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Joey Votto will bat second for the Reds this afternoon

Apr 12, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT

Joey Votto Getty Getty Images

Interesting lineup note for the Reds, as first baseman Joey Votto will bat second this afternoon against Alex Cobb and the Rays.

This will be the first time that Votto has batted second since August 8, 2008. For a team that used Zack Cozart out of the No. 2 spot for long stretches last year, it’s an experiment that is long overdue.

While conventional wisdom has said that your team’s best hitter should bat third, studies have shown that it’s actually more beneficial to have them bat second, as it assures them more plate appearances over the course of a season. Sounds pretty logical, right? It also increases the chance that your best hitter won’t be standing in the on-deck circle to end a ballgame.

Votto has led the National League in on-base percentage and walks for three straight years, so basically, the Reds should try to get him to the plate as often as possible. Moving up one spot in the order might not have a major impact, but the potential benefits are obvious enough to at least give it a try for a while. Kudos to Bryan Price for doing something that Dusty Baker wouldn’t.

  1. Earnest Christian - Apr 12, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    Reblogged this on Earnest Christian presents The OpinioNation | Sports and Pop Culture.

    • genericcommenter - Apr 12, 2014 at 8:06 PM

      I’m glad you did. Otherwise I wouldn’t know where to go if I want to read an exact duplicate of the article later.

    • strictlythedanks - Apr 13, 2014 at 2:55 PM

      christ says not to steal

  2. hoopmatch - Apr 12, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    As high as his OBP is, he’d probably be a good leadoff hitter, too.

  3. sportsfan18 - Apr 12, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    I understand and see your point. It’s a tough call with how good of a hitter he is. I’m a big believer in on base percentage.

    It depends on how well the # 7 and 8 hitters get on base for the Reds as to whether I’d bat him leadoff.

    Votto is in the top 10 in the league in slugging each year too besides leading the league in on base percentage and in 2010 he lead the NL in slugging percentage.

    As the leadoff hitter, regardless of when he came up during the game, 3rd inning, 6th inning etc… when batting in the leadoff spot, the men to be on base would be the #7, 8 and 9 slots in the batting order.

    We all know Votto hasn’t had many RBI’s but he hits for a high average, slugs for a high average and gets on base at a very high clip so he is doing his part.

    I was surprised that he had so few RBI’s as the #3 hitter with Shin Soo on base so much in the leadoff spot, especially since Votto slugs so well. Last season was a down year for him slugging wise and he still finished 10th in the NL in slugging.

    Votto is one of the games best players and hitters though. Can’t hurt trying him in the #2 slot as he only had 73 RBI’s last yr with Shin Soo and his high on base percentage batting leadoff.

    Also, Votto had the MOST plate appearances in the NL last season with 726. Now, after walks, he only had 581 at bats as Votto has lead the NL in walks the past three seasons too…

  4. psunick - Apr 12, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    As the leadoff hitter, regardless of when he came up during the game, 3rd inning, 6th inning etc… when batting in the leadoff spot, the men to be on base would be the #7, 8 and 9 slots in the batting order.

    What does it matter if the runners on base are the #7, 8 or 9 in the order?

    Sabermetric logic says, bat your best hitter second because he’ll get more ABs. That logic tells me, then, that he should bat first, because he’ll get even more ABs.

    What am I missing here?

    • timburns116 - Apr 20, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      The fact that he might hit 2 run homers rather than solo shots

  5. observer82ab - Apr 12, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    Hmmm. Kind of slow footed for a number 2 batter, but okay.

    • genericcommenter - Apr 12, 2014 at 8:11 PM

      Yeah, you definitely want a guy who can steal 1st in that situation.

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