clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Did Adam Dunn Curse the Reds Left Fielders?

I have no justification for accusing Adam Dunn of witchcraft, though I have heard unconfirmed rumors that he spends the off-season with a secret Druid cult.  However, I am a bit suspicious that our left fielders could have been hexed because they've been flat out awful this year:

Reds 2009 Production by Position
as 2B .288 .347 .524 .871 130
as 1B .326 .427 .529 .957 125
as C .309 .379 .410 .789 117
as RF  .250 .326 .510 .836 108
as SS  .263 .312 .411 .723 101
as CF  .268 .326 .346 .672 79
as 3B  .205 .307 .324 .631 68
as LF  .209 .286 .346 .632 60

The production that the Reds have received from Left Field is the worst in the National League.  They are at the bottom of the league in batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage.  I was honestly a little surprised to see this when I looked it up.  I feel like Laynce Nix, Jerry Hairston Jr., and Jonny Gomes have performed well and Chris Dickerson is starting to come around.  But the weird thing is, they've all been doing their best at positions other than left field.  Here are the the four players' combined numbers in LF compared to all other plate appearances:

as LF 194 .214 .289 .329
as Other 205 .313 .291 .557

As we all know, most of this is just coincidental, but it is still surprising.  Dusty Baker has done a very good job of managing the platoon in LF, outside of the 20 PAs given to Darnell McDonald, of course.  Neither Nix (.154/.154/.231 vs LHP) nor Dickerson (.111/.333/.111) have faced many lefties, and Gomes has only faced righties out of necessity.  Yet somehow the offense from the actual left fielder has been a giant black hole.

Clearly I don't think we can expect such dismal production out of that spot all season, but I do believe the Reds should be concerned at such a lack of production from a key offensive position.  With Joey Votto out, it might make sense to start shopping around for some help either in LF or at 1B.  Having two sub-par (yes, Ramon Hernandez is sub-par at 1st base) positions, especially at key offensive positions, is not a recipe for winning baseball.  If at all possible, Walt Jocketty needs to try to find a good bat somewhere to fill those spots if the Reds want to stay in this race for long.

Another possibility to consider to is promoting someone from the Minor Leagues.  Right now there really isn't anybody in Louisville who would likely be a significant upgrade - Drew Stubbs hits like a center fielder - but the Reds could promote either Todd Frazier or Chris Heisey to Louisville and start getting them primed for a mid-summer call up if the Reds need them.  Both players are tearing the cover off of the ball in Carolina and moving them up now might give them a chance to get more easily acclimated to the big leagues if the need arises.  And with the production they've been getting out of left field, it may not take long for the need to arise.