Bruce rested, Baker on Taveras

Geez…did you guys ever turn out for a running blog thread in the two days I was off — one whole response — from corbi11. I’m overwhelmed, really. I think that might have the equivilent of hearing crickets. Oh well. Let’s move forward.

Corbi11 asked about Jay Bruce in that comment he posted and sure enough, Bruce is getting a day off from manager Dusty Baker on Sunday. He’s on a 2-for-32 skid, also 6-for-52, and has his batting average down to .212 with a .300 on-base percentage.

“He told me I’m going to sit with him [in the dugout] a little bit and learn some stuff,” Bruce said. “I’m going to take it in. I’ll be ready for whatever task I’m given when it comes to that time.”

Baker is a fan of stacking rest days with scheduled off days, which was why Bruce got this day off.

“It’s tough on you mentally when you’re not getting hits and you’re used to getting hits,” Baker said. “He’s been the better the last few days with pitch selection and not chasing stuff.”

Baker didn’t think the 22-year-old Bruce was putting too much pressure on himself.

“I think they’re putting pressure on him with how they’re pitching him,” Baker said. “Putting pressure on yourself has nothing to do with what you’re swinging at. He would have imploded by now.”

Bruce worked a walk that led to the winning run in the 11th inning on Saturday. After being in a 1-2 count, he fouled off two pitches and drew the free pass with a full count. He’s also had a rash of warning track drives the past couple of weeks.

“Somebody told me once that will never even out – balls hit hard vs. hits that you get,” Bruce said. “I can’t get upset about it. All I can do is hit the ball hard and let it take it’s course. The bottom line is I’m not getting any hits lately. I expect a lot out of myself and it’s been a struggle lately. I think it will be good for me in the end.”

Reds lineup:

Hairston 3B
Dickerson CF
Phillips 2B
Nix RF
Hernandez 1B
Gomes LF
Gonzalez SS
Hanigan C
Arroyo P

More news:

3B Edwin Encarnacion is going for a MRI on Monday. His left wrist is still sore after several days of taking batting practice. Encarnacion has been on the DL since April 28 because of a chip fracture in his left wrist.

As well as Dickerson has played in center field lately, someone asked Baker if Willy Taveras’ job was still safe. Baker bristled at the notion.

“I get tired of hearing that. I really do,” Baker responded. “First the season started and it was ‘how come Dickerson isn’t playing every day?’ Then Nix was doing good and it was ‘how come Nix isn’t playing every day?’ Whoever is doing good, why aren’t they playing every day? It doesn’t work like that. We’re a team. Everybody is going to play.

“It was get Hairston out of there and play Rosales because he was hot when he came up. Now [Adam] Rosales is a little colder and I don’t hear as many people hollering about playing Rosales.

“You don’t shove Willy. Willy is my center fielder. You just have to feel fortunate you have somebody like Dickerson that can play when Willy is unable to play.”

Personally, I believe that Dickerson plays center field defensively better than Taveras. But I agree with Baker’s point. Fans go hot and cold on people week to week by how they’re hitting and you can’t run a team like that, especially during a long season when you have to get 25 players through 162 games.

Post-game:

Too many innings to write a new entry. The 14-inning loss by a 6-3 score was a day about chances. The Reds were 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 16 on base. For the three-game series, they were 3-for-31 (.097) with runners in scoring position and stranded 36 men on base over the series and batted .195 (23-for-118) as a team. 

Bruce did get a pinch-hit double in the 7th inning, by the way.

I will be covering the draft from Cincinnati, so no game updates. But I will be updating info here for the Draft, and on Twitter too.

Follow updates on Twitter at:

http://twitter.com/m_sheldon

9 Comments

Jay is going to be fine. I think people just gotta stop worrying about him so much. He’s 22. Players slump.

Then again, maybe I should stop worrying.

Jay is going to be fine. I think people just gotta stop worrying about him so much. He’s 22. Players slump.

Then again, maybe I should stop worrying.

Seems EE’s soreness and getting an MRI would validate Buster Olney’s mention earlier in the week that the Reds are looking for a third baseman.

I’d also like to see someone–anyone!–pin back the ears on Baker and Jocketty for continuously playing with a short-handed roster. The premise of sending out a position player (Castillo) in favor of keeping an extra pitcher because of the upcoming interleague games is preposterous.

They still had FIVE NL games to play before going to Kansas City, and last night’s bench of three was badly reflected in the managerial decisions Baker made late in the game and needing pinch-hitters and a runner.

I hope EE gets healthy again. While he has struggled at times, we need his bat in the lineup. While Rosales can flat out play some defense, his bat just can’t compare to EE. I agree with Mr. R about the short bench; if another guy goes down we’re pretty much ::insert explicative here::. Essentially, we’re playing with one catcher right now since Hernandez is our designated first baseman right now. My biggest beef at the moment is Mike Lincoln. I knew as soon as they showed him warming in the bullpen that the Cubs were going to get some runs in the 14th and they did. Baker has given this guy chance after chance and he can’t seem to turn things around. I know good relief pitching is hard to fine these days, but when you’ve given a guy months to get things right and he still is getting beat up every time he steps on the mound, it’s time to make a move. Designate him for assignment, and if he declines it, so be it.

Mark, just wanted to say thanks for all of your hard work and updates on the blog. It has become my go-to source for Reds news. As far as the lack of commentors, I think the fact that you have to sign up probably detracts people from participating. Keep the updates coming.

Indeed Bruce is 22 and I do believe he still has an upside. Bruce’s biggest problem is that with such a big swing there is no protection in the lineup in front of him or behind him. Phillips makes the best protection in the lineup so far this season.

I agree with what curtdavis910 said about the commentors.

I’m also finding myself being torn about what I think about Edwin and our hole at 3rd while he is out. Is there anything to them looking for a 3B? And I too wish they would handle the DL differently. Playing with 23 or so players has got to make Dusty’s job harder.

I really liked Dusty’s comments about fans wanting this guy or that guy in or out of the line up. I think there’s a lot more to deciding who should play than what a guy has done in the last week or two. Team chemistry and the psyche of the individual players are easy things to screw up. So far, I’ve really enjoyed his managerial style.

I can’t wait to get Edwin and Joey back so that we can return to taking two out of every three again. Get well soon, guys!

Baseball is about getting a little offense at the right time. I agree with Dusty, He needs to play everyone and know when to play them. but, I feel he is playing with a short deck. They are losing too many winable games. Make the move now(for a consistant RH bat) and you will be stronger when the players who are struggling or injury are back.

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