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What Does Chris Heisey Have To Do to Get More Playing Time?

PHOENIX - AUGUST 18:  Chris Heisey #28 of the Cincinnati Reds lays down a RBI bunt single during the ninth inning of the Major League Baseball game  the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 18, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Michael HammonsCorrespondent IAugust 19, 2010

I love this guy.

To me, he is the definition of a true "gamer."  No true role has been defined for him.  He plays all over the outfield, is asked to do a variety of things, and never receives consistent playing time.

No complaining, either.  Probably a tough deal for a young guy used to playing everyday in the minors.

Instead, he just plays baseball and in the bit he has played, has put together a fine year.

The recent acquisition of Jim Edmonds complicates things, in terms of divvying up playing time.  For those keeping track at home, outfielders on the ballclub include the aforementioned Edmonds, Jonny Gomes, Laynce Nix, Drew Stubbs, Jay Bruce, and Heisey.

Bruce seems to be emerging from a long slump, his .298 average this month an indicator of that.  When he plays well and catches fire, the whole ballclub is that much better, so he looks to be a lock for the majority of time at right field the rest of the year.

Shifting over to center, Stubbs, who earlier looked to be a likely candidate to be benched, has stepped it up as well.  His speed and pop, when he's going right, are crucial elements for this ballclub.

Left field is where it gets bad.  Jonny Gomes has completely lost it, and it's not even just his approach at the plate.  He looks lost and distracted in the field as well.  And this is a guy who certainly cannot afford any sort of slippage in the outfield to begin with.

The argument that Gomes should start against lefties should go out the window.  He doesn't hit them anymore either.  I'm sorry, but Chris Heisey should get the majority of the playing time from here on out in left field.

With games currently being as important as they are right now, you have to go with your strengths.  Heisey is a better, more well rounded player than Gomes.  Can't worry about hurting egos.

It just seems like whenever Heisey steps on a baseball field, good things happen for the Reds.  His suicide squeeze last night against Arizona really showed what this ballclub was all about.  Get 'em on, get 'em over, and get 'em in.  No matter what it takes.

Regardless of what the Reds decide to do with Heisey, I think he will be a valuable contributor down the stretch.

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