As we approach the stretch run, in what has been a banner 2010 season thus far, much has been made of the struggles of Drew Stubbs and Jay Bruce, and how their trials and tribulations may affect the Reds chase for the postseason.

Oh, if I had a dollar for every Stubbs strikeout, or every time Bruce was badly fooled by offspeed stuff…

Seemingly lost in these struggles is the third man in that outfield, Jonny Gomes.  Because his at bats are frighteningly quick, we are not given much time to psychoanalyze him.

A few months ago, Gomes was arguably one of the most productive outfielders in the National League.  

He has fallen off since, and heading into Wednesday, sits at .268, with 13 home runs and 65 RBI’s. A .227 average post-all star break has knocked that average down from the .300 mark he was at.

Anyone who watches the Reds on a regular basis knows Gomes is all about.  

Patience isn’t one of his virtues. He is very aggressive at the plate, often hacking away very early in the count. That’s good if he manages to get a hold of something, but the majority of his at-bats lately have ended in pop-ups or strikeouts.

Additionally, Gomes is no maestro of the glove. I can think of numerous times this season where ill-advised decisions on his part have hurt the Reds.

It pains me a little bit to write this, as I think Gomes is one of the most likable guys on this team.  

Fact is, a few years ago, his baseball career was on serious life support.  Kudos to him for picking up the pieces. He put together a nice year last season, and got off to a good start this year.

Additionally, his mohawk and theatrics when up to bat have been major hits with the fans. 

It was a stoic, serious clubhouse when Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn were in charge. With guys like Gomes, everyone has loosened up a little bit. That has certainly played a role in what the Reds have managed to do.

However, I believe the time has come to platoon Gomes with Chris Dickerson, who has been tearing it up in the minors. Gomes may pick it back up, but with the Reds in such a tight race, that’s a chance they can’t take.

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