Heisey starts

Since so many clamored for it, thought I’d headline it.

Reds lineup vs Pirates

Heisey 8
Renteria 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Cairo 5
Lewis 7
Hernandez 2
Cueto 1

A lot of people (and you know who you are) are harping about the lack of playing time for Chris Heisey. Today’s lineup probably doesn’t totally satisfy you because Heisey isn’t in left field. But the manager wanted to give Drew Stubbs a break.

“I’m going to need Drew all the way through Milwaukee (end of May, early June),” manager Dusty Baker said. Unless something happens, he’s not going to get a day off. We’re in a stretch of 20-straight games and 33 in 34 days, and this is May. He’s a racehorse. You can’t run those horses in the ground. I have to preserve him and his legs.”

As for the Heisey question that’s been asked and answered time and again, by all parties involved, here are some long-form quotes from Baker about how he uses Heisey and what his big picture thoughts about him:

“Everybody was screaming for Nix to play before. They were screaming for Dickerson to play and then they screamed for Gomes, how come Gomes isn’t playing every day? Then they were screaming about sending Stubbs out of here and they were screaming about sending Bruce out of here.”

“Every good basketball team has a sixth man. John Havlicek was a sixth man before he was a regular. He still has some things to learn – to me – hitting wise before he’s an everyday play, but he will be. He knows it. I told him. Sometimes you have to be that sixth man before you can be a fifth man.”

“Coming off the bench is hard to do and so very important. Who would you rather have come off the bench every day and be the secret weapon, Heisey or Gomes at this point? I’m trying to be patient waiting on Jonny. I know how he can carry the club. He’s putting a lot of pressure on himself being his option year. If he’s not playing some, he’s not going to get it at all. He’s the only guy I’ve got here that knows how to DH when we get to the American League, which is not easy to do.”

“Show me a lineup around that doesn’t have somebody in there that’s not productive in the lineup. There ain’t one around. We can look for what we ain’t doing. In the meantime, how many have we won now? That ain’t too bad. We’re trying to get better. We will. We’re not clicking on all cylinders yet. We’re getting there.”

“If you’ve noticed, Heisey stands by me every day during the National Anthem. If things weren’t cool, would he stand by me every day?”

8 Comments

People were clamoring for Heisey to start ahead of Jonny Gomes, who is hitting below .200 instead of ahead of Drew Stubbs, who is one of the top offensive players in MLB.

But Fred Lewis is starting in left. So where would Heisey start with Bruce, Stubbs, and Lewis in the lineup?
Curt

Dusty knows what he’s doing. I know I’d like to see Heisey more but know that he does better (for the team) when coming off the bench or in a late inning double switch b/c he faces the hard throwing relievers. I have no doubt that Chris will play everyday sometime in the near future but right now, Dusty is playing him smart.

Nobody clamored for Gomes to play everyday last year and the only reason they clamored for Nix was because Gomes was in. Making up stories doesn’t justify the moves. Gomes has a baseball card spanning several years. He has never hit RHP. We know what Gomes can do, and Heisey deserves an extended trial. Period!

Amen Dusty, amen. Shut up haters, just shut up.
Curt

Sorry, I know telling people to shut up makes me just as bad as them. So I take that back, but you have to realize there is more to baseball then just trying to put a guy in and taking a guy out. It’s not that easy. I like Heisey and hope he ends up being great, but right now, if he started in left every day, he’d be hitting .220, sorry but it’s true.
Curt

The Heisey situation is blown out of proportion IMO. People look at his decent average (and granted, he is better in LF than Gomes) and say he needs to play more because he’s a better player. But maybe his average is higher because Dusty knows the situations to put him in where Heisey will thrive. Take him out of those fastball-hitting situations, and maybe he doesn’t have as high of an average. Bottom line, we’re in FIRST place!!! We have great starting pitching, great defense, and a very good offense. What in the world are you complaining about, Reds fans? Have you forgotten what 3-5 years ago was like? There’s a reason Dusty is the manager and we can’t catch the ball when our kid throws it back to us.

I know that part of the appeal of a blog is the ability to comment and cirticize. But some folks drive me nuts criticizing Dusty for NOT playing the hot hand every night. He’s a former Manager of the Year winner (twice I believe), he has shaped a formerly lazy and uninspired team into a division winner last year and one that’s in first place this year. Anyone who says this team has won DESPITE Dusty Baker’s knowledge and influence is a blazing idiot. Let the man manage this team. He obviously knows a lot more than we do about the ins and outs of his players and how to put them in the position where they can succeed. Good grief guys! Enjoy being in first place and quit whining about lineups!

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