What to do in centerfield

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11/09/2012 by anjru0805

For the Reds, Drew Stubbs centerfield has been a problem. Offensively, with the exception of  the pitcher, centerfield was the Reds’ worst position. The Reds split centerfield between five players this season: Chris Heisey (36 games), Kristopher Negron (1), Denis Phipps (1), Drew Stubbs (129) and Wilson Valdez (5). Reds centerfielders hit .226/.282/.339. The centerfield position had the lowest offensive numbers of any regular position (the DH in 7 games had a lower OBP).

Obviously, one position has to be the worst offensively. What concerns me is that centerfielders had 39 more strikeouts than any other position. Too often, the fastest guy on the team isn’t even reaching first base.

The problem is Drew Stubbs.

Avg OBP SLG K PA Ks/PA
.267 .323 .439 49 196 0.250
.255 .329 .444 168 583 0.288
.243 .321 .364 205 681 0.301
.213 .277 .333 166 544 0.305

As you can see, Stubbs’ offensive numbers have fallen every. single. year. (save his slugging percentage in his first full season after his rookie year). Where Stubbs really fails is against right-handed pitching. His abysmal .186/.259/.282 slash line against RHP is simply not good enough for an everyday player. Chris Heisey’s slash line against RHP (.262/.314/.365) isn’t great but it is better. Stubbs hits left-handed pitching better than Heisey, so a platoon situation is possible.

I don’t think a platoon is the right solution: regular guys getting regular starts seems much more— well— regular. I don’t think Heisey is the answer either: he was given a shot at left field this season and lost it even before Ludwick got white hot.

What do you think? Will the Stubbs experiment continue? Is the right guy even a Red right now or does the team need to acquire someone else? Vote below and tell me in the comments!

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About Me

Journalist. Cincinnati Reds fan from Philadelphia. Currently living and working in central N.J.
Email: andrewroth8[at]gmail.com

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