We’ll get the game thread up in a little while. But here’s a place to discuss the big news item today. Jay Bruce is starting at 1B.

Here’s the lineup:

1. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
2. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
3. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
4. Jay Bruce (L) 1B
5. Devin Mesoraco (R) C
6. Ryan Ludwick (R) LF
7. Skip Schumaker (L) RF
8. Ramon Santiago (S) SS
9. Mike Leake (R) P

There had been rumors on the internets that Jay Bruce had taken infield practice at first base, so this isn’t completely out of the blue. Just mostly.

First of all, if you think Joey Votto isn’t going on the DL, I’ve got some World Series tickets from 2013 to sell you. Face value.

Second, this is a huge, gigantic, enormous hit defensively in the OF, and likely at 1B as Jay Bruce *plays the infield* for the first time in his career.

Third, in the short run, all this means is that we get double the crappy left-field platoon. This was always the problem with the plan to play Devin Mesoraco at 1B, it just meant we get a light-hitting catcher in the lineup. The “hey, we can play so-and-so for Joey Votto” works best when the new player in the lineup isn’t a terrible hitter.

Lastly, if this is a prelude to trading for serious OF talent, I’m all on board. Walt Jocketty is currently faced with filling two holes, left field and first base. He’d have to be shopping for two players, which sounds pretty challenging considering the total lack of moves like that for over a year. If Jocketty were to sign a regular first baseman, what about when Joey Votto comes back? Votto is eventually coming back. Quad strains are not fatal, as far as I know.

However, if Jay Bruce doesn’t commit a billion errors at first base AND if Jocketty brings in a good outfielder, then that person could stay on the field when Votto returns to 1B and Bruce goes back to RF. So I’m down with the experiment, as long as this doesn’t become “problem solved, we can just play gritty Skip Shumaker and former Cardinal Ryan Ludwick in the outfield.”

[And to those of you who defend Walt Jocketty, if you don’t recognize this move of extreme desperation as the proper time to surrender, there’s no helping you. The Reds just moved their GOLD GLOVE CALIBER outfielder to a position he HAS NEVER PLAYED because of the roster situation. Checkmate.]

[And how can Skip Shumaker be so bad at first base – AT LEAST HE’S TAKEN GROUND BALLS  – that this makes any sense as something that can last more than ten minutes?]

[This has got to be a prank from the same guy who tweeted about Votto’s empty locker yesterday, right? He got ahold of the lineup card, and all the twitter feeds of the beat reporters, and is making Jay Bruce take grounders at first base right now … to shout “fooled you again.” Do that soon, please.]