Finally, September is here, and the Reds are starting to pull away from the Pirates in the race for last place in the NL Central. Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Drew Stubbs CF
Paul Janish SS
Brandon Phillips 2B
Kevin Barker 1B
Scott Rolen 3B
Jonny Gomes RF
Wladimir Balentien LF
Craig Tatum C
Justin Lehr P

The first thing you’ll notice is that there is no Joey Votto in the lineup. Another thing I want you to notice is Justin Lehr’s name.

I mention Lehr because today, he was named the AAA International League’s Most Valuable Pitcher for 2009. Congrats to Justin, and to manager Rick Sweet, who was named the IL’s Manager of the Year for the second straight season.

For the second straight season, Dusty Baker has been named Cincinnati Reds manager of the year, although the balloting was pretty close this year between Baker and the only other candidate on the ballot, “None of the Above.”

Discuss tonight’s game here.

53 Responses

  1. CeeKeR

    Dang, I had my money on “None of the Above” in the Reds Manager of the Year Contest office pool too.

  2. Matt Steele

    Can we get a recount on the Reds Manager of the Year

  3. Matt Steele

    Don’t know if anyone has seen Sportscenter with the special on Aaron Boone coming back from the open heart surgery he had earlier this year but it’s pretty good.

    Boone was one of my favorite Reds ever and I was very upset when he was traded to the Yankees and then he hit that homerun I was so torn. I hated the Yankees and wanted them to lose but it was a great moment for Boone that many people will remember him for…

    All the best to him and I look forward to him finishing his career on a more positive note than open heart surgery

  4. Rob

    So why is Kevin Barker batting 4th when he has rarely played at all in the Majors this year? This is why Dusty Baker is the most over rated manager in baseball.

  5. John

    Is Dusty overrated? I’m pretty sure the cat’s outta the bag regarding Baker. The emperor has no clothes.

  6. Nathan

    Anyone know the attendance? Looks sparse!

  7. ty

    have the redlegs batted around in the first 2 games in a row now?

  8. al

    i didn’t really think there was a lineup out there that could make me feel good about the reds’, but the pirates does.

    as bad as the reds are, they are way worse. why would you trade nyjer morgan in his rookie year? i feel sorry for pirates fans.

    i would love to see the day when the reds and pirates fight it out for the central like we fought for the nl in ’90.

  9. Eddie

    I think cause they had McCuthen and Morgan and only had room in CF for one of them.

  10. RC

    Plus Morgan’s like 28 or 29, isn’t he?

    He’s not your typical rookie.

  11. Mark in CC

    Glad to see Votto gets a day off and hopefully another tomorrow. I still don’t know why Rolen isn’t hitting clean-up.

  12. Eddie

    They have Thursday off so I doubt he gets tomorrow off…
    My guess is Baker thinks you have to hit for power to be in the #4 spot otherwise Rolen would hit 4th and Phillips would hit 5th in a normal lineup

  13. Eddie

    Is it just me or does BP ground into a double play almost every game?

  14. mike

    I think Rolen doesn’t hit cleanup is everyone know his power is disappearing.
    The guy hasn’t had over a .475 SLG since 2006. He’s hit 9 HR this year
    He’d probably be better hitting 2nd since his OBP is still good

    I guess what confuses me is Rolen is clearly a more productive hitter than Phillips so I figured when we traded for Rolen he’d take Phillips spot in the lineup, since he’d probably be the 2nd most productive hitter on the team (I didn’t expect Gomes to have the great season he’s having). But for some reason, Both Nix and Gomes have out hit Phillips all season. Yet they don’t hit 4th? We trade for Rolen who’s more productive than Phillips and Rolen doesn’t hit 4th?

  15. REDS1

    What has happened to Rolen’s power? Have injuries really impacted his power?

    Gamecast here. How does he “single to deep left center?”

  16. Eddie

    One problem with the Pirates: They waste their time throwing over to try and pick off guys who usually don’t steal.

  17. Eddie

    It wasn’t really deep left center it was more medium left center…Milledge cut it off and threw it back in, Rolen had no chance to get a double.

  18. mike

    Rolen’s power drop is probably a combination of age and injuries
    He hasn’t gotten over 500 PA since the same year he had power, 2006.
    He’s been hurt on and off for 3 years

    His power might return if he stays healthy but he’s had injury problems a lot of his career
    He’s played 150 games or more only 5 out of 14 season

  19. mike

    one more thing about Rolen. Just because he probably won’t hit 30 HR again in his career doesn’t mean he won’t be a productive hitter

    Career .370 OBP because of a good mix of hits and BB and a .370 OBP this season
    I am sort of hoping the Reds get lucky and Rolen stays healthy next year and gains a bit of power playing in the Reds stadium all year

  20. Kurt Frost

    Janish is almost up to .250.

    How does Janish stack up to Gozalez while he was here this year offensively? Defensively I assume they are not on the same planet.

  21. Jello

    I remember hearing something about how Rolen wasn’t swing the same as he did when he was younger. To reduce injuries.

  22. Eddie

    Gonzo was .210/.258 with us (His career is .247/.293). I don’t see any reason Janish can’t be around those numbers.

  23. Kyle

    I don’t think this would be that bad of a lineup for 2009 (and would be great defensively except for when Gomes started):
    1) Stubbs/Dickerson CF
    2) Rolen 3B
    3) Votto 1B
    4) Gomes/Nix LF or Phillips/2B (on days Dickerson and Stubbs both play)
    5) Bruce RF
    6) Phillips 2B or Dickerson LF
    7) Hanigan/Free Agent C (mostly Hanigan)
    8) Janish SS

    Not going to win the world series or go to the playoffs, but might not be too bad.

  24. Eddie

    Dickerson
    Stubbs
    Votto
    Rolen
    Phillips
    Bruce
    Hanigan
    Janish

    That’s mine.

  25. Kyle

    That should have been 8) Janish

    I don’t know that we keep Gomes though. I wonder what type of money/playing time guarantees he will want after this year. If I were in his shoes, I’d certainly not want to be part of a platoon or less than 4-5 million dollars over 2/3 years after this season. Maybe that asking price goes down, but I wouldn’t be looking to sign a one year deal.

  26. Kurt Frost

    Why is Janish held to a higher standard than Gonzalez. Gonzalez is “my shortstop” even though he is batting .200 and has the lateral movement of a retarded elephant.

  27. Kyle

    Pretty nice as well. Probably more realistic considering I don’t think we resign Gomes.

  28. Eddie

    I don’t know if Gomes is going to get a guarantee of playing time anywhere but I wouldn’t doubt someone like the Yankees comes in and offers more than anyone else even though he would come off the bench there.

  29. Kyle

    #29: For what its worth, I think Janish should be held to a higher standard. Mostly because Gonzalez should have been held to a higher standard. I’ve posted that I don’t think Janish can hit well enough to keep the SS position, but would really like to see it. I really like him based on some of his interviews (not that this should be used as a measure of keeping him or not, but he is a fun guy to root for).

  30. mike

    Janish/Gonzo comparison (not including today’s 1 for 2 2B, BB, from Janish)

    EQA
    .256 average SS
    .221 Janish
    .190 Gonzo

    OPS+
    64 Janish
    43 Gonzo

    but more than those #s I think this really tells what Janish might be able to do. Janish’s #s since he became an every day player, aka when Gonzo was trade

    OPS
    .725 Average NL SS
    .723 Janish (Since Aug 14)
    .554 Gonzo

    Gonzo had lost a step on defense for sure, but I still think he was an above average defender.

    OK I guess looking at Gonzo’s UZR #s he looks like he was a worse defender than I thought this year with the Reds

    UZR/150
    20.6 Janish
    4.2 Gonzo
    -1.5 Hairston

    How good has Janish been on defense? UZR is a totals stat. His overall UZR even though he’s only started 37 games at SS is 7.3
    Only 6 SS in the majors has been more valuable overall (remember it’s a totals stat and most have played more than 3x the games as Janish)
    Looking at UZR/150 only 2 players in the majors with at least 15 starts at SS have been better defensively than Janish. Vizquel and Lowrie

    I think this brings up a HUGE, HUGE question for the Reds. OK we know Janish can not only play good defense, he can play GREAT defense at one of the most important defensive positions in the game. Better than most players in the majors.
    Can he hit? Can he play a full season and get on base at least at a .330 clip? If he can, give him the job. He’s looked very good at the plate lately. And this came up in yesterday’s game thread and I wondered if because of Janish’s age we could catch his peak years the next 2 years and we might not need to trade for a SS and wait until Cozart is ready.

  31. REDS1

    Too bad we can’t play the Pirates every night.

  32. Steve

    Marty just called Rolen “Buddy Bell.”

    “Ground ball to Buddy Bell, he throws on to first base, three out.”

  33. mike

    curious current hitting (well getting on base) streaks by Reds

    Rolen has gotten on base in the last 12 games he’s played for the Reds. He has a .400 OBP and a .817 OPS over these 12 games. In other words zero power but still hitting well

    Stubbs has gotten on base in the last 9 games he’s played. .781 OPS during that streak

    McDonald has gotten on base in the last 6 games he’s played. An amazing 1.014 OPS during that time

    Corky has gotten on base in the last 5 games he’s played walking 6 times for a .409 OBP but only a .597 OPS???

    Janish has gotten on base in his last 4 games hitting an amazing 1.204 OPS in this 4 games. 3 extra base hits and 2 BB

    Stubbs, Janish and Rolen have all continued their streak today. Corky and McDonald haven’t played yet today

    the longest streak of this type by a Red this year was Bruce getting on base in 20 straight games when he was crushing the ball from mid-April to Mid-May with 9 HR and a 1.047 OPS when I thought we had the best RF in the game on our hands this season

  34. Eddie

    .330 OBP would rank 11th at SS out of all major leaguers. That’s above average for SS and with his defense I would assume that would make him on of the best SS in the league.

    I think the main problem people have with Janish being the SS has to do with wondering if the offense would score enough with a bat like Janish in the lineup.

  35. Steve Price

    Miller’s OPS is negatively affected by lack of total bases since he’s been getting on by walks and not hits.

    There’s a case where an offensive measurement is negatively impacted by walks…

    Twice in the minors he was hit by 31 pitches during a season.

  36. mike

    Eddie I think I somewhat randomly picked that .330 OBP goal for Janish because he doesn’t have much power. SS like Ramirez, Bartlett, Tulowitzki, Jeter, Escobar, etc have power so if Janish is going to get anywhere near an average hitting SS he’s going to have to get on base

  37. Eddie

    Stubbs doesn’t ever look like he is running hard but those long strides do cover some ground.

  38. mike

    Eddie, agreed about Stubbs. It’s the 1st thing I noticed when I saw his 1st couple starts. I couldn’t believe how much ground he covered! But he didn’t look like he was even working, it was effortless and controlled. There was one catch where he ran a long ways and while he was going to get it I was thinking. Dude, get going you aren’t going to get there, kick it into high gear. He didn’t but got to the ball so easily he was under it waiting. Like our discussion of Janish I think Stubbs can be a great CF defender.

  39. Steve

    Marty and Brantley said in the ninth inning that Janish/Phillips is a better DP combination than Gonzalez/Phillips. Welcome to reality.

  40. Steve Price

    Buddy Bell and Scott Rolen were both about the same age when coming to the Reds.

    Both were acquired for minor league pitchers with value.

    Bell had a great reputation as a fielder (as does Rolen). The stats say Bell’s defense was in serious decline while in Cinti…Rolen appears to be golden.

  41. Eddie

    Mike I would love to have one of those guys but that’s not realistic unless we develop one of them. As for our options I think Janish is the best option we have (That’s including bringing in free agents).
    I also put a high premium on defense and if I am going to have an overall average player I’d rather have him be a great defender and a bad bat as opposed to a great bat and bad defender.

  42. Chad Dotson

    Wow, Marty and Brantley actually said that?

    I’ve never been a guy that cared much about defense (my favorite players are Adam Dunn and Edwin Encarnacion, after all)….but it is a sheer joy watching Paul Janish and Drew Stubbs play defense.

    They are such an upgrade over what we’ve been watching all year, it’s insane.

  43. Eddie

    Haha Weathers comes in for Brewers gives up a double then walks Pujols (Intentional) then Coffey comes in and gives up a 3 run homer to Holliday.

  44. Eddie

    C’mon Chad get on the defense train…don’t be Dusty Baker and set in your ways!

  45. Steve

    Weathers and Coffey blow tonight’s game for Milwaukee vs. the Cardinals.

  46. GregD

    Re: Rolen – starting w/#18

    He has a shoulder injury that required him to change his swing. He’s essentially got “doubles power” now, but will take one out on occassion.

  47. Steve

    Chad (#46): yes, they really did say that, believe it or not. Marty’s tone was like he was revealing the greatest secret on the planet.

    I’d also second your comment about watching Stubbs and Janish and how much better it is to watch them than Gonzalez and Taveras. I’d also add Rolen > EE, as well.