Cabrera leading off

Reds Friday lineup vs. Cubs

Cabrera 6
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Gomes 7
Stubbs 8
Hernandez 2
Bailey 1

Dusty Baker foreshadowed change at the leadoff spot following Wednesday’s game. Drew Stubbs hasn’t gotten going with 30 strikeouts in 92 ABs, while batting .174.

Question of the day: Something had to be done, but what do you think of this move? Do you like Orlando Cabrera in the top spot? If not, who would be better among the in-house options?

Some quotes from the principals involved:

“It’s reassuring for me to know that even when things aren’t going your way, Dusty and those guys still have confidence in me to get back where I need to be. It’s illustrated by their moving me down a little bit, taking the pressure off like they did earlier. Hopefully, it will allow me to get it going again.” — Drew Stubbs, who met with Dusty Baker in the office today.

“We’ve been through this before. I need Stubbs’ defense in there. He’s the best center fielder I’ve got. Hopefully his offense comes around.” — Baker

“I don’t think it is [a big deal]. You only leadoff once in the first inning and that’s it. After that, everybody is the same. Hopefully, we keep winning. That’s the whole point of the situation – to change the lineup. We’re trying to get some people on base for the people behind us.” — Cabrera on leading off. He did 35 times last season 251 times for his career.

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I like it, I mean it’s the best choice right now. I think giving Nix a shot in center and leading off would be an option also. But when you really think about it, you are the leadoff hitter for one time during the game. It’s a very important spot in the lineup but not the most essential. To a Red’s fan it seems overly important because we haven’t had a guy with a good OB% in the leadoff spot for years and it kills us. Cabrera will do a good job and Stubbs might feel less pressure and put some good swings on the ball. Overall, I like the change, you aren’t really managing if you don’t fix things that are clearly broken.

I think it has to be an improvement, at least until we can get a real leadoff hitter. This gives us the experience at the top of the lineup and gives Stubbs some time to relax and improve his hitting skills lower in the order. Hopefully, now we can have an everday lineup for a while.

Could be worse, I guess. Cabrera and Phillips both need to get on base more to justify hitting that high in the lineup, in my opinion. Still, you’ve got to bat somebody up there, and the Reds don’t have a plethora of candidates to choose from. How about Phillips, Rolen, Votto, Bruce? Any chance Stubbs gets sent down to straighten himself out and Heisey takes over in CF? Heisey can’t be any worse than Stubbs has been so far.

Easy to say Stubbs should go down, but who would take his place? Not a lot of good hitting happening at Louisville. Heisey was the best choice.

Heisey, as a LF.

Cabrera’s OBP is barely above Stubbs. Cabrera has demonstrated one quality so far, driving in runs. Sooooo…now we have him batting #1?

At least Heisey playing LF, replacing Gomes defensively, would be an improvement in the field.

But Heisey and Janish remain on the bench.

I’m not sure it’s a “move”, but it’s a good thing to do. Real question is who are the other two outfielders to go with Bruce? I think they’re probably on the 40-man roster, but no one seems to be ready. Could Bruce go to center if Stubbs doesn’t emerge this year? I like Alonso coming up at 1st, and an outfield of Francisco, Bruce, and Votto. But not yet.

I think putting Helsey in CF for at least a week to let him get relaxed might be just what the doctor ordered. Remember when Sparky put in George Foster and gave him a chance to play, moving Rose to third base. That worked out pretty well though it took about 20games, or so,, to see results. Baker needs to give Helsey a fair chance, at least as fair as he did Stubbs. Stubbs might even learn something from watching the other guys play, like Bruce did last year. And that also seems to be working out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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