Cincinnati Reds: Is Drew Stubbs the Odd Man Out?

Scott L. HutchinsonCorrespondent IJuly 8, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 03:  Drew Stubbs #6 of the Cincinnati Reds takes his helmet off on his way to the dugout after striking out in the seventh inning as MLB home plate umpire Jeff Nelson #45 looks on during the MLB game at Dodger Stadium on July 3, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers defeated the Reds 3-1. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

When the Cincinnati Reds unveiled their 2012 Opening Day roster, there seemed to be one glaring question mark. With Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs, Chris Heisey and the newly-acquired Ryan Ludwick all on the depth chart, who would be the odd man out in the outfield?

At the time, the answer seemed obvious: Heisey.

Bruce was a no-brainer, Ludwick was a newly-signed veteran and Stubbs seemed to be overflowing with potential.

Today, however, the answer to that outfield riddle looks to be changing.

Bruce is an All-Star, Ludwick and Heisey are surging, and Stubbs in the midst of an absolutely nightmarish season.

While he has managed to steal a team-leading 17 bases, and has also racked up nine home runs through 66 games, Stubbs' .215 average and 74 strikeouts have made him a blatant weak link in the Cincinnati order.

Even more disconcerting for the former first-rounder is the fact that both Ryan Ludwick and Chris Heisey have flourished as of late, taking full advantage of their more limited playing time. After a rather dismal start, Ludwick has finally managed to salvage his season, finding his power stroke at the plate, while Heisey has begun to showcase consistency both at the plate and in the field.

While Stubbs isn't likely to be moved any time soon given his importance to the club in the speed department, it should be interesting to see how things unravel should the Reds manage land a big-time outfield bat at the trade deadline.

His potential is unquestionable, sure, but potential means nothing if it doesn't eventually result in production.