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And so it begins: Reds bench Chris Heisey on Opening Day

Apr 4, 2012, 9:00 PM EDT

Chris Heisey AP

Manager Dusty Baker announced his Opening Day lineup on Wednesday, with Chris Heisey nowhere to be found:

2B Brandon Phillips
SS Zach Cozart
1B Joey Votto
3B Scott Rolen
RF Jay Bruce
LF Ryan Ludwick
CF Drew Stubbs
C Ryan Hanigan
SP Johnny Cueto

Another notable absence is that of Rookie of the Year hopeful Devin Mesoraco.

This post is about Heisey, though.  The 27-year-old has hit .254/.316/.465 in 480 at-bats for the Reds the last two years. It’s not great, but it’s a whole lot better than Ludwick’s .244/.318/.391 line over the same timespan.

According to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Baker explained the decision by saying he didn’t like how Heisey would match up against Mark Buehrle. For what it’s worth, neither Heisey nor Ludwick has ever faced Buehrle before. Both are right-handed hitters. Heisey, though, has had a big reverse platoon split up to this point of his career.

One game doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. But this was supposed to be Heisey’s year to prove he can play regularly. That he’s already found himself on the bench hardly bodes well.

  1. bobulated - Apr 4, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Perhaps they can trade him to the Braves for another blocked 4th starter/long man.

  2. firemarshal1 - Apr 4, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Give Dusty a break, he’s the manager. He knows what he’s doing. Reds fans, relax…… Hey, I’m one of his biggest critics. Let Dusty do his job.

    • dwrek5 - Apr 4, 2012 at 9:47 PM

      ” Hey, I’m one of his biggest critics.”

      Clearly not the case…

  3. whodeytn - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    Heisey looked terrible in the spring and to be honest, I’m sick of everyone complaining about how he isn’t getting enough time.

    If he did more with the time he DOES get, he’d be in the starting lineup.

    • b7p19 - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:36 PM

      He’s done more than Ludwick recently. Thats the point. Heisey deserves to play, and if Dusty remains his manager he’ll get his chance once he’s too old to play and Dusty wants to block another young player that deserves to play. Sorry about the run on sentence…

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:48 PM

        Metalhead has a valid point in regards to Dusty’s love fest for all veterans…all the time.
        Heisey should absolutely be given a shot. To bad really. I like the the way he plays.
        On another topic (I couldn’t reply to you on the other blog)…
        I believe it was Churchill who said (and I am paraphrashing)…
        “From the ages of 18 – 29 people vote with their hearts. From the age of 30 and beyond they vote with their brains.” That was the entire point. Off course those under 30 have intelligence B7. I also believe it was Churchill who said “the best argument against democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter.?

    • metalhead65 - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:54 PM

      it does not matter what he does he will not get a fair shake from dusty or the reds. last year against the yankees he hit 3 homers in a game and did not play for a week. I don’t see how you can say he does not do anything when he gets the chance. last year when they were 10 games out and finally got rid of jonny gomes who dusty marched out there every day no matter how horrible he played was the perfect time to play Heisey everyday for a month to see if he could handle the job or not,but dusty decided to platoon him with the immortal fred lewis instead. and by platooning I mean lewis plays 5 out 7 games. it was so bad they finally demoted lewis so dusty would have to play him in sept. but then Heisey got hurt. once they signed another of walt’s beloved washed up cards in ludwick I knew there would be no question who would be the starter in left field but the experts on here said I did not know what I was talking about.they both had lousy springs but it would not have mattered if Heisey had .500 he was not going to start over the guy they are paying 2.5 million dollars to. also they optioned their best utility guy in Todd Frazier today while keeping met reject willie harris who plays one position as opposed to the 5 frazier can play. and by that I mean he can play all the outfield spots plus third and short. he led the team in homers this spring but that does not matter in dustyland. if that does not prove he favors veterans over young guys then you are just to stupid to see it. the excuse on frazier was they want him to play third so he can be the backup when rolen goes down and he will. if that is the case then why didn’t he have him there all spring? instead they use his spot on a guy who sucked so bad he could not mnake the orioles staff! you asked if the reds made enough moves to be a series contender well they did not make the one move that could help them and that was to get a manager who has a clue!

      • spudchukar - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:18 AM

        If the definition of “having a clue” are mutterings like this then the Redleg nation should feel fortunate that Dusty is at the helm, and not Captain “Ahab” Metalhead.

  4. sleepyirv - Apr 4, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    “Questioning every Dusty Baker move” has been a constant of every summer, like the sound of cicadas and the smell of BBQ.

    • cur68 - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:08 AM

      And just like the sound of cicadas and the smell of BBQ, it is comforting. Never change, Anti-Bakerites.

      • paperlions - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:56 AM

        I don’t expect anti-Bakerites to suddenly stop recognizing dumb baseball decisions (the most fundamental of which is that you should play your best players as much as possible)…so you really shouldn’t worry about them changing anytime soon because Baker doesn’t seem inclined to stop making dumb decisions (Chapman to the pen, stud catching prospect on the bench for a journeyman catcher, washed up OF starting in place of a younger/better player.

        If the Reds bat Bruce, Ludwick, and Stubbs in order this season….there will be a lot of innings end without a single ball put in play.

      • spudchukar - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:20 AM

        As if playing Heisey would alter that scenario, not to mention how many runs he will help the opposition score.

      • cur68 - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:38 AM

        I also love how the multiplicitious nature of people: you can be an Anti-baldite, Anti-Yeonite & an Anti-bakerite all at once. Just, love it.

      • paperlions - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:42 AM

        Hey, I don’t have anything against bald people.

        Other than that…I am simply pro logic and evidence. There is no evidence that Baker would recognize a good baseball decision if it was stuck on the end of a tooth pick, and there is no evidence that Cespedes is ready to be a productive major league player….yeah, he has 2 XBH in two games (at least one on a hanger), he’s also struck out in 50% of his ABs.

      • cur68 - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:46 AM

        Yeah, yeah. You people cover your tracks under a thick dusting of logic and facts, but I’m hip to your vibe, man. And lemme guess, some of your best friends are bald, too, right? Mine too!

      • paperlions - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:41 PM

        Well…..the older I get, the more of my friends there are that are bald….I haven’t dumped a friend for balding, yet.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:49 PM

        Man Cur…do you ever sleep?

      • cur68 - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:02 PM

        Looks worse that it is: Mountain time vs Eastern time is minus 2 hours on all posts. Out late last night, big day baseball wise and BAM: up till3AM and out of bed early (0830) the next day. Last day off for a while, too.

  5. ezthinking - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    Just checked the stats, Heisey can’t touch a lefty .180/.248/.300 with 48 K’s in 150 ab’s the last three years. That’s bench material pure and simple. Ludwick’s pretty awful too. Makes you wonder why the Reds didn’t pony up for a Johnny Damon. He can’t throw, but he can hit and hit lead off, exactly what the Reds could use.

    • spudchukar - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:22 AM

      Yeah, hiring an aging, powerless, LEFTIE, like Damon would solve the problem!

  6. jdd428 - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    Heisey, schmeisey. Sure, he should probably be starting. But Mesoraco should definitely be starting! The guy is at worst the second-best catching prospect in the game and he’s going to be splitting time with Ryan Hanigan?! If he’s not playing regularly, he should be at AAA – or on another roster that will give him the appropriate ABs! Ducking Fusty!

  7. mwz73trz - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    Really? Is this even an issue? I think Dusty wants to win and is going to play who gives them the greatest chance at doing so.

  8. rooney24 - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Okay, I don’t follow the Reds, so I have to ask… either of them better defensively? If so, is it a significant difference defensively? Pouliot stated that Heisey’s numbers are “a whole lot better” than Ludwick’s numbers. To me, they look marginally better at best. Average and OBP are nearly the same, with a little more slugging for Heisey. And, I am guessing that Heisey was often used in games where the manager thought he could do well. If playing everyday, he might do worse. That is the thing you have to watch with platoon guys. Their stats may look great when platooning, and usually put in a position to succeed. When they then have to play everyday, against guys they don’t match up as well against, their numbers fall.

    • metalhead65 - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:39 AM

      Heisey’s numbers were better and were put up with less ay bats than ludwick. ludwick put up all his numbers while playing for the cardinals and has done nothing since being traded to the padres. but the reds paid him on what he did in 2008 when he played while walt was the gm in st.louis. and spudchucker you are a douche.

  9. wlschneider09 - Apr 5, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    One game. It’s just one game. Let’s see how many games Mesoraco and Heisey play over the month of April then have this conversation with some actual data.

    • metalhead65 - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:17 PM

      you do not have to wait that long just look at how he has done it since he bcame manager. I think mesaroco will play more than Heisey since dusty has nobody to play ahead of him besides hannigan. hannigan is not that bad but even he can’t catch everyday. would have helped if dusty had actually played him last year when he was called up,but dusty did not get the memo on why you call guys up in september when you are 20 games and have nothing to play for. Heisey’s fate was set the minute they signed ludwick. he will luck to start 3 games a month.

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