Shin-Soo Choo is in the midst of a career-best season, but he’s getting the night off.
Choo is replaced by rookie Derrick Robinson who will hit lead off and play center field.
Choo is hitting .303/.459/.539 with nine home runs and 19 RBI in 145 at-bats this season. However, he hasn’t fared well against lefty starters, who have struck him out in over 20% of his at-bats.
In 49 at-bats against lefties, Choo is hitting just .224, but has still managed an impressive .415 on-base percentage. Just one of his nine home runs this season have come against a lefty. The South Korean native is hitting just .243 against lefties – compared to .311 against righties – during his eight-year career.
Niese has hardly been dominant against left-handed hitters who are hitting .279 in 43 at-bats against him this season.
Meanwhile, Robinson will get just his second start of the season in center field. He has nine hits in 27 at-bats for the Reds this season and has proven to be a valuable pinch-hitter off the bench.
Choo is available tonight as a pinch-hitter and could be used in the late-innings should the situation call for it.
The Reds, who took the first game of the series 4-3 last night, send right-hander Mike Leake to the mound against Niese at 7:10 ET.