Cincinnati Reds: The Leadoff Spot Is a Huge Problem

Tyler DumaFeatured ColumnistMay 6, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 22:  Zack Cozart #2 of the Cincinnati Reds bats against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 22, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Reds defeated the Cubs 4-3.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Reds offense is starting to come around as of late. However, there's one spot in the lineup that has been, and may continue to be, a complete disaster. That's the leadoff spot.

These are the different batters who have occupied the leadoff spot, along with their stats in that lineup slot:

Drew Stubbs 28 1 3 0 0 1 3 11 .107 .138 .107
Zack Cozart 48 3 9 4 1 1 5 8 .188 .234 .318
Wilson Valdez 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Brandon Phillips 24 1 5 1 0 0 2 4 .208 .240 .250
Willie Harris 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000
Chris Heisey 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Total 114 5 17 5 1 1 10 23 .149 .193 .213

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 4:  Drew Stubbs #6 of the Cincinnati Reds rounds third base after hitting a home run in the seventh inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on May 4, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. All
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

These Reds players have combined to create one of the worst leadoff stat lines in the majors this year.

If not for Brandon Phillips and Zack Cozart, the Reds' leadoff position could easily be batting below .100 on the season.

Everybody knows how vital it is to get guys on base. In the past, the Reds have lived and died by the home run. However, you can't live and die by the solo home run.

In an offense that sports a very solid middle of the lineup, it's critical to have good production from your leadoff hitter.

Brandon Phillips is much better for the Reds when he's hitting fourth and giving protection to Joey Votto and Jay Bruce.

Willie Harris and Wilson Valdez haven't proven to be worth much of anything, in any lineup spot. Chris Heisey hasn't proven that he can be an everyday presence and he certainly doesn't fit the leadoff hitter mold with his free swinging nature.

Both Drew Stubbs and Cozart have had their best games hitting in the two spot, but one of them is going to have to step up and take control of the top of the order.

If not, the Reds offense will undoubtedly suffer from the continuance of the currently inept leadoff spot.