Things We Know: Hitting

Yesterday we looked at a few facts that most of us may be aware of in regards to the Reds pitching staff. Today, we look at the bats and what we already know about them.

1. The “clutch gene” vanished

Seems like it went away after 2010. Gone. Left Cincy. Went to Milwaukee maybe. For some reason (one that I’m sure some will explain away as solely bad luck), the Reds offense has simply not shown the propensity to get that clutch hit this season. See for yourself…

In 2010, the good guys were getting that runner home from third when there was two outs. Not this season. And part of that is batting when the bases are loaded. Add RISP with two outs and…

2010 BA OBP SLG HR RBI PA BB SO
Bases loaded .269 .306 .393 5 116 145 11 37
On 3rd, 2 outs .271 .374 .399 9 137 356 46 79
RISP, 2 outs .269 .376 .415 19 252 796 103 152
2011 BA OBP SLG HR RBI PA BB SO
Bases loaded .175 .251 .277 3 90 167 15 35
On 3rd, 2 outs .188 .326 .248 4 69 282 45 64
RISP, 2 outs .212 .330 .302 14 156 682 94 149

Huge drop offs. Almost hard to look at…

2. Jay Bruce hasn’t looked good batting clean-up

This isn’t pretty to look at either, but it’s important to view this.

Split PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
Batting 4th 228 199 28 48 8 0 9 28 24 58 .241 .338 .417
Batting 5th 281 252 36 70 13 2 15 46 28 64 .278 .349 .524
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/19/2011.

For a period of time, some fans were screaming at the top of their lungs for Bruce to be moved into the clean-up spot in the batting order. After the May he had, I can’t say I blame them for wanting that especially since it was obvious that Scott Rolen was unable to provide that thrust from that spot as he did last season.

Well, they got their wish, and Bruce has struggled. He’s probably putting too much pressure on himself. We all know that does not help. As the table implies, Bruce is far more comfy in the #5 spot. The one element where Bruce has looked better, his BB to SO ratio.

3. Outside of Drew Stubbs, this is NOT a team that can steal bases

The success rate, if you take away the Stubbster’s numbers, are simply horrendous to see. I’ll do it anyway.

SB CS %
Stubbs 37 9 80%
Team 88 47 65%
Team w/o Stubbs 51 38 57%

Granted, GABP is not built for a speedy team. It’s built for a team that can go deep…a lot. But it doesn’t hurt to have a fast team because you can put doubt and thoughts in the head of an opposing pitcher. Stubbs is always a threat to run if he’s on first or second. Some of the others? They may try, but they’re not as successful. You’re giving away outs.

Speaking of Stubbs…

4. Stubbs sophomore slump

And if you think I’m going to chide him for the srikeouts, you’re sadly mistaken. It’s not just that. It’s his bat in all phases of his game. He’s shown less pop and less contact this season. I’m not saying I wish Stubbs was a 30-30 guy, but he does possess that type of potential. I stress, potential. That’s not to say he will ever get there or if Stubbs even wants to go there.

One thing is for sure. I don’t think anyone knows the type of player Stubbs really is. He’s as fast as they come (I’d love to see a race between he and Tony Campana) and covers a ton of ground on the outfield. It’s when he has a bat in his hand that he could be the single most important weapon in the Reds lineup.

Seriously…

5. Could this be true?

For those that don’t read Hal McCoy, he does a Q&A. Here was the first question…

Q: Will the play of Paul Janish cost him his spot on the 40-man roster in 2012? — Bill, Montery, Ky.
A: It might cost him a spot in the organization. If the team can trade him, they probably will. And it’s a shame because there is no better person than Janish and not many better afield. But his bat will never be listed as a lethal weapon. His two-year trial is over at shortstop and the team will try something else. Zack Cozart, come on down.

Hmm…

The question to ask everyone is if Janish is to be traded, who would backup Cozart?

Or better yet, I ask this: What if Cozart is unable to go out of spring training? Who get’s the nod then?

If this team is built on the principle of having good defense, why deal Janish? The more I think about this, the more questions I want to ask…

Topics: Baseball, Batting, Cincinnati Reds, Drew Stubbs, Jay Bruce, MLB, Paul Janish

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  • beeker

    The clutch gene suffocated under the mountain of K’s that Stubbs and Bruce have piled up. You can see the stench rising from St. Louis from up there. The potency of the offense next year will rise or fall with how those two produce.

    I’m disappointed, but I can’t say that I’m shocked with the news about Janish. His defense is jaw-dropping at times. But with the PT that Renteria has been getting, the handwriting is on the wall. Jeff Keppinger for backup SS, anyone? :)

  • Steven Engbloom

    But I remember when your backup shortstop was nothing more than a good glove. I find it hard to fathom that Walt would go outside the organization for a backup. Or he pulls the dreaded and re-signs Renteria. GASP!

  • beeker

    I would not be surprised to see the Reds use Todd Frazier as a 5th OF/6th IF since it would allow them to keep an extra man in the bull pen. (I always liked Keppinger’s bat, but I didn’t think they would actually try to bring him back.)

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