Game 90: at MIL

Reds lineup vs. Brewers

Choo 8
Cozart 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Heisey 7
Hannahan 5
Hanigan 2
Cingrani 1

*The Reds enter the day 50-39 through 89 games and four games out of first place. Through 89 games in 2012, they were 50-39….and in first place by one game.

*In case you missed the Monday night notebook update to my story on Ryan Hanigan and Devin Mesoraco both hurting, Dusty Baker said that 3B Jack Hannahan is the emergency third catcher for the Reds.

*Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Jeff Francoeur has signed a Minor League deal with the Giants. Personally, I didn’t think Francoeur made sense for the Reds — at least on the field. The team could definitely use an infusion of veteran leadership — the kind that is missed from Ryan Ludwick as he continues to rehab from shoulder surgery. Ludwick’s bat and personality would be quite welcome, but the bat won’t be available until some time in August.


It seems like the question is really becoming whether they wait for Ludwick to come back and hope he can push them over the hump, or do they go try to get someone else? I like Lance McAlister’s idea about Aoki from Milwaukee (if they’d trade him). That would allow Choo or BP to hit #2 in front of Votto.

Interesting; Aoki is low cost, a lefty lead off hitter to replace Choo. Might make Hamilton a bit uncomfortable. He is hitting inconsistently month after month, but overall a success; he might just still be learning the MLB. Then again, he has a 1 1/2 season OBP of .360. He’d be inexpensive and won’t be a FA until 2018. Interesting. All depends on what he would cost to acquire, if he is acquirable.

One other note about Aoki I omitted…his weakest position is CF, yet he plays all 3.

Lance McAlister is a buffoon. As I refuse to listen to him anymore, did he add his stupid little “guffaw” while “discussing” this? Let me guess, he bragged about his Butler math and talked about his child in the same show. Lance is as “knowing” as any of us that post on message boards, Lance is a perfect example of “cutting back” in the radio industry as he has a lack of talent and depth and has a good commercial voice. As for the trade comment, who in the world would the Reds trade for Aoki? Do any of you follow baseball or are you reliant on Buster Olney and Lance McAlister for insight? The Reds add a leadoff hitter in Choo and now you two want to add another? Choo is not panning out as well as expected but that does not mean that you trade more players for ANOTHER leadoff hitter. This season stinks and is shaping up to be a major disappointment (so hope I am wrong). I remember so MANY fans calling for Homer’s head earlier in his career. Am I frustrated and mad at times with how this team / staff / coaches are performing: ABSOF%$#%^GREATLY!!! May I add, Votto or Bruce need to step up and become a DAMN LEADER!!! Brandon is not exempt from such criticisms. He has openly stated that he would rather play then watch the game from the dugout as he finds the game boring to watch. This team and the attitudes need a major overhaul.

You sir should be a baseball executive, or a radio station president, or maybe even ESPN’s president, because you clearly are smarter than everyone at ESPN, Clear Channel, and the Cincinnati Reds. Thanks for the useful and insightful commentary and discussion with the rest of us.

For what it’s worth, Lance is among the best radio guys I listen to. If you think he’s bad, use iHeart Radio to listen to some other cities sports talk radio for a little perspective on that. Start in Columbus and work your way to Cleveland. As for putting Aoki in the leadoff, you’re right, they signed Choo to be a leadoff guy, but previously in Cleveland he was the 2 or 3 hole guy, so moving him back in the order isn’t such an unusual thought. Lastly, if you think this season stinks, you must have had expectations of 81 sellouts at home, the team scoring over 1000 runs, and the team finishing 20 games ahead of the Cardinals. They have a similar record at this point compared to last year’s team and there is still 45% of the schedule remaining. A lot can change between now and then.

The problem is two fold; 1) we need an OBP of .325 + in the 2 hole, and 2) we need to start thinking about who is going to play CF next season. If Aoki is available at a decent price, and the Reds believe that they just can’t resign Choo, then I would sign Aoki and play the two for the remainder of the season batting them 1-2. Choo has batted up and down the lineup over his career, the 3 hole being his most common spot so moving him to 2nd ahead of Votto. Aoki has been a pure lead off hitter in his 2 seasons in the US and with a .372 OBP over those two seasons, he would do just fine. This move would be for the remainder of this season when Choo would sign elsewhere. Makes a great deal of sense to me as Cozart is a disability batting 2nd. We need more OBP in the 2 hole, plain and simple. Cozart’s .261 OBP is costing us R and costing us W. Votto’s 40 RBI in 406 PA is testament to this fact. Lastly, with Aoki and Choo batting ahead of Votto and Bruce, there would be less ‘pitching around’ players.

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