When yesterday’s Reds starting lineup was published, it stirred up quite a bit of controversy on Twitter. Several fans were questioning Dusty Baker’s batting order, particularly at the top of the order. In fact, it has been a hot topic for most of the season.

I have no problem with fans second-guessing the manager. I have done it myself. There also is nothing wrong with countering that criticism by supporting Baker’s decisions. Besides, we all have the same goal: to see the Reds win!

With Orlando Cabrera going on the disabled list (strained left oblique) and Joey Votto out with a sprained wrist, Baker was forced to alter his lineup. Rather than shuffle the entire batting order, he inserted Paul Janish and Miguel Cairo into the slots regularly occupied by Cabrera and Votto.

The two-hole hitter usually sees a lot of fastballs. If the lead-off man is able to reach base, the pitcher wants to give the catcher the best opportunity to throw, should he attempt to steal. Also, the three-hole is generally reserved for the club’s best hitter. You certainly don’t want to take the chance of walking the two-hole and having runners on base when the three-hole comes to the plate.

I am not going to debate last night’s lineup. Hopefully, Votto will be back tonight and everything will be right in the world. However, I do have a thought I would like to share regarding the batting order.

How about Jay Bruce in the two-hole?

Bruce is a good fastball hitter. He strikes out a lot, but the lack of plate discipline he sometimes shows could be improved by seeing better pitches. Bruce is tied with Scott Rolen for third on the team with 22 doubles. If the lead-off man is able to reach base, a double would score him more often than not.

I don’t worry at all about him and Votto both being left-handed and hitting back-to-back. Votto can hit anyone, anywhere and anytime.

Just a thought…

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