Hamilton, Ludwick, Phillips all out today, plus Mesoraco, of course. So Bernadina for Hamilton, Heisey for Ludwick, Santiago for BP and Peña for Mesoraco. That produces this lineup for Bryan Price today

1. Chris Heisey (R) LF
2. Joey Votto (L) 1B
3. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
4. Jay Bruce (L) RF
5. Brayan Pena (S) C
6. Zack Cozart (R) SS
7. Roger Bernadina (L) CF
8. Ramon Santiago (S) 2B
9. Mike Leake (R) P

Wonder if this is the transition to change in the #3 spot. Not much clearer of a signal could be sent than having the #3 hitter bunt in that situation last night. Not a bad idea to give BP a day off, but against Milwaukee, with three other regulars sitting?

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.

Join the conversation! 41 Comments

  1. Scratch your head, decide to say nothing, and hope that Leake doesn’t serve up any meatballs tonight.

  2. Two issues here:

    (1) Why aren’t the regulars playing?
    (2) Given this starting team, does the batting order make sense?

    • Price clearly learned under Dusty. He doesn’t just sit one starter, he sits a bunch at once. I love the move of Frazier to 3rd in the lineup at this point, but sitting BP is not a good move, especially when he hit the ball hard last night.

    • 1) Slumps I guess.

      2) Kinda. I’d probably have Bernadina batting leadoff given his ability to take a walk, but there is a pretty good argument that the top 5 hitters are the best hitters in the lineup.

    • Steve, are you SURE that Price had BP bunt? I haven’t seen that anywhere. I was figuring BP was bunting on his own. I even told my dad last night “Well crap! I’d tell BP that if he plans to bunt in the 3-hole that I may as well put Santiago in there at 2B and have him hit 8th!”

      • Assuming Ludwick is healthy, I’d much rather have him in there tonight than Bernadina.

  3. Is anyone else bummed that the Votto and Bruce back-to-back situation lasted all of two weeks?

    • Yes.

    • or that your pitcher might just be the 4th best hitter with this line-up?

    • I wanted to post in the recap thread that I thought that the answer to the situation wasn’t Frazier or Ludwick replacing BP in the 3 hole but going back to having Votto and Bruce back-to-back. I think it’s a great idea!

    • I actually much prefer Votto-Frazier-Bruce to Votto-Bruce-Frazier. Bruce is a prototypical #4 hitter so it made sense to leave him there when Votto moved to 2. What did NOT make sense was putting a guy with a 62 OPS+ in that 3 spot. Frazier is currently sitting on a 124 OPS+ and is arguably the 2nd best hitter in the Reds lineup with Mes shelved. All of the weirdness with the JV squad hitting at the bottom of this lineup aside, I’d like this middle of the order to stay intact especially when you plug Ludwick and eventually Mes back into it.

    • A little bit, but the argument is that the best hitters should hit 1, 2, and 4.

      Of course, the Reds don’t really follow that approach, because of Hamilton, so…I don’t know.

      • Heisey is really the only other guy on the roster I can think of to bat leadoff with any regularity. Votto seems to thrive in the 2 spot, and at 3 there aren’t any GREAT options but as has been discussed before Frazier is probably the best. I don’t know why Ludwick is out tonight – if he was in there I would actually be pretty thrilled with this lineup. And assuming BP’s just having a mental health day he get be slotted in at 7 tomorrow. Somehow I doubt it’s going to be that simple.

    • @Doug – Yes

    • Yes

  4. I’d rather see Soto in LF with Heisey in CF.

  5. Scuttlebutt about the Holy Grail when I stopped in for lunch today (while passing through, not staying for the game unfortunately) was that Ludwick is sore/beat-up. Nothing DL worthy, but needing a day off. (Disclaimer: I was talking to three old guys sitting at the table next to me who may or may not actually know anything regarding the Reds day-to-day activities).

    With Hamilton’s hand out of commission and Phillips’ bat currently being seen by the medics for spells of acute anemia, I’m not sure there was much choice for Price.

  6. Given these players, I think this is the lineup to go with. And I suppose if I had to start Santiago and Bernadina in the same game, I guess I would want Leake’s bat in there. I do like Pena batting 5th. There’s that, I suppose.

  7. I’m oddly at peace with this lineup. Perhaps the long awaited absence of a SS/CF/2B in the top 3 is bringing false hopes. Kudos to Price for appearing to think when filling this out rather than just plug n play as we’ve seen so much in recent years. It may not work, but it’s progress in my book. Now, if people would stop getting hurt!!!

  8. I’ll take it. Beats having a starter out each game as opposed to just one.

  9. I like Santiago’s defense (that’s why he’s on the 25-man roster, right?) and I just don’t see any loss of offense by replacing Phillips with Santiago right now, and that’s saying whole whopping load. Obviously Hamilton and Mesoraco can’t go, so Bernadina and Pena in the lineup against the RHP seem very reasonable. Ludwick has struggled over the past 3 series (.188/.257/.281) and he has looked really slow, so he may have some physical issues that require a rest. The players in the lineup don’t appear out of whack considering the circumstances.

    Regarding the lineup structure, I think Bernadina or Heisey have to lead off and it’s a coin flip between the two players. I think I would have used Bernadina to lead off against the RHP, but I have no issue with Heisey leading off. Both players sit right around a .320 OBP right now. I think the postential statement is Frazier in the #3 hole. Frazier has been hammering (1.011 OPS over the past 3 series) and with Phillips out of the lineup today, Frazier is the logical choice to hit #3 (if not Bruce with Frazier #4). If Frazier continues to produce today, I don’t think Bryan moves him out of the #3 hole when Phillips comes back tomorrow. Quite frankly, I think Frazier stays the the #3 hole even if he doesn’t produce today and Bryan gives Todd a chance to prove what he can/will do hitting between Votto and Bruce.

    Tomorrow’s lineup willcould be particularly telling.

    • Agreed on Frazier you old Cossack you…

      Now, Super Todd, let the game come to you. you are between 2 OBP machines and you need to grind in that spot as well. Your slugging will be there just like Bruce, but where you will break the backs of other teams is give them 3 tough abs in a rown. BP has become an easy out in between Joey and Jay.

      I like Heisey playing now. I hope he grabs this chance this one last, last time and doesn’t site until August.

      Shoot maybe Tucker doesn’t want to take a chair either and moves Meso to Left Field. Ludwick will have to have a very hot streak I think to make his 4.5 mil option.

      Hope he does it

  10. I could see Todd and Chris switching (you know the descending OBP theory). 6 through 9 doesn’t matter much.

    • 6 through 9 doesn’t matter much in this lineup because you’re probably going to get ZERO production out of it. That’s an awfully large dead spot in the lineup. Not expecting a crooked number tonight. Leake had better bring it.

  11. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/what-it-is-to-sit-a-player/
    -Interesting article on Fangraphs about sitting players. The comments discuss some of merits and issues with sitting multiple starters on one day rather than spreading it out.

  12. I raise my glass and salute the Brewers Wily Peralta, and hope he has another face-plant into the turf tonight coming out of the dugout before he takes the mound. That was too funny on opening day.

  13. I’m fine with this lineup given that BP is slumping and Hamilton and Ludwick are less than full strength. Also fine with the order. Despite the lefty-righty deal I like the more experienced Heisey at lead off instead of Bernadina. It probably all hinges on Mike Leake’s right arm anyway and whether he keeps the ball down and in the yard.

    BTW Cubs 6 Cards 3 in the 8th at Wrigley. Creeping up on 2nd place. Today is a good day to take down the first place Brewers.

  14. I just recall how Robinson had 65 AB last year as the leadoff hitter, another 44 AB batting second, and IZTURIS had 42 AB batting second last year, and I find it too hard to get upset about backups playing when at least they’re batting 7th and 8th.

    • That was always some of the craziest crap Dusty would pull. As if for some reason it was the position in the field hitting, rather than the player. “Hey, you play shortstop, so whoever you are, you’re hitting 2nd.”

  15. Anybody know of any data-based reason to put two extra LH bats (Bernadina and Santiago) into the lineup vs the Brewers starting pitcher? Seems like that might help explain this starting 8.

  16. I have no problem with this lineup really.

    Heisey did a nice job leading off yesterday, seeing a lot of pitches, got on base, ran a little.

    Ludwick has a below average bat and below average defense. Bernadina has a below average bat and average defense, and he has the platoon advantage.

    Santiago stinks, but Phillips has been bad lately too, and at least Santiago isn’t hitting 3rd.

    I think this lineup could give Peralta some issues.

  17. I like the top of it, if the BFV’s (best friends of Votto or maybe just Bruce Frazier Votto) just perform to there average we should get at least 20 pitches in first inning, and at least one LOB(heaven knows we like that number high; it our real favorite stat not OPS or WRC+). With that being said; I’m a big fan of making the pitcher work hard out of the gate.

  18. If this is Price’s way of dimplomatically removing DatDudeDP from the 3 hole, I’m all for it.

    Tomorrow will tell.

    • Yeah, that’s the question. If it’s not, I still think it’s good that Price is batting Santiago 8th when he plays. But I hope it is.

  19. Opinions on today’s fivethirtyeight article? Obviously doesn’t apply to Reds with Votto in the 2 spot.


Comments are closed.

About Steve Mancuso

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.


2014 Reds