thrills: witnessing Jay Bruce's 2010 homer and Homer Bailey's 2013 no-hitter in person. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 280 characters about the Reds is Redleg Nation, although you can follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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19 Responses

  1. swingearly

    Why would you want one of your best hitters getting extra way year? Oh because in case the other team brings in their LOOGy…got it

  2. justafish2002

    Votto over Frazier would be just as big of an improvement of 2 hole hitters as Frazier over Cozart for all the reasons mentioned in the article. It’s as simple as you give more PAs to the players who get on base more often.

  3. Sultan of Swaff

    Good read. For my money, Barry Larkin was the best #2 hitter I ever saw because he possessed that rare combination—-hitting behind the runner while giving you the great OPS. He could do it all.

    Based on the article, Phillips would be right in line with the league average for the #2 hole. That said, my preference would be this:


    • ToddAlmighty

      @Sultan of Swaff: Paul is a good pinch hitter, but he is a career .133/.198/.147 hitter against lefties, terrifies me when he goes to field a ball, and is only okay on the basepaths.

      I don’t think I could ever put him in any of my ideal lineups, but that’s just me.

      • Sultan of Swaff

        @ToddAlmighty: 70% of the pitchers are righties, and he hits them just fine. Yeah, vs. lefties I’d swap him out for Ludwick.

  4. Matt WI

    “The worst thing that can happen is having a guy hitting .240, getting on base 26% of the time. Nothing’s going to happen.”
    My goodness, when you say it that way, it’s so simple. Good job Dusty… oh, wait, what? That was Davey Johnson. Oh. Carry on. 🙂

      • Baseclogger

        @Steve Mancuso: I wonder how many years a person would need to be a professional baseball manager before notion might occur to him? I understand a person needs to be a professional basketball coach for at least 9 full seasons before he can hope to master the “start your best five” concept, but I’m not sure how it applies to baseball.

      • CP

        @Baseclogger: Take the average number of years a person has been associated with professional baseball, and then divide by zero. 😀

        Honestly, it took a bunch of nerds looking beyond old school “that’s the way it’s always been done” for changes to happen, then fighting tooth and nail to get their research understood and believed. And there is still a significant amount of resistance around the league. It’s amazing, really.

  5. Billy Joe in Chi-Town

    The following appears in an article by Paul Sullivan on page 1 of today’s Chicago Tribune sports section:

    “The former Cubs manager was in a particularly good mood, noting he finally could walk to the mound [at Wrigley] without boos erupting en masse, a by-product of the summer malaise at Wrigley in the final weeks of Year Two of the [Cubs] rebuild. ‘They love me,’ Baker said. ‘Come back, Dusty, we didn’t mean it. We love you. I’m a big fan of yours.’ I’m like, ‘Where were you a few years ago?'”

    I report this merely as further evidence that the man may be delusional.

      • Shchi Cossack

        @msanmoore: Think what Dale might do with the talent that Theo and Jed will provide in the next two years.

      • greenmtred

        @msanmoore: Again I ask, and nobody answers, what talent is that? The Reds have excellent pitching, good defense, and perhaps 3 good-to-excellent hitters. Sounds like a team that might finish 15-20 games over .500 and make the postseason. By the time hitters make the mlb, they are unlikely to radically change, regardless of who is managing them, and hitting is the one glaring deficiency on this team. The results are what matters, and the results so far are as good as or better than it would be reasonable to expect.

  6. msanmoore

    8/15 lineup vs. Brewers: Choo 8, Frazier 5, Votto 3, Phillips 4, Bruce 9, Ludwick 7, Mesoraco 2, Cozart 6, Cingrani LHP

    Looks like we’ll see Frazier there until Ludwick is in a position to bat #4. Frankly, I’m fine with it and Cozart looks more comfortable at #8 … kind of like Stubbs did.