Bruce sits, for two games

Not only was Jay Bruce out of the lineup on Thursday, he’ll be missing from the starting lineup when the road trip moves to New York on Friday. Bruce is batting .209 and 0-for-his-last 12.

Manager Dusty Baker called Bruce into his office Thursday for a private, one-on-one meeting that lasted several minutes.

“I’m letting him clear his head, much like Jimmy Rollins over here and Magglio Ordonez with the Tigers, I thought I’d give him today and tomorrow to clear himself and study,” Baker said. “He’ll study our guys, who’s hitting and who’s not and why. He’ll study their guys like Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and different guys and see how they approach things and set up.”

Baker, who is an eternal optimist is trying make sure Bruce maintains his confidence which will be essential to climbing out of the hole.

“The big thing is the mindset and staying positive and just not getting too down,” Bruce said. “Mentally, sometimes it’s the toughest thing to keep your morale up. Confidence is a huge part of this game.”

Some people keep asking if Bruce should go to Triple-A and get his swing back. I’d be thinking that if he wasn’t do anything right at all on the field. But he’s still helping the team in other ways. His 10 outfield assists are tied for the Major League lead. His 18 homers lead the team. He’s also a smart guy and I believe he’ll find his way out of this. He’s not going to be a feast or famine type of hitter his whole career.

“I told him he didn’t get in it in a month and he won’t get out of it in a month,” Baker said. “It’s a slow steady process and you try to recall what your mindset was when you didn’t think anybody could get you out. You try to remove all doubt.”

Reds lineup:

Taveras 8
Dickerson 9
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Hernandez 2
Gomes 7
Encarnacion 5
Janish 6
Owings 1

Baker said he plans to change the rotation order after the All-Star break but the schedule remains in flux.

“We’re going to reset it but we haven’t decided exactly yet,” Baker said. “We don’t want anybody to be off for 10-12 days either.”

The Reds also signed RHP Kip Wells to a Minor League contract and assigned him to Triple-A Louisville. Wells was released by the Nationals on Monday and signed with the Reds organization on Tuesday.

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I think this is a good move. It’ll be important for Bruce to start off hot after the All-Star break, and this may help. Like you, I don’t think sending him to AAA would do anything either.

I agree with this move as well. I would of wished that he could have sat for both the cardinals and phillies games and let him take notes on what quality hitters look like. The Reds are moving in the wrong direction. Ironic that once they get the hitters back in the lineup (Votto and Encarnacion) that the pitching turns to a horror show. When we are pitching good we aren’t hitting and when we are hitting our pitching in horrendous. My optimism for this year has waned I just hope that the Reds make some sincere positive changes instead of picking up the worst team in baseball’s discards (the signing of Wells).
I think I’ll start going to Louisville home games this year and save myself the heartache of watching my beloved Reds stink so badly.

“I think I’ll start going to Louisville home games this year”
Dude… where do you live? I think we live fairly close to one another…

I live in Walton. It is so frustrating watching this team play. We have talent but that talent for whatever reason has stopped meshing together. I hope Votto isn’t getting the blame from locals. I think that the whole chemistry aspect is controlled by the Manager and he is starting to lose it.

Oh… I have no idea where Walton is. I’m guessing that’s in Kentucky somewhere?
And yeah, you’re right. Things have been rather frustrating. But remember, baseball is a game of tomorrows…

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