Dickerson starting, Inbox open

I am planning on doing another edition of the Reds Inbox (formerly called the Mailbag) for Monday. Please click on the comments section below this post to send a question that might be included. You can also e-mail them to mark.sheldon@mlb.com. Just put ‘Inbox’ in the subject area.

The Reds lineup is out and Willy Taveras is not leading off or playing today. It’s Chris Dickerson in the top spot and playing center field.

Dickerson 8
Hairston 5
Phillips 4
Nix 7
Hernandez 3
Bruce 9
Gonzalez 6
Hanigan 2
Arroyo 1

Reds manager Dusty Baker said it won’t be an extended break for Taveras, who is on a 1-for-45 clip at the plate and 8-for-94 (.085) over the last 23 games. The White Sox have lefty starters the next two games.

Baker revealed some displeasure with the second-guessing of his decision to stick with Taveras.

“I know he’s struggling but we tend to jump from one guy to the next guy on who we want to play or who is not playing or whatever,” Baker said. “First everybody wanted [Laynce] Nix to play instead of Dickerson or somebody instead of somebody else. They want Dickerson instead of Taveras. It’s a long season. You have to go with a guy’s track record too.

“Quite honestly, I’m getting a little tired of justifying who I play and how long and when. We’re doing what we can do right now.”

Speaking of Laynce Nix, this weekend he will get to play against his younger brother Jayson Nix, a bench player for Chicago.

“I don’t really get excited about too much but getting to play against him and see him in uniform, it will be good to spend some time with him,” the older Nix said. “It will be fun.”

Joey Votto, who went 0-for-2 for Class A Sarasota on Thursday, got six at-bats during an extended spring intraquad game in Sarasota today. It was believed he had two hits.

What’s the plan for Votto ahead? Sarasota is off for the Florida State League All-Star game.

“We’ll have to talk with him and see,” general manager Walt Jocketty said. “He’ll probably be out on a rehab for a while. He’ll probably move up a level or two.”

It’s highly possible that Votto could go to Double-A Carolina, who will be at home for five games starting on Monday. Class A Dayton is home this weekend but then breaks next week for the Midwest League All-Star game.

“I think he’s leaving today to go to Dayton,” Baker said.

Carolina seems even more viable a stop now that first baseman and 2008 top draft pick Yonder Alonso broke the hamate bone in his right hand. It happened while swinging at a pitch in the nightcap of a doubleheader at Tennessee. He is on Carolina’s disabled list.

“We’ll probably bring him here to be looked at. That usually requires surgery  but I haven’t heard for sure yet.”

UPDATE at 7:05 p.m.: Alex Gonzalez was a late scratch because of right elbow tightness. Paul Janish started at shortstop and batted eighth. Ryan Hanigan was moved up to bat seventh.

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Good to see Dickerson in the lineup.
Here’s a question for your inbox: For the Reds alone, what is the record for most rain delays in one season?

Sorry, here’s the other info:
Jeff Ford, Jeffersonville, Indiana

I agree with Dusty about his lineups…the past two years, ignorant fans complaining about things they do not understand.

Here is a question for the Inbox, Mark:

Knowing the Reds, a ‘Matt Holliday’ type player is most likely out of the question, with how much the A’s would want in return, as well as him becoming a free-agent after this season. But does Walt still inquire on these type of players, or does he just figure that the price is too steep? Maybe hearing that the Reds at least ask about these players would settle the distress about the team trying to build a winner.

Brady J. Miller City, Ohio.

Great work Mark, I enjoy reading your columns/blogs!

Woah! Too many breaks….sorry!

I believe Dusty stays with non-all star talent too long hoping they figure it out. Only BP, Votto, and Ramon have enough of a good track record to be treated to a 0-42 skid w/o an extended benching.

Question: Do the Reds move a SP from either from the Reds or elsewhere before the trade deadline? It seems Homer and Owings both deserve a chance to pitch for the club right now.

I know one thing every game Taveras/Gonzalez start 1/2 in the lineup I’m not even going to bother watching. Arguable the best hitter in the game today is Alex Rodriguez right? Well his manager just announced today that he is going to be benched for two days because he just went 0 for 15! If Alex gets 2 straight days for that then my goodness Taveras should be send to AAA to figure out how to at least hit and run.

The Reds offense deserves criticism at every level. I’m not asking for Dusty’s head on a platter like some are but I think we need to get serious and maybe bring in an additional hitting instructor and maybe get Taveras, Gonzalez, Bruce, whoever else is batting below .240 to start taking more days off and start playing tee ball and keep them out of the daily lineup until they have consecutive days of quality hitting to earn thier position back. I just hope after this season Taveras, Gonzalez, Arroyo are no longer on this team. And to think we could have picked up Pedro for less than what we are paying Arroyo…. I’m sure he wouldn’t have an era over 5 this deep into the season.

If I had a job where I was suppose to say fix TV’s. If I couldn’t fix 1 in 45 I’d be fired or given a job like sweeping up after the techs that could fix em. Taveras and Gonzalez should be treated no differently!

Come on Dusty! Put the hot hand in! Let’s see more Gomes, Nix, Janish, Dickerson in that lineup!

wow! I liked todays lineup. Hopefully we’ll stay with this one for a few days. The top of the order finally got it done. Please oh please keep Gonzalez out of the lineup for a few days and let some of the younger guys play!
Maybe Dickerson should give Taveras some bunting lessons. He looked great out there today.

Question for the Inbox:

While I understand the Reds already have four outfielders on their roster, another bat is certainly a necessity if the Reds want to make the playoffs. Any rumors about the Reds going after a player like Matt Holiday?


Paul F.

(Inbox) Is it a viable option to place Taveras on waivers to see if there’s any interest, the same as they did with Lincoln? If he clears waivers can we send him down for a few weeks until he figures it out? Would he go? Is his contract guaranteed for next year? Why does Dusty play him? How many games over .500 are we without Taveras? Why does Taveras look lost at times when he plays? Why does Taveras swing at everything? Is he having girlfriend problems?

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