If last night was any indication
Dusty has decided on a new starting left fielder. And I"m not sure how I feel about it.
For a good while now, the timeshare in left field has seen Xavier Paul handle the starts against right-handed pitching and the switch-hitting Derrick Robinson taking care of left-handed pitching. It has worked really well, as Paul has a healthy OPS of .811 and Robinson has gotten on base at a fantastic .415 clip. This is way, waaaay better than what Chris Heisey was doing.
Saturday night, Dusty shook up the lineup a bit. With lefty Tyler Lyons on the mound for the Cardinals, Robinson got the start. But Dusty slotted him in the #2 hole, bumping Zack Cozart down to eighth. The Go Cart has sputtered so far this season, like someone filled up his tank with four-stroke fuel when they should have used two-stroke. Robinson rapped two doubles and scored a run. Jammin'.
But with righty Lance Lynn pitching on Sunday night, one would expect Xavier Paul to get the start. Instead, Robinson was in the line up again, hitting second again. "D-Rob, he's coming to play; he's coming to play," Baker said. "The better you play, the more time you can get. That's just how it is."
My questions are numerous and complicated. It seems that Baker is comfortable hitting Robinson and Cozart second, but not Paul. I presume that is because Paul is left-handed and Dusty doesn't want to hit three lefties in a row, but if the starter is right-handed then you can always use a pinch-hitter if they bring in a LOOGy, right? I mean, you'd do that no matter where Paul is hitting, yeah?
Also, it seems Robinson may have leap-frogged Paul here. I don't know how I feel about that. Paul has been a good soldier and has hit well this season. Seems to me, he should get first knocks. I guess my worry is that Dusty is attracted to Robinson's very Taverasian skillset. Of course, Robinson has acquitted himself very well of those charges, but between you and me, I don't think it can last. He won't get on base at a .400 clip all year. Or probably even into next week.
Of course, all this is probably just pissin' in the wind. I'm probably reading way too much into one anomalous game. I guess I just wish Dusty would try Paul at #2. And if he's okay with Robinson doing it, why not Paul?
As of Monday
the Reds are tied for second in the NL Central with Pirates, four games behind the Cardinals. RantSports has a spot of positive news, though. The Reds have 23 games remaining against the main contenders, and 17 of them are in Cincinnati. If they can TCB, they should WIN the NLC.
Mat Latos is really, really good
He is 12-3 with a 3.12 ERA at Great American Ballpark since coming to the Reds. He has been both awesome and terrific, which I think is cool and awesome. Dusty has one little nitpick: Latos has only pitched into the eighth inning once so far this season. "Your big-game boy goes a little deeper into games,” Baker said. “That’s why I say almost. He’s on the way. He’s getting better.”
While that's true, Latos is really no worse than any other established "Big-Game Boys." He has averaged 6.5 innings per start, which is better than Justin Verlander, Madison Bumgarner, Gio Gonzalez, Cole Hamels ,and RA Dickey. Adam Wainwright leads the majors with 7.38 innings per start. He's throwing real good this year.
Sean Marshall doesn't know when he'll be back (come back soon plz omg u dont even no)
He says he took about two weeks off from throwing and only started back again in the last few days. It could be another few weeks before he is ready to come off the DL, but dang heck, it can't come soon enough.
Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips are still the leading vote-getters at their respective positions
Votto has what seems to be a commanding lead over Paul Goldschmidt, while Mr. BeePers has a decent lead over Marco Scutaro. It would be cool if the two of them start the All-Star Game. That would be cool.
Jay Bruce made one dang of a catch on Saturday night
CTrent has a gif for you.
andromache ruminates on Ryan Hanigan's uni-cycle
and it's pretty cool. But what about catcher interference?
After getting blown out twice by the Cardinals over the weekend
it's easy to get all sugared up at Dusty. But this is a legitimate gripe, I think. Chapman pitched a spotless ninth inning last night, but was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the top of the tenth. “We were hoping Chapman could go two,” Baker said. “But we couldn’t chance that. He was the third hitter the next inning."
Of course, Chapman would not have been the third hitter in the tenth if Dusty had only used the double-switch to bring him into the game. I can't say that's the decision that predicated the Cardinals' seven-run 'splosion in the tenth, but it stands to reason that Chapman could have had a better go of it than Hoover and Partch.