Tag: Laynce Nix

Cincinnati Reds OF Jay Bruce Essential for Postseason Success

All hail the Jay Bruce express! Hop on the bandwagon now, because it’s filling up quick.
Bruce has been up-and-down all season long for the Reds…shoot, for his whole career. Yet the offense had never gone through an extended lull this season until Bruce went down.
The Reds offense had become stale over the past two weeks. Having two-and-a-half healthy outfielders will do that to a team (Chris Heisey had been playing banged up).
Bruce strained his right side in batting practice 12 games ago. Getting hurt in BP has to be one of the more disappointing ways to get hurt—especially in a playoff chase.
So the Reds had to labor through 12 games with nobody to replace Heisey, Jonny Gomes, and Drew Stubbs. Jim Edmonds and Laynce Nix are still recovering from injuries as well.
The Reds went 5-7 in Bruce’s absence.
He’s back now and came through in a big way Monday night. He belted a home run in his first at-bat since the injury, and added another one. He finished 3-4 with two HR and four RBI. Rust…what rust?
He picked up right where he left off prior to his injury. In the last four games before hurting his side, Bruce hit five homers and drove in eight runs.
After hitting a frightful .200 in the month of July, Bruuuuce has raised his average 24 points to .278 since then. He is beginning to hit lefties better and has really cut down on his strikeouts.
Before the All-Star game, Bruce whiffed 83 times. Since the break he has cut that number down to 36. He is getting much better at adjusting the big loop he has in his swing and it has helped his K rate immensely.
For the season Bruce is hitting .278 with 20 home runs and 61 RBI with a .346 OBP.
The time off might have given Bruce a chance to rest mentally.
“It helped me be more relaxed. That’s the biggest thing about hitting. You need to be relaxed up there. I guess that’s how I’m supposed to feel all the time. Hopefully I can feel that, know what it’s like and repeat it.”
The thing people forget about Bruce is that the guy is just 23. He’s been in the majors for two-plus years now, but is still younger than the average rookie.
His defense has been phenomenal. The cannon of an arm has mowed down plenty of baserunners and his coverage is excellent. He is one of the best defensive right fielders in today’s game.
He currently has alternated between the fifth and sixth spots in the lineup. The numbers are quite similar for him. He provides excellent protection for fellow sluggers Scott Rolen and Gomes.  Having Bruce at the six-spot is a huge luxury for any team.
Funny thing is, Bruce has really excelled in the lead-off spot. Sure he may not have much speed and the sample size is small…but check the numbers: 7-12 (.583), 4 HR, 7 RBI, 1.583 slugging percentage.
I’m not saying it should be a permanent move, but those are some impressive numbers. And it’s not like Brandon Phillips and Orlando Cabrera are lighting up the stolen base column.
Regardless of where Bruce hits in the lineup, the Reds need him badly.
The rotation for the playoffs is up in the air and the bullpen has been less than stellar of late.
What is the best medicine for these aliments? An explosive offense. The Reds have one when everybody is healthy.
As we come down the home stretch of the baseball season, Reds fans need to cross their fingers that Jay Bruce stays healthy. He will be essential to finishing off the Cardinals and beyond for the Reds.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Cincinnati Reds: Hottest Team in Baseball, Don’t Tinker With Success

Since the dreadful series against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Reds have reeled off six-straight wins, sweeping both the Florida Marlins and now the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In doing this, they have become the hottest team in the major leagues.

They are currently 19 games over .500 and have their biggest lead of the season in the National League’s Central Division.

They aren’t beating people with smoke and mirrors, but with old fashioned, hard-nosed baseball. They have played two suicide squeezes to perfection in the last few games.

Many people are calling for the head of Jonny Gomes, why?

Even with his less-than-stellar play recently, he is still third on the team in RBI, just two behind Scott Rolen at 66. His average with RISP is still fourth in the entire league. That is his job—drive in runs, not just get on base. Everyone knew he was a defensive liability from game one.

I have watched him get at least three infield hits in the last few weeks. He hustles every play (did you read that Brandon?).

Their are a couple of quaint sayings that certainly would apply here, right now.

First—if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Simple, but true and very self-explanatory. You don’t have to be Einstein or even His Holiness Bill James to figure that out.

Second—dance with the one who ‘brung’ you. An adage with some Appalachian vernacular for your reading enjoyment. If Sadie brought you to the dance, don’t go off dancing with the new girl because she is showing a little more cleavage.

Maybe the second is not as eloquent as the first, or even as understandable. The point remains the same: If the food is fit for a king, don’t switch cooks.

All year long the substitutes have come through remarkably well. When someone goes down, another man steps up.

Miguel Cairo has been so valuable stepping in for Rolen or Joey Votto when he needed a day off.

Paul Janish filled in so well for Orlando Cabrera that the “O.C.” may have difficulty getting his job back when he crawls off the shelf.

Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Hanigan have spelled each other behind the plate admirably. Hats off to Corky Miller while he was up in place of Hanigan earlier in the campaign.

I have fought all year long against Coco Cordero being lifted as a closer. It was actually to my delight that Dusty Baker pulled him from a game recently, while Nick Masset effectively cleaned up his mess.

The fact remains that Coco is still the closer and round and round we go.

I have to say that Baker and Walt Jocketty have done a tremendous job juggling the talent—especially the pitchers this season. I believe we have seven or eight starters here and at Louisville that could start for many other MLB teams.

Until the wheels start wobbling like they are about to give out, keep the course steady.

The Reds appear to have one of the best teams in the National League. Please don’t tinker with success.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Cincinnati Reds’ Laynce Nix Deserves Nod Over Ice-Cold Jonny Gomes

The Cincinnati Reds offense has been nothing short of spectacular this season. But it could be even better with one simple tweak.
The line-up has been excellent—first in the N.L. with 602 runs to be exact. It’s been a major factor in the Reds’ ’10 success.
Joey Votto, Scott Rolen, and Brandon Phillips have been the chief contributors. Ramon Hernandez, Miguel Cairo, Jay Bruce, Chris Heisey and recently Paul Janish have been solid if not extremely steady. Drew Stubbs as been up and down but he does have more RBI (57) than Derek Jeter, Jason Heyward, Ryan Ludwick, Lance Berkman, Chipper Jones, Jason Bay, and Jose Reyes.
But there is one part of the line-up that hasn’t been producing for quite a while now. LF Jonny Gomes started the year in a platoon situation with Laynce Nix. As both players split time throughout the first two months.
Gomes blasted out of the gate as fast as a jackrabbit. He separated himself by hitting .364 with 22 RBI in the month of May. Manager Dusty Baker decided that was enough production to hand the reigns to Gomes for virtually every start since.
Since then Gomes has fallen off in a big way. He hit a mere .244 in June, followed by a .288 OBP and a .240 clip the next month—while starting all but three games in July.
In his last 54 games he’s hitting a miserable .222 with four home runs and 19 RBI. Since the All-Star break (31 games) he has hit .218 with two homers and six RBI. He is one for his last 19.
Do these numbers look like starter material? I haven’t even mentioned his dreadful defense that is amongst the worst for outfielders.
Yet it’s not as if Gomes isn’t valuable to the team. He is a great presence in the clubhouse and keeps the team’s energy at a high level. But let’s face it: Gomes is a career .245 hitter and the back of his baseball card is starting to show.
Enter Nix.
He had a tortoise-like slow start to the season, but has been great in limited action of late.
Pinch-hitting is as tough as it gets for baseball players. Sit for eight innings while trying to stay mentally ready, grab a bat—while having sat for three hours—face the other teams top relievers and deliver in the clutch.
Nix has made it look easy. He’s 18 for his last 37 with seven starts over that period of time. He has raised his average 60 points since mid-July to .291.
His defense isn’t gold glove caliber, but it’s much better than Gomes. Nix has a cannon for an arm and has made his fair share of run saving catches.
So the question remains…why does Dusty keep neglecting post-May Nix? He deserves to be playing more—especially with Gomes struggling so much.
The Reds need to give Nix a shot at playing everyday again and see what happens. Imagine how much better the Reds offense would be with a guy NOT hitting .218 since the break? Imagine a stronger left field defensively?
If Gomes is the hare than Nix is the tortoise. We all know who wins the race in the end.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress