The Cincinnati Reds will have their captain and, without a doubt, best player return to the line up very, very soon. Of course that player is Joey Votto. He will return and will bat third and play first. Other than that, I don’t think that anything is set in stone (outside of the pitcher will bat 9th). The big problem that Dusty Baker will have is where to play Todd Frazier.
All Todd Frazier has done the season is bat .294, knock in 60, blast 18 homeruns and 21 doubles. He is the leading candidate in the NL for Rookie of the Year honors. More importantly is that during Votto’s absence, Frazier has been one of the three major reasons for their success. During the month of August he has a .348 BA, 6 HR and 23 RBI. He did this while playing 1st and 3rd in the field for the Reds.
Here is the situation. Baker is a very loyal manager. He loves having the veterans in the line-up, especially as the playoffs approach. That translates into Scott Rolen at 3rd and Todd Frazier as the odd man out. This, even though Rolen has struggled with his back and batting average all season. He now sits at .257 and has only appeared in 73 games.
Not that Baker would ever listen to me, but that won’t stop me from giving my opinion of what to do. I’d throw out the following lineup as my A lineup.
Brandon Phillips – 2nd
Zack Cozart – SS
Votto – 1st
Ryan Ludwick – LF
Jay Bruce – RF
Todd Frazier – CF (He can play any position and with Drew Stubbs as one of the weakest links at the plate, it just makes sense.)
Scott Rolen – 3rd (Todd Frazier can play here too, with Stubbs in CF and Rolen sitting.)
Ryan Hanigan – C
I realize that upsets the Cincinnati Reds applecart some, but both Phillips and Frazier are very flexible and can hit in either spot.
Finally, I would have not only Stubbs coming off the bench, but Xavier Paul and Chris Heisey playing in a number of games and situations. The one I would let go until the Reds can expand their roster is Miguel Cairo. Still not sure why they keep him around.
And for those of you who follow me and know my opnions on the Reds, bring up Billy Hamilton for pinch running situations.