David Bell is new to managing in the Major Leagues. He’s new to the Cincinnati Reds organization. And as such, he’s answering a whole lot of questions about a whole lot of things. One of those things is what his ideal lineup would be, though he’s not yet naming names anywhere. C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic wrote up a piece on Thursday about what Bell said about what he likes at various spots in the lineup, and how The Book really got him to thinking about the game of baseball a bit differently. I don’t want to dive in too much onto what Trent wrote, or really too much on what David Bell favors.

What I want to talk about today is what an ideal lineup for the Cincinnati Reds would be. That’s a difficult question to answer on it’s own because we don’t really know who is going to get the job in center field. And we don’t really know how much tinkering there will be with the outfield playing time. With guys like Scooter Gennett, Jesse Winker, and Scott Schebler all having various questions about their ability to hit left-handed pitching, and having right-handed hitting options to replace them in the line up – there probably won’t even be a true “every day lineup”.

When I think about spots in the lineup I have some general ideas of what makes sense, and where. In the spots 1-5 I want all five of the best hitters on the team batting. The player with the least amount of power among those five is the guy I want hitting leadoff. Let him get on base for the guys with more power to drive him in. Bunch together the best guys and give them the most plate appearances.

Speed is something that isn’t nearly as useful at the top of the lineup as it is at the bottom of the lineup. Speed helps you get around the bases, yes. But when you are hitting in front of the best hitters who also have power, your speed isn’t as useful as when you are hitting in front of guys without power and that speed actually helps you get that extra base. I also buy into the idea of batting your pitcher 8th and a regular 9th. While it’s harmful to the lineup the first time through, it helps the lineup every subsequent time through.

There’s a fantastic tool that is out there that uses all kinds of fun math to determine what the best and worst lineup would be among a group of 9 players. Using the 2019 Cincinnati Reds ZiPS projections for the players I believe right now will be the most likely “regular” lineup, here’s the lineup that is deemed as the one that would produce the most runs:

  1. Joey Votto – 1B
  2. Eugenio Suarez – 3B
  3. Nick Senzel – CF
  4. Yasiel Puig – RF
  5. Jesse Winker – LF
  6. Scooter Gennett – 2B
  7. Jose Peraza – SS
  8. Starting Pitcher
  9. Tucker Barnhart – C

That is not the lineup that I would run out there. And I really don’t believe that it’s the lineup that the Reds will run out there, either. But the math says that’s the one that would produce the most runs. For fun, here’s the lineup that would produce the least amount of runs:

  1. Starting Pitcher
  2. Jose Peraza – SS
  3. Eugenio Suarez – 3B
  4. Tucker Barnhart – C
  5. Scooter Gennett – 2B
  6. Jesse Winker – LF
  7. Nick Senzel – CF
  8. Joey Votto – 1B
  9. Yasiel Puig – RF

The difference between those two lineups over the course of 162 games would be 115 runs scored. That’s worth 11-12 wins over the course of the season. That’s also a lineup that we aren’t going to see, ever.

Running with the assumption that Nick Senzel is going to be the center fielder most of the year and on the team for at least the overwhelming majority of the season, here’s what I would do when it comes to managing the lineup.

I would have two lineups. One would be for when the Reds face a right-handed starter and one for when they face a left-handed starter. First, it will help alleviate the playing time among the outfielders. Second, it’ll probably produce well on a daily basis.

Against Right-Handed Starters here’s the lineup I would run out there:

  1. Jesse Winker – LF
  2. Joey Votto – 1B
  3. Eugenio Suarez – 3B
  4. Scooter Gennett – 2B
  5. Yasiel Puig – RF
  6. Nick Senzel – CF
  7. Tucker Barnhart – C
  8. Pitcher
  9. Jose Peraza – SS

Against Left-Handed Starters here’s the lineup I would run out there:

  1. Nick Senzel – 2B
  2. Joey Votto – 1B
  3. Eugenio Suarez – 3B
  4. Matt Kemp – RF
  5. Yasiel Puig – CF
  6. Jose Peraza – SS
  7. Jesse Winker – LF
  8. Pitcher
  9. Curt Casali – C

Of course there would be some wiggle room with playing time. I’m definitely not sitting Scott Schebler all year. Some days he could play center, left, or right field. With the catcher, some days Tucker Barnhart may need a day off regardless of who is pitching for the other team. And maybe there will be a “personal catcher” situation, and that’s more important than the hitter aspect of the catching situation, too.

That’s how I would handle things. As noted, there’s wiggle room in there, for sure. But those two lineups would be the preferred preference most days. What about you? How does your lineup, or lineups break down?

About The Author

Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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71 Responses

  1. Simon Cowell

    Let me get this straight. Nick Senzel hasnt played one mlb game and he is already our #3 hitter? Id bat him 8 until he proves himself.

    • Doug Gray

      If the projections for him via ZiPS are accurate (along with the ones for everyone else), then yes.

      Hitting him 8th to prove himself is stupid. You hit him 8th if you have no faith at all that he can hit. Maybe you hit him 6th to “prove himself”. You don’t hit him 8th.

      • Simon Cowell

        yeah … no. that message tells the other batters that have proven their value not speculated that they aren’t as good as a guy who has never suited up. This is where prospect evaluation becomes absurd. Did Joey Votto but #3 in the order his first day in the majors? Even if he did I don’t seriously that he was ordained the third best hitter on the team prior to having never played a day.

      • Brian

        Hitting the pitcher behind Winker is a real good way to make sure Winker gets no pitches to hit all year. Hitting the pitcher 8th only makes sense if you have speed 9th. And not peraza 20-25 steals a year speed. Something like 2014-2017 Hamilton speed, merrifield speed or prime Jose Reyes speed. The only reason you do that is because the pitcher’s main function is a sac bunt and speed can steal that bag anyway so it’s wasteful. It makes considerably less sense batting him before casali. You’re just giving your worst hitter more at bats.

      • Stock

        Also hitting 8th takes the pressure off him. He does not feel he is there to carry the team.

    • Michael Smith

      @Simon thank goodness you dont make the lineup. Dunn, votto, Bruce did not start at 8th hole and not should senzel

    • Wes

      I’m w ya Simon. If/when senzel is ready I may even bat him 9th to lead back into the lineup. Doesn’t have to be all season but let him acclimate w no pressure. If it’s stupid- then 1/2 the managers in bigs are stupid bc u see it w top prospects all the time

      • andybado

        I don’t think I’ve ever seen that on a team that’s not loaded AND in the AL.

      • Earmbrister

        Ok Wes. Decided not to comment on Simon’s posts, only to come across yours.

        You’d have Senzel bat NINTH, behind the pitcher and our worst batters in Peraza and Barnhardt?

        Next.

    • IndyRedsFan

      Simon,

      I think you missed the fact that the lineup showing Senzel batting 3rd is the one that is based on a numerical model and ZIPS projections. The model doesn’t take into account service time, or what a player has “earned”.

      I don’t expect to see Senzel batting 3rd a lot. I also don’t expect to seeing him batting 8th ever. He’ll be slotted in at 1,2 or 6.

      My lineup to start the season is….

      Winker
      Votto
      Suarez
      Puig
      Gennett
      Senzel
      Barnhart
      Pitcher
      Peraza

      Obviously, I’m not concerned about a lack of speed at the top of the lineup.

      At some point, I could go with Senzel 1, Winker 5 and Gennet 6.

  2. Datdudejs

    Puig hits right handed hitters quite a bit better then lefties. That doesn’t seem to be something people know, as I’ve seen a lot of lineup ideas platooning our outfielders

    • Doug Gray

      He does. But he still hits lefties better than the lefty options hit lefties.

      • Stock

        Doug, the data surely does supports Datdude’s statement. He is on target here. Not sure how you bench Gennett and Schebler over Puig. Not only have Gennett and Schebler been better but they have been much better. If you are going to start your best hitters Puig is on the bench vs. LHSP. Datdude is absolutely right. Puig is more like Billy Hamilton if a LHP is on the mound.
        OPS vs. LHP:
        Puig 2017 – .592, 2018 – .628
        Schebler 2017 .783, 2018 – .789
        Gennett 2017 .691, 2018 – .744
        Winker 2017 – MiLB 2018 – .690
        Votto 2017 – .980, 2018 – .758
        Schebler beats Puig by .200 in 2017 and .150 in 2018
        Gennett beats Puig by .100 in 2017 and .125 in 2018
        Winker beats Puig by .075 in 2018
        Votto beats Puig by .400 in 2017 and .150 in 2018

      • andybado

        @Stock, historically Puig is better, though.

        Puig has a 110 career wRC+ against lefties.
        Schebler has a 96 career wRC+ against lefties.
        Gennett’s is 67!

        I think we’ll see a bounce back this year for Puig against lefties from his lows the last 2 years. As a right-handed hitter he should hit lefties much better than he has the last couple years.

      • Stock

        Andy Bado, if you consider Gennett’s Milwaukee stats relevant we should DFA Gennett because his over RC+ for his career is less than Derek Dietrich. Gennett is not the same player today as he was in Milwaukee. In Milwaukee Gennett had – RC+ vs. LHP his first three year. Last year he had a RC+ of 107 vs. LHP. I tend to believe the 107 is a better indicator of where Gennett is today.

        If we go on career stats then Kemp should play everyday.

        I think Puig should play everyday. I think Winker should play everyday. I think Gennett, Votto and Suarez should play everyday. But I also think Schebler should play everyday. I have no problem leaving Senzel in Louisville until someone is traded or lands on the DL.

  3. Bill

    I’d start with:

    Winker LF
    Suarez 3B
    Votto 1B
    Puig RF
    Gennett 2B
    Schebler CF
    Peraza SS
    Barnhart C
    Pitcher

    But I think there are several good options for constructing the lineup this year. Key is putting the high OBP guys (Winker, Votto, Suarez, Senzel) at the top, just in front of Gennett and Puig and the less scary hitters towards the bottom (Schebler, Peraza, Barnhart).

    It’s hard to believe the models show an advantage to batting the pitcher 8th vice 9th. I would think over a 162-game season that the extra at bats would negate that advantage, but that’s why we do actual analysis. Peraza would really fit the 9 spot well.

    With Kemp, Dietrech and either Senzel or Schebler available on the bench, I agree we may not see a static lineup, but rather a very fluid approach where matchups are used and starters get scheduled days off to keep everyone strong over the grueling 162-game schedule.

  4. Stock

    Here is why I don’t mind keeping Senzel in the minors a bit longer than most.

    Vs. RHP you can not bench Votto, Puig, Winker or Gennett.

    1. LF – Winker
    2. 1B – Votto
    3. 3B – Suarez (you can’t bat 4 LH in a row)
    4. RF – Puig
    5. 2B – Gennett
    6. CF – Schebler
    7. SS – Peraza
    8. C – Barnhart

    Senzel would get starts in place of Schebler at times.

    vs. LHP

    1. SS – Peraza
    2. 1B – Votto
    3. 3B – Suarez (you can’t bat 4 LH in a row)
    4. RF – Schebler
    5. CF – Senzel
    6. C – Casali
    7. 2B – Gennett
    8. LF – Kemp

    Not sure why you would start Puig over Gennett vs. LHP. Puig has been platooned in LA for a reason. He destroys RHP but struggles vs. LHP.

    This is why the Reds need to work out another trade. Too many bats. I know you can never have too many. But Senzel is not an everyday player on this team. Puig is not an everyday player on this team. Winker is not an everyday player on this team. All are a shame.

    • CP

      Stock I like your line-up vs RHP (only if Senzel is held back), but I differ in my thoughts vs LHP’s and your sentiment that Senzel, Puig, and Winker are not everyday players.

      Winker: OPS: 836 and OPS+: 124
      Puig: OPS 820 and OPS+ 120

      Both those numbers place them well above average. Puig is even a better than average defender (probably the best RF we have on the team). Winker has a very real chance of getting on base 40% of the time he comes to the plate. I’m not sure how many baseball players did that last year, but I bet they were almost exclusively starters. Senzel we don’t have numbers on yet for sure, and it is just a projection, but the consensus isn’t even close. He is and will be a starter caliber player.

      • Stock

        CP,

        The splits say bench Puig vs. LHSP. That is what the Dodgers have done the last two years.

        OPS vs. LHP:

        Puig 2017 – .592, 2018 – .628
        Schebler 2017 .783, 2018 – .789
        Gennett .691/.744
        Kemp .684/.828
        Winker MiLB/.690
        Votto .989/.758
        Senzel unknown but should be about .800

        Two of these player are going to be on the bench. Not Senzel and Kemp because they are RH and should start vs. LHP. Not Votto because he is a stud even against LHP. Schebler is pretty good historically vs. LHP so you want him in the lineup. That leave Gennett, Puig and Winker. I would personally bench Gennett 50% of the time, Puig 100% of the time and Winker 50% of the time. If Winker struggles vs LHP then drop him from 50% playing time to 25%.

        The point is Puig may be great vs. RHP but he sucks vs LHP. This is why the Dodgers platooned him.

        And where does Senzel fit into the line-up vs. RHP? The only player he can compare to is Schebler. My gut tells me that since Schebler is LH he should fare better than the RH Senzel vs. RHP. But to be sure Puig, Votto, Gennett and Winker need to be in the line-up vs. RHP.

        So you bring Senzel up to start 60 games? I don’t.

      • CP

        There are for sure historical numbers behind Puig not doing as well against LHP’s, and I wouldn’t be heartbroken to see Scooter give up some AB’s so some other’s can get some. I’m still not convinced that Winker and Senzel are not starters on this team though. There is not enough data/time that has passed to say that either of them don’t deserve a shot to be starters. But that may just be me…

      • victor vollhardt

        To OLDTIMER—as with most of your comments (on many subjects)===You are RIGHT ON——— I have almost 70 years watching s Reds baseball and while I don’t agree with all of the “new stats” some are very good and many were in place for a long time , but went under different titles. The most important items are still players and they are human–they don’t respond the same way each time for all kinds of reasons.

      • Chris

        Agree with all here, and yes, it’s true. Some of these numbers guys seem to forget the “human” element, and think that you can essentially platoon your whole team and that will somehow not affect guys. Don’t get me wrong, I like numbers, and like the newer more focused stats too, but until we are using machines for baseball, the human factor must be appreciated as well.

  5. ohiojimw

    Crazy as it sounds, if Senzel is the regular CF and given the continued presence of Kemp along with the signing of Derek Dietrich, Schebler could actually be on the bubble for even making the 25 man roster.

    Indications are the Reds want to carry 13 pitchers. That leaves 4 bench spots. Three figure to be Casali, Kemp, and Dietrich (who plays both corner IF, 2B, LF). So, will they carry another OF (Schebler) or an additional IF (Blandino if healthy or someone else)?

    Throw in the apparently serious look they are going to have at Lorenzen as a part time CF during ST along with the undercurrent talk they’d like to carry just 4 “pure OF”; and, where does that leave Schebler?

    • sixpack2

      Schebler will be the CFer. Senzel will be called up and be a super sub at 2nd, SS, 3nd, and CF. Next year he starts at 2nd or when Gennett is traded.

    • Jim

      First I want Senzel in CF if he is ready after 2 weeks in the minors. He performs as expected upon call up, then you pay him for his lost yr of FA. After his first year, renew his contract and instead of paying him say 900,000, pay him 1.4 million. Soothe them Kris Bryant feelings.
      Next, not enough info for me to make out a lineup. How many more AB’s does leadoff get compared to 345 hitters.
      If Wink gets on at a .400 clip, let him hit leadoff. Who needs stolen bases if you got a guy who hits a lot of doubles. Rather have Wink on base 250 times in a year than 220 for Peraza and then Peraza gets caught stealing 8 times in a year and is down to 212 times on base. I also like a leadoff who will get you 60-80 rbi’s.
      Votto with power hits 3rd. Last year’s Votto should have hit 2nd.
      Thinking long term. Get Puig, Gennet AB’s and Wood 30 starts and hope they are Class A free agents with high draft pick returns, but that didn’t work for Tampa Bay yrs ago with 11 picks in 1st few rounds although Snell was one of those picks.
      I need to know the Front Office’s plan and ideas for this year and beyond to make out a lineup.

  6. Simon Cowell

    It is very interesting what will happen with several players. Kemp, Schebler, and Ervin are getting squeezed out of at-bats and at least one of them just might not even make the 25 man. It really sounds like the Reds have no plan for Kemp at all. I hope that doesn’t mean we simply DFA the guy. Surely he is a starter somewhere. He would probably make for one of the best MLB bats off of the bench too!

    It’s a good problem to have. Having too much talent can’t hurt you. I hope they pick the right ones. I suppose that is what spring training is all about.

    • Stock

      I agree with you Simon. This is why I think a trade needs to be made. Too many quality bats on the bench. The Reds have 9 bats that received regular AB last year when healthy (Votto, Gennett, Peraza, Dietrich, Suarez, Kemp, Winker, Schebler and Puig) and a tenth bat in the minors Senzel. Three of these 10 will be on the bench every day. Makes no sense to me.

  7. Randy Peterson

    Who should lead off for the Reds???

    The answer to that question is easy: Joey Votto

    The man has lead the league in OBP the last 7 years!!!  Now that he’s 35, and his power #’s and RBI totals are down, why not use him where he’s of most value to the team… getting on base.  Here’s the lineup I would use:

    1.  1B – Votto

    2.  SS – Peraza

    3.  2B – Gennett

    4.  3B – Suarez

    5.  LF – Winkler/Kemp

    6.  CF – Schebler/Senzel

    7.  RF – Puig

    8.    C – Barnhart

    9. P

    • Jon Ryker

      Don’t clog up the bases with Joe Votto, particularly if you are gonna put Peraza right behind him. And a lot of his walks are because they’d rather pitch to the guy behind him….won’t be the case in the leadoff spot with Peraza behind him.

  8. The Duke

    Gennett hit .294/.335/.439 vs LHP last year. .774 OPS isn’t that bad.

    Interestingly enough the last 2 years, Scooter’s BABIP has been .339 and .358.

    • CP

      Do you all think that combo of Senzel at 2B vs. lefty’s and Kemp/Schebler in the OF is better than keeping Gennett in line-up vs lefty’s?

      • Stock

        History says you bench Puig and Winker vs. LHSP and not Gennett and Schebler. And it is not even close with Puig. Maybe Puig magically learned how to hit LHP over the winter. But if you look at the facts you will find Puig on the bench vs. LHSP.

        The Dodgers already knew this.

      • Doug Gray

        Yasiel Puig is a .340 OBP / .417 SLG against LHP guy for his career.
        Scooter Gennett is a .284 OBP / .354 SLG against LHP for his career.
        Scott Schebler is a .303 OBP / .451 SLG against LHP for his career.
        Jesse Winker has a total of 97 plate appearances against lefties in his MLB career. Numbers aren’t good, though.

        Of that group, Yasiel Puig is definitely not the guy I’m choosing to bench against left handed pitching.

      • Stock

        If we look at career stats then Kemp should be playing every day.

        Stats tell me Puig came in and dominated LHP and RHP. RHP have yet to find a way to get him out. If the last two years are any indication the LHP adjusted and Puig has yet to find a way to effectively counter these adjustments. That is not to say he won’t. Just to say he has yet to do so.

        If he does it is yet another reason to keep Senzel in Louisville because I feel Winker will be effective vs. LHP too.

        I know the Reds will be pressured to bring up Senzel but is the need for him really there. He for sure will not get everyday AB until an injury occurs. If Iglesias signs that just clouds things more.

        The Reds need to figure out a trade for Kluber.

        Then again if the Padres sign Harper their glut of OF just grows and Cleveland should be looking to trade with SD since they have a need for 2 OF and Minnesota is looking competitive all of the sudden.

  9. Wes

    This isn’t LA. If reds are relevant this season it’s bc Puig is playing like a star. He’s the biggest draw on the team by a mile. More people will show up to see him play than votto or senzel even if senzel is playing like roty and he will sell the most jerseys. You bat him 3/4/5 every day. Maybe 6 spot against lefty’s.

  10. Wes

    Winker (he can offset his average or worse fielding by locking down lead off spot)
    Scooter
    Votto
    Suarez
    Puig
    Senzel
    Barnhart (less pressure, excellent bounce back candidate)
    P
    Peraza (he may force himself a top the lineup though. If that’s the case winker is 6th and senzel is 9th)

    Kemp, the 150 million dollar former superstar, is the 4th outfielder and he’s that by a mile. He’s infinitely better hitter than Schebler who’s more likely to vomit on the catcher than drive in a run, especially with limited plate appearances. Let Ervin be late game defensive replacement and Schebler can find a new home on some AAA team or go get his welders cert lol.

    • The Duke

      Schebler was an above average MLB hitter last year and can play all 3 OF spots, he easily has a place on this team. He’s not even expensive.

  11. Jon Ryker

    Most of the lineup doesn’t matter, but you need to put Peraza and Senzel at the top of it.

    • The Duke

      I think Peraza as a high contact low walk % player is the ideal guy to hit 7th. If his OBP is going to be batting average dependent, then lets use that high contact rate to drive in runs. The top of the order should be filled with guys who walk the most. Get on base with less of a need to drive in runs.

      Winker, LF
      Votto, 1B
      Suarez, 3B
      Gennett, 2B
      Puig, RF
      Senzel/Schebler, CF
      Peraza, SS
      Barnhart, C
      Pitcher

      Get your best OBP guys the most at bats, and then get your free swingers (comparatively) in the 4-7 slots to drive those guys in.

      • Jon Ryker

        I want the high contact rate to move the runner along in front of him who got on and stole second….it will also drive in runs in those cases….given his age, I do not think it justified that we assume he won’t learn to walk more. He is clearly a .300 hitter in the making.

        Barnhardt can’t hit, so Peraza in front of him and the pitcher is a total waste of the best speed they have left…..I’d hit Peraza 1 when he’s hot and 2 when he isn’t…..but if Senzel gets on more often and runs as well, it doesn’t matter to me if he hits 1 or 2….he’ll get a lot of fastballs, and I want my rookies getting a lot of fastballs.

      • The Duke

        The Reds don’t have base stealers outside of Peraza. Winker, Votto, and Suarez won’t be stealing a lot of bases. Barnhart has a .750 OPS season. If they pitch around Peraza with runners already on base, I don’t see a strategy of filling the basepaths being a good one. Especially later in the game when we can pinch hit with a strong bench.

      • Jon Ryker

        I believe Senzel can run. Peraza could run a lot more. Since they can, they should be where it will help. In front of Barnhardt and the pitcher is not one of those places. The other value they have is that the threat of running brings more fastballs and more location mistakes…..I want my big bats getting more fastballs and more location mistakes to play with…..therefore, but the runners in front of the big bats……then try to make sure the big bats learn to make contact when the runners are on…..running in front of Adam Dunn never mattered…but running in front of Suarez and Votto and Winker will.

  12. Cguy

    I like runs. I like players in the middle of the lineup that both score & drive in runs. Based on 2018 stats, that’d be Suarez & Gennett. Behind them are Kemp & Votto. Puig has a little speed and hits 2nd. I’m for Schebler holding Senzel’s place in line as the Reds starting cf & leadoff hitter until Nick’s ready. If the pitcher bats 8th, Peraza bats 9th. If the pitcher bats 9th, the catcher bats 8th. I still see Jose Siri as staying with the Reds to start the season, entering the game as a late inning pinch runner & defensive replacement, at least until Senzel joins the team.

  13. KyWilson1

    I wouldn’t change the line up against lefties, but against righties:

    Jesse Winker – LF
    Eugenio Suarez – 3B
    Joey Votto – 1B
    Yasiel Puig – RF
    Scooter Gennett – 2B
    Nick Senzel – CF
    Tucker Barnhart – C
    Pitcher
    Jose Peraza – SS

  14. CP

    Vs RHP

    Winker- LF
    Votto- 1B
    Suarez- 3B
    Puig- RF
    Scooter- 2B
    Senzel- CF
    Barnhardt- C
    P
    Pereza- SS

    I like this line-up for a couple reason’s. First, best hitter in the two hole, which fits Bell’s stated philosophy too. Second, the top two batters are likely going to get on base 40% of the time. That will give Suarez/Puig/Scooter tons of RBI opportunities. Winker can be subbed out with Schebler if a good lefty reliever is brought in late (Schebler has reverse splits and is better defensively). Kemp is my first pinch hitter for the pitcher here.

    Vs. LHP

    Senzel- 2B
    Votto- 1B
    Suarez- 3B
    Kemp- RF
    Schebler- CF
    Winker- LF
    Barnhardt- C
    P
    Pereza- SS

    I don’t like my line-up vs LHP’s as much. I feel very divided, to be honest, when it comes to people’s splits. Perhaps this is a bit of what Stock was trying to get at earlier. Puig for sure has a history of not hitting LHP’s as well. Winker’s stats show he does, but I also think it is too early to write him off against LHP’s. And to be honest Scooter hits LHP’s pretty well too. But this against lefty’s is a good chance to get more AB’s for Kemp & Schebler. This line-up also gives starting preference to players we KNOW for sure will be apart of the Reds teams of the future (Senzel/Winker) over the players that will likely be FA’s after this year (Puig/Scooter).

    I tell you what I do not envy Bell’s job he has in front of him. He will have his work cut out for him to keep everyone happy, put the most competitive team on the field, and continue to develop some of these young hitters that will be the future core of the team.

  15. Cbus

    I’m assuming Schebler is the CF most days, I don’t buy Senzel will be up right away.

    Winker
    Peraza (Maybe Votto if the power doesn’t return but him back to back with Winker would lead the universe in double plays. Peraza is also adept at shooting the ball to RF when Winker is being held on first)
    Votto
    Suarez
    Puig
    Scooter (Flip Scooter and Puig against LH to breakup the Lefties a bit)
    Schebler
    Barnhardt
    Pitcher

    Who bats 2nd I think is the biggest conundrum. I’d also be willing to try Schebler leading off and Winker 6th or 7th since they both seemed to perform better in those spots last year.

      • The Duke

        Has a lot more experience than Senzel there, and everyone is ready to hand him the job.

      • Grover

        Schebler does have more experience…that’s how we know he is not an everyday CF

      • Cbus

        I don’t think he’s that bad out there, slightly better than Choo imo. Really hope to see what Lorenzen and Senzel look like in CF during spring training it could change everything.

      • Jon Ryker

        Whoever plays it this year is keeping the space warm….Shebler is a 4th outfielder on a good team and not a CFer at the major league level on any team. They have CFers coming. Senzel is ultimately a second basemen, but he can run…..this makes CF a much easier position for him to play than the corners…..not a lot of goofy spin in CF…time to run things down….they should have kept Hamilton for another year, but absent him, Senzel is the logical choice, at least until you move Gennett.

  16. asinghoff

    Doug, off topic but saw Garrett mention on Twitter today that he got contacts and can see the glove much more clear when he pitches now. That seems like a pretty important physical portion of being a pitcher. I would think they would test that during their physical but now I don’t know. Is there a baseline to pass like when you get your driver’s license, or do they really just not test that? Hopefully this helps Garrett break out and he adjusts to the depth perception changes quickly.

    • Doug Gray

      I actually wrote about it last night for Redleg Nation, but haven’t posted it yet. It definitely didn’t get by me.

    • The Duke

      Frankly i’m shocked he hasn’t got LASIK. I got PRK (essentially LASIK for people with thin corneas) and it was a game changer for me and i’m not even a pro athlete who depends on their vision.

      • Doug Gray

        I’ve been putting it off, but I really think that after the baseball season is over this year that I’m going to look into getting it. I was absolutely shocked I passed the vision test when I renewed my license last year in my right eye. Left eye has outstanding vision…. but my right eye is clearly lacking.

    • Jon Ryker

      Just watch the AL…..why ruin the whole game? Its the only professional sport where they try to market old, fat, washed-up guys who can’t play anymore as an item.

    • The Duke

      Why not just go full offense and defense teams? Imagine an outfield full of Billy Hamilton’s and an infield full of Ozzie Smith’s.

      I hate the DH, but see it’s inevitability of coming to the NL. That it couldn’t be implemented immediately is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard though.

      • Jon Ryker

        The offense/defense trade off and the genuine utility of all-around players is not something I’d be interested in losing. I don’t think the DH is inevitable at all. They could always bargain it away in exchange for an extra 2-3 ML roster spots on each team….

  17. Seadog

    Call me “old-school”. I think you keep same line-up vs lefty/righty. And also, I am probably the only guy that thinks Puig starts in CF. My lineup. 1. Winker RF. 2. Puig. Cf. 3. Votto 1b. 4. Suarez 3b. 5. Gennett. 2b. 6. Kemp lf. 7. Barnhardt C. 8. Peraza Ss. 9. Pitcher. It is my belief Senzel starts in AAA. Also, look out for Kemp, I think we all be surprised the #’s he puts up. It is a fact that the Reds are not concerned with defense like they used to b. The transactions they have made make that obvious. That line-up is dead split lefties/righties with no two in succession

    • The Duke

      Why would you hit Puig 2nd where there will be less guys to drive in with his power and higher walk % guys after him? Puig should hit 4th at the earliest, and 5th or 6th makes more sense to me.

      • Seadog

        I like his aggressive play there. Imagine the pitches he will see in front of Votto? I can see why people would want him 4/5. Just preference

      • Cguy

        I’d suppose because his 15 SB last year represent 50% more than the rest of the Reds outfielders combined (Kemp,Winker, Ervin, & Schebler). Or put another way, he had more SB than the rest of the Reds anticipated 2019 lineup (excepting Peraza). A SB threat at the top of the lineup, is a good thing.

      • Seadog

        Agreed, and you could almost put Puig/Suarez/Gennett and Kemp in a box shake it up. Pull out names and bat any of them 4/5/6. It is not out of the question with this line-up playing atGABP that all 4 of them (with the AB’s needed) don’t all hit 25+ HR’s with 100+ RBI—obviously health/playtime matter. It could very easily happen