Reds: 2 positive and 1 negative observation from series split with Braves

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JUNE 26: William Contreras #24 of the Atlanta Braves looks on as Tyler Stephenson #37 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates his solo home run. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - JUNE 26: William Contreras #24 of the Atlanta Braves looks on as Tyler Stephenson #37 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates his solo home run. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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Shogo Akiyama #4 of the Cincinnati Reds bats in the eighth inning.
CINCINNATI, OHIO – JUNE 24: Shogo Akiyama #4 of the Cincinnati Reds bats in the eighth inning. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

2. The Reds put some strange lineups on the field versus the Braves.

Everyone loves to second guess their team’s manager, especially when things don’t go the way fans expect. However, several questionable roster decisions were made over the four-game visit form the Braves that have a lot of folks in Reds Country scratching their heads.

Can we put out an A.P.B on Shogo Akiyama? I’ve never seen a team so unwilling to give opportunities to a player who’s signed a hefty contract, yet Akiyama is pulling down $7M this season and has started in just nine games.

If there was ever a time when Akiyama should have drawn a start, it was Sunday’s finale. Jesse Winker was left out of the lineup with a bruised hip, but instead of adding Akiyama to the starting lineup, David Bell chose to start Aristides Aquino in left field and Scott Heineman in center field. The same thing happened on Friday, with Heineman starting over both Akiyama and Tyler Naquin.

To be fair, there was a left-handed starter on the mound for the Atlanta Braves and the Cincinnati Reds went with a right-handed heavy lineup. However, to start Heineman over Akiyama is pure insanity. Heineman had only two hits heading into yesterday’s contest, and his third hit of the season only found the turf at GABP because the Braves fielders failed to communicate.

With Winker out of the lineup on Sunday, Bell decided to bat Joey Votto second in the lineup. While that’s certainly a spot that Votto is familiar with, this was the first time this season the former MVP has taken his hacks in the No. 2 hole. The results were underwhelming as Votto went 0-for-4 with two punch outs.