If I was sitting at a Jazz club with Dusty Baker, and I was buying the drinks; here’s 10 things I would ask the skipper of Cincinnati Reds right now. Some of these might turn into a two for one type deal, but please bear with me:
1. What is your reasoning behind putting Paul Janish in the 2-hole? You realize Janish is an asset for his defense if he’s hitting 8th, but hitting 2nd you’re costing Joey Votto RBI chances on a nightly basis.
2. Why are you so reluctant to hit Jay Bruce 2nd or even in the clean-up spot, yet you have always been prone to letting Jonny Gomes hit in the clean-up spot (7 times last year, 7 times this year) and even as recently as this past Friday night, had Gomes hitting 2nd.
3. Do you realize that not putting lefties back to back in the lineup is a silly move (especially against a right-handed starting pitcher) because it is a match-up that might occur once over the course of a 9 inning ballgame, of which the game could already be decided by the point that we would even see a LOOGY out of the pen to face back to back lefties like Votto and Bruce.
4. Doesn’t Sam Lecure (3.18 ERA in 34 IP, 25 H, 8 BB) deserve a crack at the starting rotation over Mike Leake (5.70 ERA in 36.1, 37 H)? Be honest with me, the organization; and maybe even you to a point doesn’t want a first round pick like Leake to look like a failure. So you’re going to run him out there no matter what for the next several years regardless of guys that were unheralded flat out looking better?
5. Have you looked at Jay Bruce’s OPS against left-handed pitching the last year plus? Oh you have? Someone has referenced it, you say. Well why is it when someone does need to sit against a run of the mill left-hander, it’s the guy with the highest OPS of all your outfielders against left-handed pitching?
6. What does Yonder Alonso (5 HR, 23 RBI, .323/.387/.525 in AAA Louisville) have to do to get called up? There’s not a position for him? So you’re saying Jonny Gomes can play left field better than Alonso? Do you really believe that?
7. Be honest with me on this one: how much does Scott Rolen have left in the tank? Is he trying to hit back-side because he can’t turn on pitches anymore? At what point does a beautiful piece of hitting the other way become all a guy can do?
8. Billy Bray has filled the role of 2010 Arthur Rhodes, at least it appears. Can we just start making Aroldis Chapman a starter now? If not, why? Have you seen how the Yankees screwed up Joba Chamberlain? And lets be honest, Dusty; Chapman becoming a #1 starter is the only chance you’ve got at winning a short playoff series with a Philadelphia, a San Francisco or even a St. Louis. We don’t need a 7th inning guy who throws smoke. We need a #1 or at the very least a #2 starter.
9. Why the reliance on such small sample sizes in some cases; you know like yesterday you hit Janish 2nd in the order because he was 3 for 7 lifetime against Cole Hamels; but you ignore such large sample sizes when it suits you?
10. What is it with you and guys who defy logic and overall just hurt a ballclub? Every year you get a fascination with somebody who is the albatross around the neck of us winning games. Ken Griffey Jr., Corey Patterson, Wily Taveras, Jonny Gomes. I’ll give you Junior, because he was Junior; though he had no business hitting 3rd until the day he was traded from the Reds. But what the Hell is your deal with these guys. I mean, I am shocked you did not derail last season to play Gary Matthews Jr. more. That really must of killed you.
What are your questions for Reds manager, Dusty Baker?