Bruce batting second
Reds manager Bryan Price hasn’t been afraid to juggle the lineup to find a spark this season. With the team losing eight of nine and several players not hitting well, he made another change. Right fielder Jay Bruce, struggling most of all during the season, is batting second.
It is the 82nd different lineup Price has written this season (not counting the pitcher’s spot). Bruce hasn’t batted second since doing it six times in 2011. He did it 15 times in 2008 as a rookie and a handful of times in between 2009-10.
“I think it’s no secret that personally, I’ve been struggling, and as a team, offensively, we haven’t been doing so well, so shaking it up a little bit can’t hurt,” Bruce said. “As Bryan said, when you’re put into a different spot in the order you don’t change your approach to hitting, you just go up there with the same approach and you really try to focus on what makes you successful and don’t get tentative and don’t get indecisive. You just keep moving forward. It hasn’t been a pretty year for me, but there are no excuses. I expect to do better and you can’t stay in a place of the past; you have to continue to move forward and I look forward to today because the opportunity to turn it around is there for me to take and I look forward to doing that.”
Bruce wasn’t given advance word of the change in the order. It could benefit him in getting more fastballs, and could benefit leadoff hitter Billy Hamilton if defenses employ a shift for Bruce.
“But I can imagine that the way teams focus on Billy, it’s definitely something that’s noticed. I’ll be ready, Pitch One,” Bruce said. “If they are shifting over too much, [Hamilton] can take two bases on a steal; he has the best opportunity of anybody out there.”