Bruce not assumed in RF

Some fans via emails and blog postings have wondered why it was automatically assumed that Jay Bruce was the starting right fielder in 2010.

Apparently, that’s not an assumption at all. Reds manager Dusty Baker stopped short of locking Bruce in when directly asked about it.

“It depends on how things go and how he looks,” Baker said. “It’s kind of a loaded question, No. 1. And No. 2, it’s a question that’s way down the line. In modern baseball, it seems like there’s no room for the bad year anymore. Sometimes you have a bad year. I don’t believe in the sophomore jinx necessarily but a sophomore adjustment. Hopefully he can make the junior adjustment next year. He’s really ahead of schedule.”

Bruce entered Wednesday batting just .210 with 18 homers, 46 RBIs and a .284 on-base percentage. Last season, he batted .255 with a .314 OBP. In the minors, he was a .308 hitter with a .366 OBP.

Baker hasn’t started Bruce in every game since he returned from a broken right wrist. This was only his fourth start (eighth game overall) since Sept. 14. 

After a year like this, Bruce wasn’t taking anything for granted next year either.

“I’m not assuming anything,” Bruce said on Wednesday. “I’m coming back next year and playing like and acting like it’s my job to lose. I feel like I’m going to come in with the confidence and be ready to play, wherever it may be. I expect myself to be the right fielder next year. But I also expect to earn it. I don’t think anything will be given to me.”

If anyone is reading and in the mood to comment, name your starting Reds outfield for 2010, and the reserves. There is no shortage of candidates in house, and in the minors.

I was talking to GM Walt Jocketty for future stories today. He happened to be in Goodyear, Ariz. at the Reds new complex for instructional league that began yesterday. Jocketty was almost giddy about the finished facility.

“It’s beautiful, absolutely gorgeous,” he said. “It’s spectacular. They really did a great job on it and everybody loves it.”

Besides state-of-art everything, the new place has more space — which was something Sarasota sorely lacked. It also has a full-service kitchen and dining room. Today, the meal was chicken cordon bleu.

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Gomes 7, Stubbs 8, Bruce 9. Nix and Dickerson rotate in.

Or lead off Dickerson and platoon Bruce and Gomes in right. But meantime, the one real accomplishment this season was to get Bailey ready to be a full-time major leaguer and maybe the #1 starter he was always porjected to be. No more ‘can he? … can’t he?’ ‘dump him! … keep him!’ He can, and he’s a keeper.

Gomes 7, Stubbs 8, Bruce 9. Rotate Dickerson in left and center with RHP and Valentien in right for LHP. I would keep Juan Francisco over WT.

I’ll take Gomes 7, Stubbs 8, and Dickerson 9.

Bruce and Nix rotate in. But for one reason or another, I think they’ll all get a good shot next year.

I’m just glad it seems that Dusty has finally seen the light on Taveras.

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