It is now just past the ides of March and if anyone should beware it has to be Chris Heisey. With the left-field position clearly up for grabs, he doesn’t seem to be reaching very high to grab it.
In 11 games he is just hitting .115 with two runs knocked in and 12 strikeouts in only 26 AB. You would think he was a man who knew his position was in his back pocket. Not so my friends.
If there was ever a time when he needed to flex this is it. Many, including myself believe that the job is actually Ryan Ludwick‘s to lose. He too is playing as though it matters not. He is batting just .190 with an RBI and seven strikeouts in 21 trips to the plate.
So we Reds fans watch and flinch with the dismal offensive performance of this spring training corps. Does anyone want to play left-field?
Todd Frazier is currently supplying the only power to this group with three balls sent sailing. He can play left field, although third base is where he belongs. Too bad there, because Scott Rolen is going to start and Juan Francisco will be the backup. Two reasons for this assumption – first, he is the only left-handed batter on the bench, and second because he is out of options.
So if you would swing Frazier to left, that would leave Heisey and Ludwick to play backup. With the rest of the talent that the Reds want to take back to Cincinnati, somebody just named is not going to be a part of it.
You can rest assured it won’t be Ludwick, at around $2.5MM he is far and away the most well paid of the three. I believe Heisey and Frazier both still have options so I would look for one of them to start the season at Triple-A Louisville.
At this point Heisey’s only saving grace is that he can play all three outfield positions.
While I say that, let me add this. Denis Phipps, who is listed as a right-fielder, is the only outfielder fighting for a position, who is hitting the ball with any authority at all. He is batting .360 with 1 HR and 3 RBI. He is only striking out about 25 percent of the time which is exceptional for this outfield.
If you have been following the Reds since the arrival of Dusty Baker, you know of his proclivity for using veterans. The only true veteran in this ship is Ludwick. Ergo, in my humble, oh so humble opinion, I will tell you that Ludwick will be your starting LF and if Heisey doesn’t start hitting soon he will start the year wearing a purple Bats uniform.