No sir, as I write this article, Stubbs has done very little to fortify his claim to that piece of land.
In games through Sunday (March 14), Stubbs has struck out seven times in 20 AB. That, friends is a 35 percent rate, and if he would do that through a full season, he would break Mark Reynolds MLB strikeout record.
Not the one he set in 2008, the one he broke it with last year.
He has 2H, 2R, 1HR, 2RBI and 3W to go with the 7K. His OBP is a dreary .217. That is not his bat saying,”look at me, I am the new leadoff batting, good hitting center-fielder.” That is more a defining ticket to sitting on the bench or riding back down to Louisville.
Dickerson has an OBP of .333 while batting .294, with 5H in 17 AB. He has also scored two runs and driven in three. In all fairness, Chris also has five strikeouts to go with the same number of hits. At least he is being somewhat productive.
I am not saying Stubbs is not a good player, he obviously is or he wouldn’t be here (apologies to Lincoln). I just think the consensus is that he is going to be leading off and playing center, end of story.
I don’t think the fair thing to do would be to let Dickerson start in left and still have Stubbs in center. Jonny Gomes is having a decent spring as well as Dickerson, hitting 2 HR in 18 AB, while batting .278.
Stubbs is a decent fielder as is Dickerson. Gomes isn’t going to win any Gold Gloves but has proven to be a power hitting addition to the Reds home run anemic team of late.
I know that it is too early in the spring to make any determinations. That is just my point. Any penciling of Stubbs into the starting lineup on opening day is premature at best.
Dickerson has, as much claim or perhaps more, than does Stubbs. If everything that is being said about Stubbs is based on his call-up last season, Dickerson would probably have him beat on that as well.
When Dickerson came up in 2008 he hit six HR in only 106 AB with 17 RBI and had an average of .304 with a .414 OBP. Stubbs numbers during his first trip up were eight HR and 17 RBI in 180 AB with a .267 average and an OBP of .323.
If the lineup had to be decided right now, it would most certainly be Gomes in left and Dickerson in center, with Jay Bruce , who is having an excellent spring batting .350 with one HR and two RBI, in right field.
Things may change and Stubbs may step up to his potential, but until then I wish people would not assume he is the Reds center fielder.
We all not what assume really means. Caesar Cliffius doesn’t want Stubbs to make an ass out of you and me.
How do you see it?
This article also appears in A Sports Moment