CINCINNATI,OH- With the recent injury to cleanup hitter Ryan Ludwick, the Cincinnati Reds have many decisions to make about how to format their new lineup. Chris Heisey is Ludwick’s replacement, but Heisey does not have the consistent power needed for the 4th spot in the order and Brandon Phillips seemed to like the cleanup spot just fine hitting a three run homer from on Wednesday night.
So then arises the question of- Who should replace Brandon Phillips in the second spot? Reds manager Dusty Baker tried Heisey there last night but I believe Heisey is more of a bottom of the order hitter and will not give the Reds the production they need in front of Joey Votto.
The best decision would be to put newly acquired Shin-Soo-Choo in the two-hole. This move would guarantee Joey Votto is hitting with more runners on base, since Choo has the second best average on the team.
Also, according to baseballreference.com the number two hitter in the order has on average fourteen more RBI a year. This means Choo, who is a better power hitter than Heisey, would be granted many more RBI opportunities. With Choo is the two-hole you would then either bat Heisey first or throw shortstop Zac Cozart into the lead-off spot.
Cozart has just enough speed and average to be an effective lead-off hitter and according to last year’s statistics Cozart is much more successful at the top of the order compared to the bottom.
Even though you hate to see the Reds lose a hitter like Ryan Ludwick, if Dusty Baker just makes a few simple adjustments the run production in Cincinnati should be just fine.
Vinny Carozza is a MLB/Cincinnati Reds writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @VinnyCarozza