Below is an email we got from Kevin:
I know I may be late to this party but I thought I would toss in my two cents on the lineup discussion. I think the lineup should be as follows:
1. Zack Cozart
2. Brandon Phillips
3. Joey Votto
4. Scott Rolen
5. Jay Bruce
6. Drew Stubbs
7. Ryan Ludwick
8. Hanigan or Mesoraco
Now obviously this could change depending on how Cozart and Mesoraco do. More importantly, I say keep Stubbs down in the lineup and Bruce out of the clean up spot. Maybe it was me, but it just seemed that when Bruce was tagging the ball last May he was comfortable and in a position where pressure wasn”t getting to him. He also happened to be batting in the #5 spot. When Dusty put Bruce in the #4 spot is about the time when he started struggling.
It seems the same way for Stubbs. Again, maybe it”s just me, but Stubbs had a really good year in 2010 when he was batting in the #6 spot. Being a lead off hitter takes a special kind of mentality. You have to want to do it is first and foremost at the top of the list of requirements for that mentality. Stubbs doesn”t give me the impression he wants to be the lead-off hitter. He just looks tense and acts like he”s doing too much thinking and not enough reacting to the pitch being thrown. Put him in the #6 spot and leave him be.
Which leads to Bruce. I”m not a big subscriber to the theory that a hitter in the 5 hole should be moved up if he”s mashing the ball all over the ballpark. I believe that if a player, especially a young player, is hitting well then leave him in the slot you have him in. With younger players, if you make them think too much they”ll go through prolonged slumps. Moving a player up in the order, while it gives said players more opportunities, can also create more stress for that player if he”s not prepared to handle the increased responsibility that comes with being a more focal point of the offense. With increased pressure a player can try TOO hard which can lead to a player not seeing the ball well which leads to guessing which leads to KOs or popups because they”re not squaring on the ball.
Kevin (West Chester, OH)
P.S.- To all Reds fans who aren”t members of the Reds Hall of Fame, I urge you to visit at least once and explore the team”s history that is offered by them. It”s a total blast and you”ll love some of the items they have displayed. Thanks again.