Today’s Reds Lineup May Look Strange

With the season’s biggest series against the St. Louis Cardinals beginning tomorrow evening, I expect Reds skipper Dusty Baker to make some adjustments to the Reds starting eight today.

After yesterday’s thrilling (and aging) 4-3 win over the Chicago Cubs, Baker did say “we’ve got some guys banged up”. Most notably is second baseman Brandon Phillips. In the top of the ninth, Phillips fouled a ball off the inside of his left foot and it was clearly bothering him as he promptly grounded into a double play. He was removed for Miguel Cairo. Phillips will likely sit this one out.

What will Baker do in center field? Maybe nothing considering the game Drew Stubbs had. Baker may elect to keep Stubbs in and may even look to give right fielder Jay Bruce a day off and put Chris Heisey in right. That wouldn’t be such a bad move considering Bruce has been struggling at the plate for over a month and Heisey has shown he’s up to the task.

Left field could be manned by either Laynce Nix or Jonny Gomes. I’m thinking Gomes just based on his competitive nature. Gomes also sat yesterday. Plus, facing a young Cubs hurler in Thomas Diamond (making only his second start of the season) could lend to giving confidence in Gomes at the plate. Nix could still start considering Diamond is a righty.

You could also see both Scott Rolen and Joey Votto get a day off. Not really. One of the two should play. If Rolen sits, Juan Francisco plays. If Votto sits, you could see Ramon Hernandez or Francisco. When Francisco was called up, he was told to get some time in at first base, too.

Baker has shuffled the catching duties well this season. Hernandez has been hitting well as of late. In his last ten games, he’s hitting .278 with 11 RBI. Ryan Hanigan is hitting for as great an average during that time (.242), but he’s driven in 10 in his last ten games. In other words, you can count on these guys despite the fact they mostly are hitting 8th in the lineup.

And I was partially right. Via the Reds Twitter (posted around 11:15 AM):

Heisey 8, Cairo 4, Votto 3, Gomes 7, Bruce 9, Francisco 5, Hanigan 2, Janish 6, Wood LHP

More Reds Trends:
Into trends? I know I was kind of in a zone with yesterday’s post. Here are some more to follow.

  • When the Reds steal at least one base in a game, they are 30-14. When they don’t, they are 33-34.
  • If the guys blast a homer, they’re 49-22. They’re 14-26 when no longball is present.
  • Scoring 3+ runs is magic. The Reds are 60-27 when they pop 3+ runs on the scoreboard. It’s usually ugly if they don’t as they post a 3-21 record if they’re held below 3 runs.
  • The Reds have scored first in only 48 of their 111 games this season. Of those 48 games, they are 36-12. They are below .500 (27-36) when they don’t
  • When Cincy leads after 7 innings, they have posted a 50-3 record.

So, score first, steal at least one base, hit a homer, score at least 3 runs and hold the lead after 7 innings and it’s pretty much a guarantee that a Reds victory will follow.

The pitching matchup has BRM’s favorite “son” Travis Freakin’ Wood (2-1, 2.42) v. Thomas Diamond (0-1, 4.50 ERA). Gametime is 2:20 PM ET.

One last note. With reliever Russ Springer hitting the DL, Carlos Fisher was brought back up. Some sources had indicated that Aroldis Chapman could have been tabbed for promotion.