Who Will Bat Lead-off For The 2010 Reds?
Point: If history is any guide, Dusty Baker will go with Drew Stubbs as lead-off hitter followed by Orlando Cabrera. This sounds good to me.
Counterpoint: Maybe, but that isn't going to help a run producing lineup. Together, they should punch up an on-base percentage of around .320.
P: I agree that an OBP of .320 isn't good but Stubbs can give the Reds some power at the top of the lineup.
CP: Stubbs was not a power threat in the minor leagues.
P: Yeah, but he was in college and showed big power when he was called up last year.
CP: The other thing he showed was that with the power came a lot of strikeouts.
P: He struck out a lot but he was green. That will surely improve.
CP: Yeah but 49 strikeouts in 180 at bats is a lot. Reds fans won't like the sound of that.
P: Nobody likes to watch a bunch of strikeouts but I suspect he'll improve.
CP: He seems to have had a nice start but that translates to over 150 strikeouts for a full season.
P: Not exactly what you want in a lead-off hitter.
CP: Isn't putting the guys that are good at getting on base at the top of the order a wise approach?
P: Yes, but last I checked, Pete Rose is gone.
CP: They don't need Rose. They have Chris Dickerson.
P: He seems to be prone to injuries.
CP: Dickerson's injuries weren't his fault. He performed well last year but was never consistently in the lineup.
P: Ok, but where is Dickerson going to play?
CP: He could play center field.
P: Stubbs pretty much has center field to himself. He is not an ideal lead-off man today but he has a higher ceiling than Dickerson. He is an elite fielder that will win gold gloves. Dickerson isn't in the same league as Stubbs defensively.
CP: I think you don't give Dickerson's defense the credit he deserves. He is as fast as Stubbs and is not much different in center field.
P: You are crazy if you think they are equal defensively. Dickerson misplayed a lot of balls last year.
CP: He misplayed a couple.
P: More than a couple and he strikes out just as much as Stubbs. Stubbs and Dickerson have that in common.
CP: Strikeouts aren't that big of a problem for either. The fans don't like it but they are just another out.
P: Let us not go into the strikeout argument.
CP: We don't have to. Dickerson has the .370 OBP that is unmatched on this team by guys not named Joey Votto.
P: I'm expecting Stubbs to improve in all areas. His OBP will not be .323 again.
CP: Perhaps but we know what Dickerson can do. He plays good defense and gets on base. He also bats left handed. The Reds need another lefty bat in the lineup.
P: I don't mind Dickerson in left field so much although typically you want more power from that spot and they have Jonny Gomes now.
CP: The Reds could go with Dickerson in left field and there is your lead-off hitter.
P: I don't mind Dickerson batting lead-off but not at the expense of Stubbs. Stubbs' defense is much better, he's younger, he won't have to be pulled when a lefty is brought in, and is much more durable. Ideally, your center fielder will play every day.
CP: I get it...You and the Reds agree on Stubbs. Dickerson has never gotten a chance, though.
P: For Dickerson to play regularly, he needs to stay healthy and cut down on strikeouts.
CP: I think he will do that.
P: I doubt he gets the chance anyway. Gomes or maybe Wladimir Balentien will get the at-bats in left field which leaves Dickerson on the bench.
CP: They may platoon him in left field or center field.
P: They might do that. Dickerson will get plenty of at-bats filling in for Gomes and Stubbs here and there. When he does, I suspect he won't be at the top of the order but you never know.
CP: Dickerson will be starting in center field if the AAA version of Stubbs shows up. It wouldn't shock anyone if Stubbs has trouble.
P: That won't happen. Stubbs is the real deal.
CP: Dusty Baker places no value in a high OBP. That is Dickerson's main asset so he will continue to be undervalued and frustrated.
P: He has that but he does not hit the ball with authority. For all of his strikeouts, you would think he could mix in some doubles and home runs.
CP: Dickerson may have seen his chance pass by when the Reds foolishly signed Willy Taveras last year.
P: This could be true.
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